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 Alpaca Discussion Forums
 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 Lock Jaw
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Janice

87 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2007 :  2:45:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Janice's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have been raising alpacas now for 3 years. Every once in a while I will find an alpaca with their mouth open. When I inspect I notice that the alpaca cannot shut its mouth...as if they have lock jaw. When they try to close it you can see it snapping so to speak. Eventually the alpaca is able to close and chew properly with no after effects at all. Basically, at this point in time I do nothing, but wait and it seems to work. However, I am still curious if anyone knows why this happens. In some alpacas it can happen 2 or 3 times and never again.

Can someone cure my curiosity?


Janice Buttitta
desertmtnalpacas@yahoo.com
www.desertmtnalpacas.com
www.alpacanation.com/desertmtnalpacas.asp
520-378-3263
"Today's Fiber for Tomorrow's Fashion"

Always Accoyo

1347 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2007 :  3:43:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Are you speaking of the way their lower lips hang open after they have been in a spitting contest, or is this some other unrelated condition? We have noted that after they regurgitate and spit they seem unable to control their mouth for a while. They will cough, or choke, or shake their heads, or munch hay, or drink water in an attempt to get things back to normal. We've taken a few spits full in the face, and that stuff they are flinging around burns like the devil.

Nancy Wright
Always Accoyo
Oxford, MI
alpacas@alwaysaccoyo.com
248-236-0115
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Alice

47 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2007 :  6:20:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Alice's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sounds like they got spit or they spit someone else to me.

Alice

Forever Precious Alpacas
Vineland, NJ
Home of Peruvian Virtual Vicuna
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highpeaksalpacas

1291 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2007 :  10:03:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit highpeaksalpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"Loose lips" hanging open mouths with the appearance of not being able to eat/drink/etc.. for a while is very common after a "spitting match". You might not witness the match..but you are seeing the aftermath... they spit so much the tste must be disgusting to them..so they walk around with their mouths hanging open..I bet that is what you are witnessing... no worrries..it goes away..until the next "spit-off"!

High Peaks Alpacas
Wilmington, NY
You only live once...live with alpacas!
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Janice

87 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2007 :  10:58:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Janice's Homepage  Reply with Quote
No it isn't spit face. The bottom lip is hanging down. I don't feel the problem is an emergency since it corrects itself within minutes. To me it is like the jaw went out of whack and the snapping motion is an attempt to have it realigned.

Janice Buttitta
desertmtnalpacas@yahoo.com
www.desertmtnalpacas.com
www.alpacanation.com/desertmtnalpacas.asp
520-378-3263
"Today's Fiber for Tomorrow's Fashion"
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Always Accoyo

1347 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2007 :  09:13:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Janice, If you feel sure this is not caused by a spitting match, then the next time a vet is at your farm have s/he check the mouth and teeth of those alpacas carefully. Describe exactly what it looks like when this lockjaw thing happens. Even take a photo if you can get one while it is happening, and then follow your vet's recommendation.

Nancy Wright
Always Accoyo
Oxford, MI
alpacas@alwaysaccoyo.com
248-236-0115
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