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  • Gastrointestinal Surgery in Alpacas and Llamas

    The clinical signs associated with acute abdominal pain in South American camelids tend to be subtle and less frequent (similar to ruminants) as compared with that of horses. Abdominocentesis and transabdominal ultrasound are useful tools in determining the necessity of an exploratory laparotomy. Preoperative anticipation of the lesion location helps determine the surgical approach to the abdomen. Perioperative management is vital to improve chances for survival. Timely surgical intervention for correctable gastrointestinal lesions is expected to minimize postoperative complications and improve outcomes. more »
  • Barber’s Pole Worm in Alpacas

    The gastrointestinal parasite Haemonchus spp. is better known as the barber’s pole worm (BPW) because the adult female worm has a white tubular uterus that winds around their blood-filled tubular gut, giving the look of a barber’s pole (Figure 1). This parasite is a blood sucker of domestic livestock, causing anaemia and illthrift and can kill alpacas (and sheep, cattle and goats) quickly and in high numbers. more »
  • Alpaca Parasites

    Alpacas and llamas are susceptible to many of the gastro-intestinal nematodes or “worms” that infect sheep and cattle, including barber’s pole worm (Haemonchus spp) and the scour worms. The behavior of worms in alpacas is not well described and is currently being studied at the University of Melbourne. The project is identifying worm species, worm behaviour, methods of diagnosis/monitoring of worm burdens and worm control in alpacas. In the interim, camelid farmers need to extrapolate from sheep research on how best to control worms. more »
  • Parasites of New World Camelids

    Llamas and alpacas are host to several internal and external parasites. Few published studies exist on the incidence, prevalence and pathogenic effects of many parasites reported in these animals. Treatment and control is further complicated by a lack of licensed antiparasitic products or specific guidelines on their use, nor recommended dose rates based on efficacy and pharmacokinetic studies. more »
  • Internal Parasites in Alpaca: Part 2

    Gastrointestinal worms are by far the most prevalent of the internal parasites that can affect alpacas. Stomach worms are common place, and it is likely that the majority of animals in your herds will have a number of worms and worm eggs, particularly if you have other classes of stock sharing the same paddocks. A regular worming program will reduce the numbers of worms present and will prevent the problems associated when the numbers multiply and become too great a burden for an animal. There are, however, a few other internal parasites that are less common but can adversely affect alpacas and other classes of stock. To date we have discussed intestinal worms and there is one more parasite of note that can on occasion reside in the intestinal tract of an alpaca and that is the Tapeworm or Cestode. Like all ruminants alpacas are susceptible to a wide range of internal parasites of varying degree of concern to the breeder. Some minor infestations often may go unnoticed for months, if not years, whereas others, if left unchecked, can and do all too often, prove to be fatal. more »
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