- Performing regular examinations on your alpacas is critical to maintaining a healthy herd. Those of us living in whitetail deer & snail/slug territory have a regular reminder to do an assessment of our animals when we administer injections to prevent meningeal meningitis infections. A physical examination can take as little as one minute per animal and can be done many times by one person.
- Once an alpaca shows obvious signs of infestation from meningeal worm, recovery is unlikely. Partial recoveries, probably with residual physical impairment, are possible with extraordinary veterinary measures. Because the signs mimic other neurologic disorders, early detection and positive diagnosis are problematic.
- Meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) is a parasite of special concern for many alpaca farmers. Carried by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and intermediate slug and snail hosts, “m-worm”, as it is commonly known, lives and reproduces in the deer. Although the deer are generally not affected by the parasite, any other animal ingesting an infected slug or snail is usually killed by the activity of the parasite as it travels through the nervous system.