Monday, 18 April 2011

Help please!

Today we have had a problem with one of our pregnant females, Marietta, probably our best female, she has only produced prize winning cria.  Anyway today when Steve went to feed up and check this morning he notice straight away that Marietta was not right, she was shaking and was walking with a jerky action but she was still eating her concentrate and grazing.  She was very distressed when penned and became very flighty when handled which is very unusual as she is a very calm animal usually.

We have had a similar problem in a llama a couple of years ago which the Vet diagnosed as Rye Grass staggers but now we are starting to wonder if this was correct.  Marietta was not grazing the same field as the llama was, there is no rye grass in the field as it is old lay, so what is it?  There is eight other females in that field none of which are showing any symptoms, there is nothing poisonous in the hedgerow.

Vet arrived and gave her a shot of magnesium  which if she was a cow would have cured grass staggers instantly, we have to give her another shot for the next two days.  We have taken her off grass now and put her into the field shelter with just hay and her concentrate to eat, this if it is the same problem as our llama should cure the problem.  She is still shaky very flighty, she nearly took two hurdles with her trying to get out of the field shelter.

It would be really useful to know if anyone else has had such a problem !  It really does pay off knowing your animals because Steve spotted that she was not right as soon as he drove into the field, to anyone else she would have looked normal.  So all those hours you spent just watching your animals isn't wasting time!

As we had to move Marietta we decided to bring back the rest of the late pregnant female to the birthing paddock, so we now have seven females all of which reach their due date within the next four weeks.  Which in reality means that they should have all given birth by mid June.  Marietta isn't due until July so fingers crossed that she holds her pregnancy though this.


  1. Hi Diane, I hope Marietta is improving, - I've just looked in Eric Hoffmans book and will send separate e-mail, Dave.

  2. So sorry to hear about your alpaca; sadly I can't help, but like you have an alpaca with unknown illness.

    She was down in the field when I did my headcount on the way to let out the chickens and as you say, if you watch them when they're fine, you know immediately when something isn't right.

    My vet diagnosed acidosis plus low body temp but as the alpacas had been grazing the field for about 6 weeks and the grass was by then short I'm not convinced about the acidocis. I've had her in the barn for the last fortnight and while she's got better in herself she's developed diarrhoea. The treatment for acidosis didn't seem to have much effect so I've now treated for fluke and coccidia and while it might be coincidence it was after a shot of Ivomec-D, against both worms and adult fluke that she made the improvement. She was up-to date on worming, fluke and coccidia treatments prior to being ill.

    I do hope your alpaca pulls through and holds onto her cria.

  3. We had an elderly female (the lovely Dee) who was shivering and staggering slightly last winter. We initially thought it was due to the cold (obviously not applicable in your case) but treated her for Coccidiosis (Bacox Bovis) worms (Noromectin) and gave her a shot of AD&E just to be on the safe side. It seemed to sort her out. Just a thought.
    Hope she gets better.

  4. Thank-fully I haven't had any of those problems, however...I do hope that she gets better soon..its awful not knowing exactly what you're dealing with...coz you can't prevent any more in the are right to say...its worth spending all that time..watching them and knowing your well......hope things improve...asap....Jayne