We trim our alpaca's toenails, if needed, when we do monthly worming. The regularity of trimming does vary from animal to animal and according to the surface they walk upon. We have grass pastures which don't wear the nails down, so most of our animals require a trim every month or so. I recommend that you stay on top of this. An alpaca who does not get regular trimming may well develop curling toenails - an unsightly feature indeed!
Of course, these are fiber-producing animals. We shear annually in the spring, which also helps the animals deal with our hot, humid summers. From past experience, I now shear ALL my animals in the spring, including the spring crias. They may appear too young, but they can grow an incredible coat by July or August and really suffer as a result. Actually, the quality of the fiber at next shearing is also greatly improved, as that birth fiber can be just like velcro!
The only other routine care is during the hotter months, as these guys are subject to heat stroke. This is a particular problem in the east and South where we have such high humidity along with high temperatures. You will need to provide shade and air movement for the hottest days. Large industrail fans in shade areas along with sprinklers to cool the belly is the most comfortable method. You can set the sprinklers to come on at certian times of the day to prevent overheating. It is critical to monitor all animals during the sumer for heat stroke.
Sand Impaction and Prevention
by Susan Buser
Sandy soil can be wonderful-it drains well, grows nice pastures and doesn’t turn your alpacas or
lamas that lovely shade of peachy-
orange that is all too familiar to many of us with clay pastures. But…if you have sandy soil you need to be aware of a potentially serious problem: sand impaction.
Sand impaction in the alpaca’s stomach can cause digestive problems, serious illness and even death if not properly treated.
In the early stages, this condition is
often referred to as sand colic. It becomes
an impaction when sand collects and
begins to seriously block digestion.
Why would an alpaca or lama ingest
sand? They may accidentally pick up sand
as they graze, especially when they are
grazing on short and sparse forage. Some
may also nibble on sand out of sheer
boredom if they are in a very small pasture
or on dry lot and there are some animals
who are temperamentally inclined to
nibble on everything around them.
Observe your animals and be familiar with
their individual personality quirks and you
may be able to predict which ones will be
most susceptible to this problem.
What are the symptoms of sand colic or
impaction? Some of the earlier indicators
include weight loss, anemia (indicated by
light-colored gums), a soft unformed stool,
and parasite infestation. The sand
blockage impedes proper digestion and so
compromises the animal nutritionally,
leading to the weight loss and anemia. The
compromised animal is not able to fight off
parasites, and often develops a parasite
load in addition to his other problems.
As the problem becomes worse, the
animal becomes bloated in the belly,
very thin along the ridgeline and may
stop producing any fecal matter at all.
He may be eating ravenously because he
Meningeal Worm Article
This article was written by: Jill from Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine.
This article is very helpful in the understanding of this parisite.
Please click on link to read entire article link text
Parasite Restistance Testing
The University of Georgia offers testing for parasite resistant treatments.
- College of Veterinary Medicine
- Department of Infectious Diseases
- Voice # 706-542-0742
- Fax # 706-542-0059
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DrenchRite® Larval Development Assay:
for the laboratory detection of anthelmintic (dewormer) resistance
The DrenchRite® Larval Development Assay (LDA) is an in vitro test for the detection of anthelmintic resistance in the major gastrointestinal nematode parasites infecting small ruminants (sheep, goats, llama, alpaca, etc). The test evaluates the resistance to benzimidazole (e.g. Valbazen,Panacur, Safeguard), levamisole (e.g. Totalon, Levasol, Prohibit), and avermectin/milbemycin (Ivomec, Cydectin). Nematode resistance to all drug classes listed above are tested for in each assay from a single pooled fecal sample. Nematode eggs are isolated from the submitted fecal sample and placed into the wells of a microtiter plate containing growth media and anthelmintic. The concentration of anthelmintic required to block development of nematode larvae is related to the effectiveness of the drug in the animal.
The DrenchRite® LDA offers a diagnostic alternative to the laborious task of performing fecal egg count reduction tests (FECRT) in order to determine the effectiveness of dewormers. All that is needed to perform the DrenchRite is a pooled fecal sample from 10 or more animals containing adequate numbers of nematode eggs. The mean fecal egg count (FEC) in the sample should be > 350 eggs per gram (EPG), but samples with mean FEC >500 are preferred. In general, the higher the mean FEC, the better the assay works. The higher egg counts allow for a much cleaner extraction of the eggs from the feces. The test can be done with fewer than 10 animals, but it is recommended to include at least 6. If Haemonchus contortus (barber pole worm) is your primary concern (this is the most common), and you are using the FAMACHA® system, only select feces from animals scored as 3, 4, or 5. Animals scored as 1 or 2 usually will have low egg counts.
DIRECTIONS FOR SAMPLE SUBMISSION:
- Collect a pooled sample made up of
feces from 10-20 animals (minimum
6). It is preferable to not use
animals that have been dewormed in
the last 4 - 6 weeks because worms
that survived treatment will bias
the result. However, the test can
performed at anytime after treatment
as long as there are enough parasite
eggs being passed in the feces. It
is best to collect samples directly
from the rectum, however, feces can
be collected off the ground if the
animals are first put into a shed
with a clean floor (free of bedding,
grass and dirt). Feces are easily
collected from the rectum of mature
animals using a latex glove with a
little OB lubricant or KY jelly. The
size of the sample that is needed to
perform the test depends on the
number of eggs in the feces (EPG).
If FECs are high (>1000 EPG), only
50-60 grams of feces (lemon-sized
clump) are needed. If FEC are
unknown or < 500 EPG, about 120
grams of feces (orange-sized clump)
are needed. We can always dispose of
extra feces – better to include too
much than too little.
- On the day of collection, it is
critical that feces be kept cool to
prevent hatching of eggs, but care
must be taken not to get the samples
too cold because this will inhibit
hatching. At the time of collection,
feces should be placed in a cooler
with ice packs to keep the sample
cool and can be placed in the
refrigerator overnight. However,
feces should not be kept
refrigerated more than 48 hr. –
prolonged chilling will inhibit
hatching of eggs making it
impossible to perform the assay. We
have also found that samples in
direct contact with ice packs for 24
hr often do not hatch well.
Therefore, if kept cool with ice
packs, keep the samples from direct
contact with the ice packs. Because
of this problem with
cold-inhibition, fecal collections
should be timed so that they can be
hand delivered or shipped the same
or the next day. If feces are to be
shipped to the lab it is important
that air be excluded from the feces
to prevent the development of the
nematode eggs prior to their
isolation and testing (see below).
SAMPLE PREPARATION (for shipping):
We currently recommend two different methods for packaging the sample for Drenchrite® LDA submission:
- Utilize the “Reynolds Handi-Vac”
system which utilizes a small
handheld vacuum pump and special zip
lock type bags for vacuum sealing.
The Reynolds Handi-Vac kit is
available at most grocery stores and
at Walmart for around $10.00. The
sample is placed in the Reynolds
Handi-Vac bag and sealed. The
Handi-Vac pump is used to evacuate
all of the air out of the bag,
providing an anaerobic environment
that will delay the hatching of the
nematode eggs until they arrive at
our lab. Samples packaged this way
can be sent by priority mail, so
long as they arrive in our lab
within 3 days of collection. We
recommend that you place a piece of
tape over the vacuum port of the bag
once you have vacuumed all of the
air out of the bag.
- Wrap the sample tightly in plastic
wrap in order to exclude all air. A
small amount of water should be
added to moisten the feces making it
easier to work with (add small
amount of water to a cup containing
the feces and let stand 15 minutes).
Feces should be moist but not wet so
better to add to little than too
much water at first. Take a tongue
depressor or other instrument and
gently break up the feces and mix.
Dump the clump of feces onto a sheet
of plastic wrap, fold the plastic
wrap over the feces and kneed it
like dough. You should wind up with
a cigar-shaped sample in which
individual fecal pellets cannot be
readily seen. Wrap tightly in the
plastic wrap, then wrap the “cigar”
tightly in aluminum foil and place
the wrapped feces into a ziploc bag,
again excluding all air from the
bag. Label the bag with the species
(sheep,goat, llama, etc), farm name,
and date of collection. Ship by
overnight express*. Samples should
not be exposed to extremes of
temperatures (i.e. do not freeze or
leave in the sun). Refrigeration is
not needed and is not desirable
after samples are processed to
exclude air. Samples need to be
processed into “cigars” within 48
hr. of collection and samples should
reach the laboratory within 72 hr of
collection. If the samples will be
hand-delivered to the lab within 48
hr., then they can be kept cool and
do not need “air-exclusion
processing”. Please understand that,
regardless of packaging and shipping
method, the DrenchRite® test
requires a good deal of time to set
up, and samples cannot sit around
very long -- so please contact the
laboratory prior to sending in a
sample to be sure we will be able to
process it upon arrival
(706-542-0742). If samples are sent
to us without prior communication,
it may not possible for us to
perform the testing.
- Results with interpretation will be
available approximately 14 - 21 days
after the sample is received.
- If using the US Postal Service for the overnight delivery, be sure to check ahead of time to make sure they deliver to Athens, GA. With FedEx or UPS there should not be any problems.
INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED WITH SAMPLE (Submission form attached):
- Owner name and contact information (including email and fax if available)
- Name and contact information of veterinarian
- Species and breed of animals
- Number of animals feces were collected from, and manner of collection (from rectum or ground)
- Date of last deworming and drug used
The charge is $450 per test.
A check must be submitted with the sample. Samples received without payment may be discarded unless prior arrangements have been made. (This policy was required because we have had instances where payment was never received for the services provided despite repeated attempts to collect).
If the sample is not adequate to perform the assay (too few eggs), there will be no charge for the assay, but a $50 handling charge will be charged for processing and conducting preliminary analysis. If eggs do not hatch properly, thereby preventing the collection of good quality test data (rare if samples are handled correctly prior to submission), we will give a $75 credit toward a resubmission. We cannot, however, give a refund because of the time and expense we have already invested in setting up the assay.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ms. Sue Howell OR Mr. Bob Storey (in lab of Ray M. Kaplan, DVM, PhD)
Department of Infectious Diseases
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
e-mail: email@example.com OR
Please include Dr. Ray Kaplan, Bob Storey OR Sue Howell on the address when shipping the sample.
DrenchRite Submission Form
- Client Name :
- Farm Name (if applicable) :
- Client Address :
- City, State, Zip :
- Home Phone Number :
- Cell/ Other Number :
- Fax Number (if applicable) :
- E-mail Address :
- Name of Veterinarian / Clinic :
- Address :
- City, State, Zip :
- Phone Number :
- Cell/ Other Number :
- Fax Number (if applicable) :
- E-mail Address :
- Animal Species/ Breed Submitted :
- Number of Animals Collected :
- Last Deworming Date and Dewormer Used :
- Manner Samples were Collected (from
Ground or Rectum) :
- DATE of COLLECTION :
PLEASE READ THE COLLECTION/ SUBMISSION PROTOCOL BEFORE COLLECTION TO ENSURE PROPER SAMPLE SUBMISSION.
PLEASE CONTACT THE LABORATORY PRIOR TO COLLECTION TO ENSURE YOUR ASSAY CAN BE RUN! (706-542-0742)
- Sue Howell or Bob Storey
- Dept. of Infectious Disease
- College of Veterinary Medicine
- 501 D.W. Brooks Dr.
- University of Georgia
- Athens, GA 30602
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