We have had 3 weeks of trauma to report having nearly lost one of most valued alpacas Elgar. Elgar had been slowing up on his walks and didn’t quite seem 100%. We took him off the last 2 walks of the season and then over 1 week his weight dropped severely.
Ill summarise here as I could be writing pages…. on vets advice we rushed him to Royal Vet College in Brookmans park where he had three blood transfusions over 3 days. His blood cell count was dangerously low and the diagnosis pointed to a blood sucking worm Heamonchus Contortus for which the warm wet conditions have been ideal over the summer. Although he had been wormed in March he had still picked up this worm, and the wormer we used, Panacur, is apparently not effective against this worm. Once in the stomach it can suck 250ml of blood a day and lay 10,000 eggs daily when it takes hold. We are so fortunate Elgar is now recovering well.
Several weeks of poo testing followed- Sue at Lyme Alpacas did a wonderful job. We tested all the herd to ensure we only wormed those who needed it and to check if any others were badly infested. Fortunately our herd numbers have reduced to 35 so this made the task slightly easier but still tortuous hoping for the right boys and girls to ‘produce’ each day.
Pedro Donated Blood to Elgar