horrific parasite has reared its ugly head within our practice area.
Because of the life threatening effects this parasite has on camelids,
we wanted to make everyone aware of the signs and facts associated with
this specific parasite.
of the more common cases we are seeing in our hospital are females that
have recently had a cria. In our hospital, it is common to see
infection in females that have recently had a cria. This is most likely
because at the time of parturition the female's immune system is
suppressed. Along with an increase in energy demand to produce milk
these animals are most susceptible to the haemonchus infestation. We
have also seen animals that have no apparent stressor in their lives but
are showing signs of this parasite.
Clinical signs/Signs you will see in your animal:
1.Weight loss (Both acute and chronic)
2.Pale mucous membranes (best place to look is up under upper eyelid)
3.Famacha Anemia chart:
4. Other places you can look are lips, gums, tongue, and vulva.
5. Change in attitude/activity: Depression, lethargy, separation from the herd, reluctance to move, etc.
contortus (AKA Barber Pole Worm) live in the intestine (3rd compartment
to be specific) of alpacas. They are voracious eaters and breeders
(one female can produce up to 10,000 eggs per day). As adults they have
a red band that gives them a "barber pole" appearance. Haemonchus is a
blood-sucker and is able to remove blood proteins and red blood cells
from the blood stream. This causes animals to become anemic and have
low protein. This can affect fleece production, muscle growth, milk
production, ovum and sperm production, metabolism, development and
maintenance of immunity.
Analysis- "Strongyle looking" eggs under the microscope, but in very
high numbers (usually too numerous to count). Because differentiation
between strongyle eggs and haemonchus is difficult we are sending the
samples to an outside laboratory.
recommend checking fecals on all of your females immediately post birth
to check for parasite infestation. This way, if need be, we can
address the parasites on an individual basis and with dewormers we would
not be able to use if the female was pregnant. It also gives insight
as to what the cria is being exposed to.
(measurement of red blood cells to indicate anemia) Normal is 20-30%.
Infected animal can be as low as 3%-15% depending on stage of disease.
(measure of protein component of blood to indicate loss of proteins)
Normal is 4.7-7.3 g/dl. Clinically affected animals are below 3 g/dl
Vitamin B Supplementation
Dewormers- Levamisole, Pyrantel paomate*Most of the cases we have seen are resistant to benzimadole dewormers (Valbazen and