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Veterinarians give baby llama new life

11 December 2020

A tiny baby llama born during the COVID-19 pandemic is looking forward to a bright future, thanks to emergency help from Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

The owner of little Faith, Ted Langham of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, saw the cria was struggling to survive after her April 5 birth, so weak she couldn’t even stand. Langham reached out to OSU; realizing it was an emergency case, veterinarians told him to bring her in.

“Faith’s body temperature was low. She was weak and couldn’t stand on her own,” said Dr. Melanie Boileau, food animal medicine and surgery section chief and associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. “She had a good suckle reflex, so we were able to milk the mother several times and bottle-feed Faith the colostrum, which is full of important antibodies.”

A few days later, Faith was standing, walking around and consistently taking her bottle, which meant she could go home.

“During this pandemic, we are still here for veterinary emergencies like Faith 24/7,” Boileau said. “We have different protocols in place to protect faculty and staff as well as clients, including curbside admission and discharge. We’re just glad we had the opportunity to help this newborn get a start on life.”