Alpacas & Llamas Care and Treatment
Preventive Medicine for Alpacas & Llamas
Urban Livestock & Equine Veterinary Services of Mesa, AZ offers both preventive medicine for your herd as well as individual care for sick animals. Our herd health services include parasite testing and control, vaccines, and bio-security consultation, including health screens for new animals. We also offer nutritional consultations, castration, and health certificates. When your alpaca or llama is sick, many conditions can be diagnosed and treated in the comfort of his stall. Early recognition is important to give your animal the best chance at a speedy recovery. Early signs of a medical problem include unexplained weight loss or gain, loss of appetite, behavioral changes, squinting or tearing eyes, coughing, nasal discharge, soft or runny manure, and many others. Please call as soon as you recognize one of these signs.
If you are thinking about breeding your female alpaca, it's a good idea to have a thorough breeding soundness examination first. We use an ultrasound scan to examine the entire reproductive system, to check for structural abnormalities and to see if her ovaries are functioning properly. Most reproductive problems can be treated successfully, once they are diagnosed. Once she is bred, pregnancy diagnosis can be done by either blood test or ultrasound exam. Regular ultrasound exams throughout pregnancy are recommended to ensure your alpaca will have the best chance to carry and deliver a healthy cria. For breeding males, it is important to determine if he has completed puberty, and has normal reproductive anatomy in order to be able to breed females. This includes examination of the reproductive tract including the penis and testicles. These examinations are recommended before purchasing any male or female that is intended for breeding, as well as for diagnosis of known infertility.
Newborn crias should be examined for early diagnosis of potentially serious conditions such as failure of passive transfer. This is a condition in which the cria does not ingest the necessary antibody-containing colostrum from it's dam, either due to failure of the dam to make colostrum, or inadequate suckling on the part of the cria. This can leave the cria vulnerable to infection in the umbilical cord, joints, blood (sepsis), or internal organs. A simple blood test can determine whether the cria has received enough colostrum so that treatment may begin as soon as possible. Also at this time, most congenital defects can also be detected and many can be corrected if diagnosed early.