- Objectives: 1.To assess the worm control practices used by alpaca farmers in Australia by conducting a questionnaire survey 2.To determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal nematodeof alpacas in various climatic zones in Australia, using traditional and the latest molecular diagnostic methods 3.To undertake field efficacy studies to determine the status of anthelmintic resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes of alpacas 4.To train a research higher degree (MPhil/PhD) student
- BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) can cause significant economic losses in alpacas due to lowered production of fibre and meat. Although no anthelmintics are registered for use in alpacas, various classes of anthelmintics are frequently used to control parasitic gastroenteritis in alpacas in Australia and other countries. Very little is known about the current worm control practices as well as the efficacy of anthelmintics used against common GINs of alpacas. This study aimed to assess the existing worm control practices used by Australian alpaca farmers and to quantify the efficacy of commonly used anthelmintics against GINs of alpacas.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.