The following are useful terms from
Dr. David Anderson:

  • “Miscarriage” is not a veterinary term, so we do not use it.

  • A resorption occurs up to the time of fetal development (e.g. before 30 to 40 days)

  • Embryonic loss / early embryonic death refers to loss of pregnancy before stage of fetal development

  • Fetal wastage or fetal loss occurs after period of fetal development begins (e.g. - 30 to 40 days)

  • Abortion is expulsion of any FETUS before it is able to sustain life outside of the womb. So this goes up to very close to time of birth.

  • Premature birth is prior to normal gestational length, but may or may not be able to sustain extrauterine life.

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Pearson Pond Llamas



Aborted Twin Birth
By Tracy Pearson

Once again, birthing season has come to an end. Last baby is up and running! Everyone has suddenly gotten his or her lives back. Even the lady llamas can be greeted by looking deeply into their eyes and greeted with a "Good morning, Ladies!' For the last three months we have been paying attention to their other ends and concentrating on their behavior.

As anyone knows, if you are a breeder, baby watch is frustrating, time consuming, and inconvenient, yet most rewarding. There are most always one or two ladies that were pregnant --- confirmed by ultra sound, blood tested or gave a positive spit with repeated exposure to males. They are way past the due date --- they don't look pregnant, though this is not a good rule of thumb, or they go down when they see a male. OPEN! O.K. So where did the baby go? She either miscarried or reabsorbed. Miscarried? Never found a baby. Reabsorbed? How do you do that? This was always hard to imagine, how the body can reabsorb a baby. It's not so much reabsorbing as it is decomposing.

Well, I understand just a bit better now. We found two sets of twins that had miscarried. Since we hand breed, we have a pretty good idea as to when they conceived.

  • Aborted Twin Fetus
    45 day old aborted twin fetus
  • Twin Fetus
    45 day old aborted twin fetus
  • Twin Fetus
    45 day old aborted twin fetus
  • Twin Fetus
    45 day old aborted twin fetus
 

(Click above photos to enlarge)

One set was 45 days old, found in the barn as a glob of goo. On further inspection we ascertained it was a fetus. Took it to the house and put a clear plastic wrap on a white dish and started ever so gently spreading it out and withdrawing the mucus type fluid that was encasing the baby inside the soft sack. Wow - we have two in here! The one fetus appeared to be in a proper state of development, while the other fetus was very fluid and underdeveloped. It seemed to be in a process of decomposing.

  • Fetus - 7 month Twins
    About three months later we came upon a lady birthing. She was not due. We could see right away that there were two fetuses. We did the same thing with these twins. Cleaned them up and took pictures of them as well. This set was 7 months along, so being they were larger we could get a better perspective on the second baby's decomposition. The bones of the decomposing fetus felt like cartilage and the flesh, that should be solid to the touch, was a sack of liquid. The rib cage, spine and pelvis were fluid. Only the legs and head were like cartilage. This whole expereience gave me a new prospective on how this process could possibly occur.
  • Fetus - 7 month Twins
    About three months later we came upon a lady birthing. She was not due. We could see right away that there were two fetuses. We did the same thing with these twins. Cleaned them up and took pictures of them as well. This set was 7 months along, so being they were larger we could get a better perspective on the second baby's decomposition. The bones of the decomposing fetus felt like cartilage and the flesh, that should be solid to the touch, was a sack of liquid. The rib cage, spine and pelvis were fluid. Only the legs and head were like cartilage. This whole expereience gave me a new prospective on how this process could possibly occur.
 
(Click above photos to enlarge)

About three months later we came upon a lady birthing. She was not due. We could see right away that there were two fetuses. We did the same thing with these twins. Cleaned them up and took pictures of them as well. This set was 7 months along, so being they were larger we could get a better perspective on the second baby's decomposition. The bones of the decomposing fetus felt like cartilage and the flesh, that should be solid to the touch, was a sack of liquid. The rib cage, spine and pelvis were fluid. Only the legs and head were like cartilage. This whole expereience gave me a new prospective on how this process could possibly occur.

Llamas are supposed to have only one cria, not multiple births. Nature seems to know this. Not to say that llamas don't have twins, they can and have, but it is far easier on the female's milk production to only deal with one cria at a time.

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We welcome visitors by appointment , call or write
Jack and Tracy Pearson:
Pearson Pond Ranch & Llama Co.
242 Llama Lane (Charles Lane), #6017
Ellijay, GA 30540
Phone: (706) 276-3658
Fax: (706) 276-3680