llama illness

Discussion in 'Camelids' started by mavmd, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. mavmd

    mavmd Member

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Warning long post. This is the two month saga of a sick llama. 4 year old male, gelded prior to purchase and delivered in good health. He is a guard llama for the sheep and the lambs. Did well for about 8 months. Two ewes had three lambs and all were very attached to each other. He had a change in stool in early September, pretty clumpy. He had been previously wormed with minoxidectin (Cydectin) twice with the sheep at three month intervals. I used this because the previous owner of the sheep stated that this was the only medication that would work for the sheep.

    On a side note, one of the lambs had some neurologic issue in July with staggers and disorientation and was wormed with minoxidectin and given a 4 days of Penicillin and a few doses of B vitamins and improved. He did not ever look great from birth and was a little microcephalic (small head, I called him pea head). Late August and the lamb is sick again, not neurologic but respiratory and obviously off and I decided that I was not going to eat him so I let him go. No necropsy done.

    I treated the entire group for possible coccidia due to the llama's stool changes and the fact that he was a little off. They received a 21 day course of amprolium in their water. No I did not do a fecal test and FAMACHA on all of them were 3 or better, including the llama. No feed changes and I was busy at work and forgot to clean their automatic waterer for a bit. That was the reason for the treatment.
    October and the llama is still a little off behavior wise and he would not eat his treat from my hand. I had to clip his nails and catching him is no small feat and was not that day either. Had to lasso him and it took about 20 min to do that. He was aggressive and would only let me do three of his feet. That was atypical. I also notice that he was quite thin. The next day his is kush and does not get up when I approach. I put his halter back on and walk him around and he does eat a bit. Eyes look ok. Next day still kush most of the day. Now I am really worried and take him on a 40 min ride to the vet who says he looks ok as far as he can tell and gives him a shot of B vitamins. That cost a lot and was extremely stressful for the llama and for me.
    Next day the llama is kush and clearly disoriented and with the staggers and stumbles. I can get him up and walk him to the garden where he walked around disoriented crashing into the fence and all of the bushes like he was blind. Vet said give two cc of ivermectin. I was wondering if this was meningeal worm. I gave him 4cc of ivermection by mouth and 5 cc sub cut. Treatment for meningeal worm last I read was a large daily dose of fenbendezole for 5 days. I held off on that.
    He was alive the next day. Gave him a 7 day course of tetracycline and two more doses of B vitamins.
    During the same time frame another lamb is also in a bad way and I do fecals and there are a boat load of strongids. The lamb is treated with ivermectin on week one, fecals a little better, morantyl week two, fecals a bit better, and then levamasole week three, fecals good. She received iron subq and is now better.
    Back to the llama. Called every vet around and no one with a lot of information except that one vet said that meningeal worm is very rare around here though we have deer. They would have a difficult time hopping the fence and I have never seen deer pellets in and around. So llama gets levamasole drench which he hates. His fecals were never that bad but after the levamasole they are clean. He also receives 400mg of iron since his FAMACHA was 1 or 2 about a week after the levamasole. He is eating again (3 weeks later) and stronger day by day. He also hates my guts but he is alive.
    I guess is was hemonchous all along and I should have been more proactive with my fecals and treatment when I first noticed he was off but I am new to llama's and sheep. Lesson learned. Well, a whole lot of lessons learned.