Friday 12th January 2018

Lots of hoorays and sighs of relief as Graeme returned to today and after checking all our animals confirmed we have NO TB reactors at all and so are TB-free!!! Well, almost, because the alpacas actually have to have a second test, a blood test, which is now booked in for the 22nd (a week Monday). The reason for this is because alpacas are particularly poor at reacting to skin tests and so a blood sample is taken and checked to ensure they do indeed have no signs of TB in their system. Graeme told us that even if animals that are KNOWN to have TB have the skin test, they don’t always give a positive result!! The blood test takes a good 2 weeks before results are made available so we have another wait.
Nonethless, so far so good and as far as the cows and goats are concerned we are definitely all clear!
Relaxed at Home
Aside from the worry, it is all a fascinating process and today, as with Tuesday, all went well. It was much quicker because all Grame had to do was ‘feel’ and then measure the skin if necessary and because he was so calm and efficient about it, it was all relatively stress free and speedy!!
Graeme was on the look out for any lumps or swelling at the point of injection, i.e. any reactions. If any are detected, his next job is to measure the thickness of the skin at that point and compare it to the thickness of the skin PRE injection (which he recorded on Tuesday). An animal with Bovine TB will have swelling/lumps in the area of the Bovine injection but crucially these have to be bigger than any lumps or swelling in the Avian injection point. There is an allowable margin of error which varies from species to species but we are talking mms here, so very small!
None of the alpacas had reacted at all and as such there were no lumps to measure. All of the goats had reacted to a greater or lesser degree, possibly because of the sheer act of having a needle inserted although in fact most were in the Avian injection point, suggesting a slight reaction to Avain TB which, considering the number of chickens who come into the barn is perhaps not surprising. Similarly, we had a couple of ‘Avian’ swellings on the cows!!!
So, life carries on as normal till the 22nd!!!!