The urethral diameter in both males and females is relatively small, and the process of urination takes much longer than in other species of comparable size. Shake before use and apply mixture to local lesions with a paint brush every 5 days for 5 treatments. Llamas and alpacas are highly trainable, and most animals can be easily taught to come into a barn or corral for food.
An arm around the base of the neck and another arm holding the tail or flank region on the opposite side can restrain many animals. Halter-trained SACs can be easily led into a smaller area for examination and treatment. Specially designed llama chutes should be used for reproductive examinations and other potentially uncomfortable procedures.
In contrast, alpacas respond better to most procedures if assistants, and not restraint chutes, are used to hold the animals.
The neck is very muscular and can move with amazing speed. Sedation is not needed for most procedures. A small catch pen crowded with animals will afford adequate control to administer injections and perform body condition scoring. Under basal conditions, most camelids eat 1. Legumes are usually not needed and may contribute to obesity.
Palpating the amount of tissue over the lumbar vertebrae and ribs can best assess body condition. Body condition is generally scored from 1 thin to 9 fat , with 5 being ideal. Seasonal vitamin D deficiency, characterized by diminished growth, angular limb deformities, kyphosis, and a reluctance to move, can be a problem in heavily fibered animals raised in regions with poor sun exposure during winter months.
The problem is most severe in rapidly growing, fall-born crias. Serum phosphorus of 3: To date, there does not appear to be a nutritional justification for routinely incorporating ionophores into the diet of camelids. However, because pelleted or mixed-grain feeds intended for camelid consumption may be formulated in the same facilities that handle ionophores, camelid feed has been accidentally contaminated.
Such an incident resulted in a high incidence of death, and other health compromises to animals exposed during the period of consumption are not fully known. Routine and effective purging of feed milling facilities should allow for production of camelid feed without contamination; however, human error and equipment failure can still compromise any feed product.
Copper toxicity is a much greater concern than copper deficiency in camelids. Although there is a requirement for copper in camelid diets, mistakes in formulation and use of multiple supplements without full knowledge of total copper intake has resulted in toxicity. Most reported cases of toxicity have been due to chronic intake rather than acute deaths. There are several options for sedation and anesthesia of camelids see Table: Selected Drugs Used in Llamas and Alpacas.
Generally, alpacas require more drug than llamas to achieve the same results.
Veterinary Techniques for Llamas and Alpacas provides a step-by-step guide to performing procedures in llamas and alpacas. Furthermore, many active substances cannot be provided as injections due to their chemical characteristics. Rank fights and aggressive behaviour can further result in injury. Medicine and Surgery of the Respiratory and Circulatory Systems Llamas and alpacas are highly trainable, and most animals can be easily taught to come into a barn or corral for food. Respiratory or cardiovascular arrest in outdoor animals poses a huge challenge to veterinarians. Intact male llamas and alpacas are called studs machos in Spanish , whereas castrated males are referred to as geldings.
For short procedures, it is usually not necessary to withhold food and water; however, when deemed necessary, both should be withheld at the same time, reducing the tendency to regurgitate. Xylazine can be used for sedation without recumbency. 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. 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. For additional hematologic and serum biochemical reference ranges, see Table: No drugs are currently approved for use in llamas and alpacas, so all use is extra-label.
Sample Taking and Simple Diagnostic Tests 5. Sedation, Anaesthesia, Surgical Conditions and Euthanasia 9. Medicine and Surgery of the Gastroenteric System Medicine and Surgery of the Respiratory and Circulatory Systems Medicine and Surgery of the Urino-Genital System Medicine and Surgery of the Neurological System Medicine and Surgery of the Locomotory System Duncanson is a farmer's son who qualified as a veterinary surgeon in at Bristol University.
He spent eight years working in Kenya before returning to the UK. He has been a general practitioner in Norfolk ever since. He is a passionate traveller and has taught and worked with equine practitioners throughout the world. He has completed a doctorate on an investigation of the difficulties faced by practitioner researchers in publication. He is a regular writer in veterinary journals and other publications. He has a son studying economics at Bristol University and a daughter studying veterinary medicine at Cambridge University.
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