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 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 One more time.....deworming questions
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gallupun

25 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2008 :  2:51:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay, so from what I read from other farms the last time there was a deworming question, it seems the majority of people deworm on a regular basis, depending on geography, every 4-6 weeks. Some less in the winter, some not, regardless of pregnancy, maybe not 60 days before giving birth. But is seems most deworm on a regular preventative basis.

Now Dr. Evans book says not to do deworming as simply a preventative measure but do fecals and deworm accordingly. And he says to get the samples directly from the animal and NOT from dung piles, because they can produce false negatives. This can get costly to do on every animal if you have to pay a vet to do these tests for you. A large alpaca farm close to me takes samples from dung piles of grouped alpacas, does a fecal, then deworms that group according to what they found. I'm not sure how often they do this however.

Please give any feedback you have to offer on this subject. Just trying to do what's best for my alpacas...

Terri Gallup
Alpaca Bay Ranch
Petoskey, MI
231-439-0349

jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2008 :  3:35:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Boy, I hope there's some confusion here! Not a vet, etc., but let's immediately make a distinction between meningeal worm (m-worm) and other internal parasitic worms (sometimes generically called "stomach worms").

Meningeal worm is a very special case. It is not detectable in alpaca feces, because the worms do not reproduce in camelids. Alpacas are a dead end host, and the m-worm kills the alpaca. M-worm is usually diagnosed based on behavioral changes, as the worm migrates into the alpaca's brain and causes damage there, which manifests in coordination issues, etc.

Treatment for m-worm is lengthy, time consuming and not always effective. Prevention is far preferable! A monthly injection of ivermectins is required in those areas where m-worm is prevalent. Current protocols indicate that ivermectins are required every four weeks, year around, as the slug and snail hosts that carry m-worm can be accidentally ingested by an alpaca at any time, even when snow is on the ground. It is recommended to give m-worm preventative shots to pregnant females on time regardless of when the cria is due, with the thinking being better a dead cria than a dead dam. However, I am not aware of any cria losses from late term ivermectin use.

"Stomach worms" (strongles, lungworm, nematodes, tapeworm, etc.) are the worms that Dr. Evans recommends only treating as needed. Random, frequent fecal checks are a good way to tell when you need to take action. Many of us tolerate low levels of parasite eggs in our animals as long as their are no clinical symptoms (no animal is ever completely free of internal parasites; the key is balance). However, elevated levels of any parasite, and any level of some, do require deworming (Safeguard/panacur is a common dewormer). Most of the farms I know perform random fecals rather than dosing every animal on a regular basis - overworming is the fastest way to develop resistant parasites.

My take on the farms I know (and what I have gotten from posts here) is that most use ivermectins monthly for m-worm, but only treat the other internal parasites when a fecal indicates a need. In any event, I certainly hope that's the case!

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ¡BESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
http://www.alpacanation.com/bagendsuri.asp
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Koehlers

782 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2008 :  4:21:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Koehlers's Homepage  Send Koehlers a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I second what Jill stated. The monthly wormer is for the Meningal worm. We too are in Michigan ( Bay City) , there is not a big deer population where I am located ,so the risk is not that high, but we do give the Ivermectin monthly as a preventative. Better to be safe than sorry. As for stomach worms, that is given only as needed if there is a problem. Random samples will show that. I feel that they do not need any more medication than necessary. I don't think that taking samples from the pile as soon as a particular animal goes would cause any problems with the results. I would do a check in the Spring and one in the Fall. If I can help with anything let me know.

Tracey Koehler
(989)751-0269
Koehlers 4 Star Alpacas
Michigan
http://koehlers4star.tripod.com/index.html
http://www.freewebs.com/rateafarm/rateafarm.htm
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nyala

3318 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2008 :  5:30:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

Nice answers! Our herd got large enough that paying for fecals did get rather expensive. So I got our vet to show me how to do them. I still sometimes send them off just to check my work and make sure I'm not missing something. I do fecals monthly but not on all the alpacas. I do the young ones, the old ones and and always any that are poor doers. I try to do everyone every once in a while. It keeps me off the streets. We used to do group fecals and worm the whole group but the thing that worried me is they may not all have the problem and then I was giving animals a stressful treatment they don't need and possibly also increasing resistance in the parasites.

Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2008 :  10:44:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nyala

Hi,

Nice answers! Our herd got large enough that paying for fecals did get rather expensive. So I got our vet to show me how to do them. I still sometimes send them off just to check my work and make sure I'm not missing something. I do fecals monthly but not on all the alpacas. I do the young ones, the old ones and and always any that are poor doers. I try to do everyone every once in a while. It keeps me off the streets. We used to do group fecals and worm the whole group but the thing that worried me is they may not all have the problem and then I was giving animals a stressful treatment they don't need and possibly also increasing resistance in the parasites.

Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp



I agree Ann. I sent a fecal off a month or so ago and my vet recommended that I worm everyone, and treat animals in the same pen for coccidia. Worming everyone wasn't something I wanted to do, but followed her advise anyway. Re: coccidia - I read recently (I think from a paper by Dr Cebra) that our tendancy to mix crias with adults other than their mothers and juvies tends to infect everyone with coccidia. I had been of the mind set that I want my juvie girls around the birthing females to see what motherhood is all about. Not so sure now.

Another important thing to do as a followup is to do a fecal a couple weeks after treatment to make sure the treatment worked.

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com
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vlyons

670 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2008 :  04:54:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit vlyons's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For a small investment of about $300, you can buy a quality binocular microscope and all the necessary lab glassware and learn to do your on fecals. Complete instructions on how to prepare fecal samples are at http://www.ableoaks.com/books/fecals.html

You can do as many fecals you want on any day you like.

Virginia Lyons
Able Oaks Ranch Alpacas
Rusk, Texas
www.ableoaks.com
contact@ableoaks.com
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2008 :  10:01:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by vlyons

For a small investment of about $300, you can buy a quality binocular microscope and all the necessary lab glassware and learn to do your on fecals. Complete instructions on how to prepare fecal samples are at http://www.ableoaks.com/books/fecals.html

You can do as many fecals you want on any day you like.

Virginia Lyons
Able Oaks Ranch Alpacas
Rusk, Texas
www.ableoaks.com
contact@ableoaks.com




Yep, my vet showed me the ins and outs of fecal running, plus I worked at a vet clinic back when I was going to nursing school. But despite that experience, and a ton of parasite eggs pictures from various sources, I still was unsure what I was seeing. Many of the eggs look alike, and although treatment on most of the worms is the same, the treatment for coccidia is different. Thus the decision to send the fecal off to a lab for identification.

Another red flag for people who run their own fecals would be lots of negative fecals. Almost all animals of any species are going to have worms to some degree. There should be an egg or two floating around.

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com
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Kaye

154 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2008 :  5:52:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good comments. I would add that some eggs need a longer float time. Dr Evans just had a "deworming lecture" and he said that the EMac egg can only be seen after floating the sample for at least 24 hours. If you do this w/ a salt solution there will be too many chrystals so I use a sugar solution for my longer float time.
I used to think we could keep our farm worm-free but that is a real "newbie" thought. Livestock that graze will carry worm eggs. It's not about being a clean farm or not. We do fecals here on the young and if anyone is losing weight - which we weigh all alpacas about every month. It's a pain in the butt to have all those cups of paca poop on the counter for 24 hours, but you don't want to feel a false confidence when EMac is a question. And we also collect poop from each individual - another pain in the butt, but it allows us to only treat the ones who need it. Evans says that it's always the same 20% who carry most of the worms on a given farm. I've also thought about seperating our "wormies" in their own pen, but that gets confusing on our farm w/ the little ones...so I depend on the independant fecals. Lot of work to do it yourself, but it saves a lot of money and you get quick results on the egg counts. Kaye
Kaye Sanderson
Diamond Rose Ranch
3950 N US Hwy 68
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
kaye.diamondrosealpacas@yahoo.com
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mfount

218 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2008 :  3:46:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit mfount's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Everybody says different things. I attended one of Dr Evans seminars and wondered how I could afford to get all of the fecals he recommended. If I see a lot of ball stools or diarrhea, then I get a fecal--otherwise take one at random. However, I do not take them off of the ground unless I see them hit the ground. Otherwise you do not know how long they have been there.

I take the attitude that the Dectomax or Ivomectin is just good for the m-worm as the other parasites are now resistant. In order to control other parasites, I use other dewormers--Valbazen, panacure, etc.



Mike and Jan Fountain
Fountain Mist Alpcas LLC
Marshfield, WI 54449
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JimR

1046 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2008 :  10:28:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another newbie question. When you say "send the fecals away" to be tested where and to whom are you sending them? I am not in M worm territory so what would be the best wormer for me? From reading posts I gather that I do not worm girls due within 60 days, but ok to worm them if they are due in the fall? Are all the wormers used injectable or does anyone paste? Can I use Ivermectin on all worms? I see that being sold at my local farm store refrigerated. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me

Sue Rempe
Four Corners Alpacas
Bloomfield NM
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2008 :  11:20:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Sue,

You can send the fecals directly to whichever local vet college, or your vet might do it for you. I was under the impression that my vet ran their own (they had done one on site when I had a sick cria), and was surprised when I dropped my sample off and the tech told me it would go out later that morning and results back the next day.

I am not in M worm country, but my understanding is that all animals are wormed monthly regardless of season or gestational dates. It is the injectible form of ivermectin. Also, ivermectin can be used to kill intestinal worms. Not sure if people in m worm country have found resistance to ivermectin, but they (intestinal worms) are also susceptible to other paste wormers like fendendazole etc.

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com
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