Poor reproductive efficiency has been described as one of the major problems in camelids. The mean annual fertility (birthing rate) in alpacas and llamas in South America can be as low as 45%. No studies exist on the actual annual pregnancy rates in alpacas on North American ranches. Informal surveys in our area of practice (Pacific Northwestern USA) show an annual birthing rate of 78%.
Various congenital as well as acquired disorders of the reproductive tract in camelids have been described and may play an important role in reduced fertility.1 In many cases, diagnosis of the cause of infertility may require monitoring the female over at least one reproductive cycle (from follicular growth to mating and pregnancy diagnosis). The objectives would be to answer the following questions: What is the expertise of the breeder? Is the male fertile? Does the female have normal genitalia? Is the female ovulating? Judicious choice of examination techniques and interpretation allow reaching a diagnosis in an accurate and timely manner. The objective of the present chapter is to discuss the major presenting complaints with regard to camelid infertility as seen in practice, as well as the main reproductive disorders in the female camelid and the approach to diagnosis and treatment. more »