As a practice we have many years of experience providing a dedicated veterinary service for camelids.
We understand that camelids are unique and distinctive, with specific health and management requirements, for which we are in a position to provide the essential veterinary care and health planning.
A proactive approach to camelid veterinary work that focuses on maintaining herd health and preventing disease is key, and something that we are committed to at Langford Farm Animal Practice.
Animals should be regularly caught and assessed for body condition, nail length, and signs of disease (e.g. lameness, fly strike). If possible the animals should also be weighed at this time.
Heavily fleeced animals should have the fibre around their tail and down their hind legs trimmed to prevent faeces and urine contamination.
Foot trimming should be carried out about two to three times a year. To properly assess nail length the whole foot needs to be lifted up.
It is also advised to check the teeth of your animals at least twice a year as teeth that are misaligned can cause difficulty feeding.
Camelids in the UK benefit from vitamin supplementation, especially vitamin D, to prevent deficiencies developing which can lead to other diseases such as poor bone growth and rickets.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a zoonotic disease caused by members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Camelids are potentially more likely to come into contact with Mycobacterium bovis as it is the same strain that is responsible for TB in cattle.
TB should be considered as a possible cause in all cases of chronic loss of condition with or without respiratory signs and we recommended for owners to arrange a post mortem of any camelid that dies on farm.
Although low, M.bovis does represent a zoonotic risk to those working in close contact with infected animals and we would recommend owners taking precautionary measures to protect their own health.
If you require more information please contact the practice.
Parasite control is the maintenance of parasite populations below a level at which clinical signs are observed. Control programmes vary according to herd, season and geographical location. We can advise you on the best strategy for your herd.
Common internal parasites of Alpacas include roundworms such as Strongyles (e.g. Haemonchus, Cooperia), Whipworms, and Nematodirus as well as the trematode Fasciola (liver fluke). Young stock, under one year of age, are susceptible to the protozoa Coccidia which causes diarrhoea and is diagnosed on a faeces sample. Diarrhoea in Crias can be fatal and so veterinary attention should always be sought. Camelids can also be infected by external parasites such as lice, mites and ticks.
In order to reduce the risk of worm resistance, animals within a group should be dosed based on the weight of the heaviest animal. Herds should, ideally, routinely submit pooled faeces samples at six monthly intervals for worm egg count and fluke analysis before blanket treating the herd.
Anthelmintic drugs do not have a license for use in camelids however, as they are generally recognised as safe for use they are used off license.
Please consult the practice for advice on the most appropriate product to use.
There are no vaccinations licensed for use in camelids and so vaccines from other species, generally sheep, are used.
As a minimum, all animals should receive vaccination against clostridial disease. Crias can be vaccinated from three weeks of age and are given two injections four weeks apart and a booster annually thereafter.
Ideally the timing of vaccination is planned so that pregnancy females are vaccinated 4-8 weeks before unpacking to boost their immune system.
In the face of disease such, as Leptospirosis and BVD, vaccinations licensed for other species are available but their efficacy is unproven.