Sick alpaca!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Catmoose1347, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. Catmoose1347

    Catmoose1347 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning one of my alpacas was acting pretty ill. She was grinding her teeth, drooling, and groaning. She normally doesn't let anyone near her, but today I could just walk up and pet/put a halter on her. She was rolling a little bit, not much. She was mostly in a kush this entire morning.

    I took her temp and it was a little low: 98°
    When we tried to lead her to take her to the vet, she refused to walk. We ended up sliding her onto a board and carrying her up (she's a big girl, too: 192 lbs!)

    The vet drew blood and it seemed normal other than she was stressed out from the car ride(higher glucose levels). She was dehydrated from not drinking and drooling and therefore her electrolytes were off. The vet examined the fecal pellets and they weren't uniform in shape. They also had some mucous in them. She's not eating/drinking and not pooing/urinating. I did notice at the vet that she occasionally jerks her head back, like she's trying to regurgitate or "hiccup."

    The vet felt her throat for a blockage, found nothing, and gave her a pain killer. They decided to keep her overnight and give her an IV with fluids, etc.

    1. Does anyone know what this could be? She was absolutely fine yesterday.

    2. What would you do in my situation? I'm new to this and I don't really know what procedures or medications there are for various illnesses.
     
  2. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    I'm sorry you are going through this! Sounds like you are on top of things though! How is she doing this morning?

    With those signs, I would be suspicious of obstruction or colic. In that case, getting things moving again would be the number one priority! Some cases may required surgery depending on the severity of the issue.

    Fluids is a good start though. What does the vet think it is? I would just keep in close contact with the vet to see what their plan is and what they suspect is going on. This will help your search on your own and make informed decisions from the information they give you.
     
  3. Catmoose1347

    Catmoose1347 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's mostly the same this morning. No defecation/urination and no eating/drinking. The vet says that she's not 100% sure but the problem is most likely in her small intestines or lower stomach.

    Could she have an ulcer?

    I read somewhere that since most colic is caused by an issue in the digestive bacteria, a transfusion(?) of stomach "soup" from a healthy alpaca would very likely be beneficial.
     
  4. Catmoose1347

    Catmoose1347 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2014
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    She was better yesterday. She went to the bathroom once and stopped tooth grinding. Still won't eat or drink.

    However, today she's worse. The vet took her to her own pasture to see if a more natural environment would encourage her to eat. She drank a little (about a gallon) and urinated a normal amount. She's following the other alpacas around, so its good she's active. Unfortunately, she's started to grind her teeth again. The vet is going to do an ultrasound. [fingers crossed!!![​IMG]]
     
  5. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know how your vet was noticing classic signs of gut and rumen problems until now. Especially because she cannot produce a wad of cud. Eructation (burping) and cud regurgitation is a normal function of a rumen, and when it stops working, obviously an animal can die, sometimes quite quickly. A sub therapeutic temperature also indicates gut problems. Bloat (frothy and dry bloat) as well as blockages are commonly culprits. Pain is also common.

    Did the vet listen for gut sounds? What is the vet actually administering? Banamine for pain? B vitamins until she starts eating normally? Did the vet administer mineral oil or another anti bloat agent? Did the vet tube her (sometimes blockages in the throat, if they're low, cannot be felt, tubing can push it out of the way and release trapped gas if she cannot burp)?

    She is only likely acting 'normal' with the herd because if she doesn't, they'd hurt her. Herd animals are like that, they ostracize weak individuals, because their presence weakens the herd. Sick animals attempt to act normal as long as they can keep up the ruse to avoid being bullied.
     
  6. Catmoose1347

    Catmoose1347 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply, Stacykins. The vet says that there is still digestion happening inside her, but there's only a small amount of defecation compared to what there should be.

    We brought her home tonight and she's no longer showing any signs of pain (no tight face or grinding). She's way more energetic now. She was running from people and fought getting into the vehicle. She was super excited to see her buddies again and was okay with walking around.

    Everything is mostly normal now except for not eating or defecating. She's drinking/urinating fine. A couple of hours ago she passed some more droppings. The vet said that unlike her other ones these pellets were uniform in size and shape, but there were only 10-20 of them. Not anywhere near the right amount.

    The vet says to make a smoothie/gruel of lactating grain, alfalfa pellets and probiotics. She should be given 8 oz of it 6-8 times a day. I'm also supposed to give her some penicillin. I need to go get mineral oil tomorrow.
     
  7. Catmoose1347

    Catmoose1347 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2014
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    She's acting normally now- eating, drinking, pooping...

    I'm still giving her the penicillin since she showed signs of an infection in the blood work, so she got a mouthful of probiotics in case the penicillin harmed her gut flora in any way (and it may just be beneficial to help her recover from whatever she had).

    I wish I knew what it is to prevent it from happening again. :/
     
  8. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    Sorry your Alpaca has been I'll. I checked in on the thread as I have llamas. Luckily I haven't had any issues yet and hope I don't but like to learn all I can.

    I'd love to get a camalid thread going so us folks who have them can share info, but I tried with little success once before.

    Glad she is better. :)
     

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