- 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
- Use drenches most effective on your property: ideally those that are 98% effective, as shown by a drench test. Especially important for strategic summer drenches in winter rainfall regions.
- Alpacas are susceptible to cattle, goat and sheep worms, however the four most likely to cause problems with alpaca are: Barber’s Pole Worm (Haemonchus contortus) up to 10,000 eggs per day Small Brown Stomach Worm (Ostertagia ostertagi) 100-200 eggs per day Black Scour Worm (Trichostrongylus spp) 100-200 eggs per day Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica) 20,000-50,000 eggs per day The eggs are passed out in the faeces and can remain in the paddock for long periods, until warm moist conditions are present and they begin to hatch into infective larvae. Alpacas with a worm burden can be passing eggs in their faeces over winter with the eggs not hatching due to the cold, only to have millions of eggs begin hatching when the warm spring days arrive. This sudden arrival in the paddock of millions of larvae can result in sudden and severe worm infestations with severe consequences.
- 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.
- One of the major advantages of keeping alpacas is the low maintenance required in their upkeep. In comparison to other classes of stock, alpaca come out head and shoulders (not to mention neck) ahead. One particular area of advantage is the alpaca’s comparatively low parasitic burden. That is not to say, however, that alpacas are not affected by internal parasites. 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.