Services for Camelids

Our range of services for alpacas, llamas and guanaco

At Pilgrims Veterinary Practice, we see an increasing number of camelids in the Dorset and New Forest area, including alpacas, llamas and guanaco. As a traditional country vet practice, all of our vets are highly experienced with treating all of these species.

  • Camelid Vaccinations
  • Health Planning for Camelids
  • Parasite Control for Camelids

Camelid Vaccinations

Alpacas and llamas can contract many of the same diseases as sheep and goats

There are currently no vaccinations licensed for alpacas and llamas, however, they are at risk just like sheep and goats.

Clostridial diseases especially can have a devastating effect on your alpacas and llamas. These include diseases such as tetanus, botulism and pulpy kidney, which can be rapidly fatal. As such, we recommend that all camelids are vaccinated against clostridial diseases as a minimum.

When should I vaccinate my alpaca or llama?

Routinely, crias are vaccinated from 3 weeks of age, with a second injection given 4 weeks later. Thereafter, animals are vaccinated annually. Ideally, annual vaccinations should be planned so pregnant females are vaccinated 4-8 weeks before unpacking to stimulate their immune system, and allow as many antibodies to be passed to the newborn cria through colostrum as possible.

Health Planning for Camelids

We can tailor a plan for managing the health and welfare of your camelids.

No matter how large or small your herd is, our veterinary team is able to tailor a camelid health plan according to the specific needs of your animals. Every farm is different, so what works for one farm may not necessarily be best suited for yours.

By assessing the specific risk factors, resources and requirements of your farm, we can design a complete health plan for camelids  that aims to provide a schedule for preventing or minimising the impact of disease. By doing this we can also focus on maximising productivity, and ensuring health and animal welfare is a priority.

This will usually involve an initial visit to assess all aspects of the herd, after which we can implement a plan, with advice on vaccinations, parasite control, disease awareness, and any additional measures that may be beneficial to put in place.

Our team have many years’ experience when it comes to camelid health care and can provide alpaca and llama advice tailored to your individual setup. We also have state-of-the-art mobile diagnostic facilities that enable us to test for disease at the site of your herd.

Our camelid services include:

  • Male castration
  • Pregnancy diagnosis (ideally between 60-90 days of gestation)
  • Parasite planning and treating
  • Annual vaccinations

Parasite Control for Camelids

Camelids are susceptible to a variety of harmful parasites.

Good pasture sanitisation programs and management are just part of the preventative healthcare measures you should take to protect your Camelids from parasites. Our experienced team can advise you on all areas on parasite control for Camelids.

Alpaca, Llamas & Worms

Camelids are particularly susceptible to internal parasites such as worms, coccidia and liver fluke. Alpacas and Llamas are also at risk from many of the gastro-intestinal nematodes or “worms” that infect sheep and cattle, such as scour worms and barber’s pole worm.

External parasites such as lice and mites can also pose a problem.

Parasite Control treatments for Alpacas and Llamas

Our experienced veterinary team can offer advice on the correct parasite control measures for your animals, and tailor a formalised plan if necessary.

As there are no anti-parasitic medications currently licensed for use with camelids, we will often use medicines licensed for sheep or cattle. In many cases the doses for camelids are very different, so we advise that you contact our Fordingbridge practice before treating your animals.

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