Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas


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Llamas and alpacas are pretty different.

Higher dosages will result in recumbency and provide a light plane of anesthesia for 20—30 min. Simultaneous administration of xylazine, ketamine , and butorphanol usually provides 20—30 min of recumbent restraint.

Dental disease in llamas and alpacas.

Butorphanol can provide sedation of short duration and is especially useful for head, ear, and dental procedures. Llamas and alpacas tolerate general anesthesia well and usually do not require tranquilization before induction. Induction and maintenance of anesthesia is similar to that in other domestic species; however, tracheal intubation requires some practice. Hematology and clinical chemistries are similar to those in other species, with a few significant differences.

Camelid RBCs are relatively small and elliptical and may produce anomalous results when evaluated using an automated cell counter. Basal glucose concentrations in llamas and alpacas are more typical of monogastric species than ruminants. No drugs are currently approved for use in llamas and alpacas, so all use is extra-label. SACs in North America have the potential to be food animals, making drug withdrawal time a consideration.

Although drug use in exotic species is commonly based on approaches used in other species and often has favorable results, adverse outcomes have prevailed with numerous drugs in camelids. Camelids are prone to lidocaine toxicity, so its use should be minimized. If deemed necessary, lidocaine should be diluted to 0. Lidocaine toxicity is characterized by lethargy, ataxia, slow and labored breathing, weakness, hypotension, and diminished response to stimuli.

You don't need a huge backyard.

Diazepam should be available and administered at 0. Although dexamethasone is used in other animals to stimulate surfactant activity in fetal lungs, as little as 0. Virtually any steroid-containing product that a female camelid comes in contact with, especially during the third trimester, will cause abortion. Even a cria with steroid cream on the muzzle nursing a dam has caused abortion.

Tilmicosin has caused enough deaths in camelids to warrant the recommendation that it should not be used in these species. The cardiovascular system is the target of toxicity, which may be due to calcium channel blockade. The prolonged-release form of ceftiofur has produced neurologic changes, including blindness. IV administration should be avoided. However, many camelids have been successfully treated SC without problems. Normally used to reverse xylazine sedation, tolazoline has produced severe signs, including initially anxiety, hyperesthesia, profuse salivation, and tachypnea.

Convulsions, hypotension, and GI hypermotility resulting in diarrhea also develop. Because death has also resulted after administration of tolazoline, use of yohimbine is likely a better approach. Leptospirosis 5-way killed vaccine has caused type 2 hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis in camelids.


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Similar reactions have been reported occasionally in cattle and swine, so it is likely that sensitivity will increase in camelid herds in which vaccination against leptospirosis is indicated. Atropine , whether administered locally in the eye or parenterally, has resulted in pupillary dilation observed to persist in camelids for as long as a week. Treated animals must be kept out of direct sunlight until pupillary response is normal.

Camelids have relatively thin skin, and use of topical eprinomectin can result in dermatitis and blisters. Although numerous potential adverse effects from therapeutic use of trimethoprim -sulfamethoxazole have been reported in the literature, it appears that acute death after IV administration is rare. The rate of administration or existing condition being treated may be a predisposing factor in the outcome.

Commonly and immediately after camelids are injected with B-complex vitamins or levamisole, they demonstrate signs of hyperexcitement and itching. In the case of multiple procedures or administration of several injections, those anticipated to sting should be done last. Here is what you need to know about llamas and alpacas before you add one to your small farm or homestead. Llamas and alpacas are usually grouped together because they are both camelids a member of the camel family but there are some key differences between the two animals as well as differences in the uses they can have on your homestead.

However, he explained that alpacas were originally domesticated as a producer of wool, while llamas were domesticated for backpacking in the High Andes. As a result, there are some physiological differences between the two. While alpacas are known for their soft fleece, llamas have a thick double coat with a coarse outer layer. Llamas are also significantly larger than alpacas, almost double the weight and nearly a foot taller on average. The main difference between llamas and alpacas, though, is how you would use them around your homestead.

Franklin said there are some llamas who have been bred for finer wool, but given their ancient history as a fiber animal, alpaca wool reigns supreme.

Dental disease in llamas and alpacas.

Foss owns 83 llamas on his breeding farm in West Newfield, Maine. Llamas, meanwhile, are used primarily as guard animals, especially against large predators like bobcats and coyotes. Sheridan has raised llamas for about two decades and has had great success with them as guard animals. For the most part, guard llamas can peacefully coexist with other animals after they have bonded to them. Franklin also said llamas make better pets, if that is why you are looking to have a camelid on your homestead. There are some commonalities between the two camelids, though.

Both llama and alpaca manure can be used as a rich fertilizer for your garden. As grazing animals, the two camelids are also both effective for pasture maintenance. There is very little mess and very little smell. Different breeds of llamas and alpacas will mostly vary by length and color of wool.

When it comes to buying llamas and alpacas, the experts agree that breed matters less than personality.


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  • Some will come right up and nuzzle you. Uncastrated males, he explained, are more likely to be distracted by their natural mating instincts. Llamas are very sensitive to status. When minding the flock, however, Sheridan said that llamas should be assigned guard duty one at a time. Alpacas and llamas do not require much land. Sheridan recommends two acres of pasture for up to a dozen llamas a maximum of six llamas per acre , and Foss said you should have one acre of land for every six alpacas.

    You don't need a huge backyard.

    Sheridan said that llamas need some fencing, but it does not need to be especially strong or high. The Energy Solution Revolution. Life's Not Just a Drag. Zenspirations : Dangle Designs Workbook. Natsume's Book of Friends, Vol. Sea Monsters on Medieval. Principles : Life and Work.

    Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas
    Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas
    Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas
    Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas
    Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas
    Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas
    Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas
    Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas Veterinary Treatment of Llamas and Alpacas

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