The Original
Online Alpaca Marketplace
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Alpaca Discussion Forums
 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 Cria ear infection, something else?
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

alpacasofyork

15 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  10:36:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit alpacasofyork's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Three weeks ago I found our eight-month old girl, Duchess, laying on her side, breathing rapidly and unfocused. It was a hot day so I immediately hosed her down thinking heat stress. Within 15 minutes she was on her feet, seemed much more aware of her surroundings and her breathing had slowed. She was staggering somewhat, but within an hour she seemed fine. I then fed grain to her and the other three young girls in her pasture and later learned from our vet not to feed grain after a shock to the body because of a higher risk of choke. Of course that is what happened and she managed to aspirate some into her lungs. My vet had me give her Dexamethasone that day and the next. I started her on Pen48 that evening also, but she had a temperature of 104 within three days. I started her on Baytril for five days and she seemed much better. She seemed to have trouble swallowing after the choke also and the vet thought she may have ulcerated her esohpogus during the choke, so I kept her on pasture and hay for ten days, no grain. During that time, when she even drank water she would shake her head, which my vet said was a sign of being uncomfortable. During all of this she lost 8 pounds. I had run a fecal the day after this happened and she did have a moderate load of nematodirus, which I treated with 5 days of Safeguard. I had read that a moderate load of parasites can be a factor in heat stress? I wondered why the others were not affected.

She has been back on grain now for a over a week with no problems eating. I have added some beet pulp with molasses to give her some extra calories. She seems to be just "ok", not great. I have noticed that when she is in the cushed position, her neck and head are not straight up most the time like the other girls although her ears are erect. She seems to lean forward and hover about six inches from the ground. Also, every once in a while I notice that she will shake her head a few times, but not while she is eating as was the case previously.

Sorry to make this so long, but wanted to get other opinions whether you think it may be an ear infection, something else, or my paranoia? I don't want to have the vet come out a third time if you think she just needs time. I know when people have pneumonia or heat stress, they don't bounce back in just a few days.

Thanks for any help and advice.



Sheri

alpacasofyork

15 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  12:51:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit alpacasofyork's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update to my below post -- new symptom. Just went out to hose everybody down due to the heat and after hosing down Duchess she immediate went to the dust area and began to bite and eat the dirt--actually trying to loosen the earth with her teeth to get more. What does this mean? I always keep free choice minerals out. Do you think she is deficient in something?

Thanks.

Sheri
Go to Top of Page

Judith

4010 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  2:54:16 PM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I would certainly have your vet check out this youngster. There was just a thread recently about a gal eating dirt (a behavior called pica) and the thought was that it resulted from stress or some nutritional deficiency. Since your alpaca has already exhibited symptoms of some sort of problem (whether heat stress or parasites or whatever), the pica could simply be a remnant of that. Watch to see whether she exhibits any discomfort in cushing also; hesitation or very slow cushing can be a sign of stomach pain, which can be caused by e-mac (one of the nastier coccidia, and one that is not always caught on a fecal).

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
LadySong Suris
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
Go to Top of Page

jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  3:10:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I wonder if some thiamine might not help, too. But I would definitely get the vet back out and do some bloodwork, check the ears for infection, ticks, etc.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ¡BESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.alpacanation.com/bagendsuri.asp
Go to Top of Page

alpacasofyork

15 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  4:09:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit alpacasofyork's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks very much Judith and Jill. I have already left a message for my vet and asked her to come out to do blood work and check her ears. How is thiamine administered? Is it injectable or oral? Can I get this at my local Tractor Supply or must I wait for the vet? If I am remembering correctly, thiamine is a form of Vitamin B? Sorry for all the questions, but many thanks!



Sheri
Go to Top of Page

jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  5:47:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thiamine is injectable, and it is a B vitamin - you need to get it from your vet, but it is well worth having on hand. I seem to remember that the other girl that had some similar symptoms rallied after thiamine, but if I'm wrong, it won't hurt your girl at all.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ¡BESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.alpacanation.com/bagendsuri.asp
Go to Top of Page

alpacasofyork

15 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  2:40:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit alpacasofyork's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update on my weanling girl--the vet (not our usual vet, someone new in the practice) came out to draw blood from Duchess and gave up a half hour later--she tried both the tail and the neck. As soon as we let her go, she proceeded to immediately start eating mouthfuls of dirt again. I had enough and packed up Duchess and a companion and took her to New Bolton Center that is part of the University of PA an hour and a half away. They ran a complete CBC and I knew within the hour that her PCV was 10 (normal 34-36)and her protein 4.5. They determined that she has regenerative anemia in that the body is trying to take care of the anemia as opposed to nonregenerative anemia where the body is deficient in iron or some other mineral and cannot regenerate. There is blood in the fecal sample, so they did an ultrasound of the abdomen and intestines and found no fluid there, but they are assuming there is an ulcer somewhere. They have started her on ulcer medication. I cannot figure out what could have stressed her so much to give her an ulcer. The good news is that there is now medication that can be given sub q (at home) on a daily basis rather than having her stay at New Bolton and get it via IV for three weeks. They have no idea why she was eating dirt and just guess that she may have been trying to alleviate pain in her stomach.
Just thought I would share.

Sheri


Sheri
Go to Top of Page

Doubletake Farm

258 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  9:13:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Question for anyone that may know: does this mean that eating dirt is a symptom/sign of an alpaca having anemia? Are they eating dirt because they are trying to replace the iron in their system? I'm curious because there seems to be a few posts on this lately, and I would like to be prepared in case it happens on my farm. Thanks.

Kimberly Brummitt
Doubletake Farm
Orwell, Ohio
330.766.0152
www.alpacanation.com/doubletakefarm
alpacas@doubletakefarm.com

Select Decisions. Superior Results.
Go to Top of Page

jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  10:11:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Eating dirt is often a symptom that something is lacking - in my cria two years ago, he had low protein levels. In others, it has been anemia. If an animal has a pica, it's a good idea to check bloodwork and perhaps mineral levels, as the animal is probably trying to fulfill an unmet need.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ¡BESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.alpacanation.com/bagendsuri.asp
Go to Top of Page

dolphin699

142 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2009 :  7:07:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit dolphin699's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sheri,
One of my girls had the same problem awhile back. She was digging her teeth into the ground like a backhoe operator, ingesting dirt and roots and whatever. It went on for hours.
The vet happened to be there for another animal. He gave her a shot of thiamine. He adviaed me to give her another later in the day.
We never did really resolve the cause of this behavior. However in about 10 minutes after the second shot she returned to normal.
Here's the link to the thread: http://alpacanation.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9050
Keep us posted.
Ellie




Eleanor Schenck
Pacapoo Alpacas
28 Schaefer Road
Jeffersonville, NY 12748
Tel: 845-482-3838
http://www.pacapooalpacas.com

info@pacapooalpacas.com
Go to Top of Page

alpacasofeldorado

77 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2009 :  7:18:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit alpacasofeldorado's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just a thought. Did the vet check her ears for ticks? I did an article several years ago about one of our alpacas that had tick paralysis. Very nasty if you have ever seen it. She looked and acted like she had had a stroke or Bells Palsy. We treated it way to late and even though she is alive today, she will always be paralyzed on one side of her face. Now if we notice any head shaking in our heard and sometimes accompanied coughing we use 1cc of Ivermectin in a 3cc syringe and administer it straight in each ear. We only have to do it once. You can add mineral oil to it as well. But I would be interested to know if she might have had a tick problem.

Laurie Findlay
Alpacas of El Dorado
530-642-8082
Go to Top of Page

alpacasofyork

15 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  4:07:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit alpacasofyork's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ellie,
Thanks for the link, wow, what frenzied behavior. I am glad it resolved itself for you. Duchess was only eating the dirt and not trying to eat anything else although she was digging it up with her teeth and looked much like you stated "a back hoe". Since I have brought her home from New Bolton I have not noticed any more dirt eating. Our vet drew blood again on Tuesday and I just received those results today. Her PCV has gone up from a 10 to 24. (I don't think I had mentioned in my previous post that New Bolton had also given her a whole blood transfusion from an alpaca donor on premises), so I am very happy that she seems to be getting better.

Laurie,
I did not have the vet check her ears, but I had checked her ears with a flashlight and didn't see anything although I guess a tick could be down so far that I wouldn't be able to see it? If there is a bloated tick down in an ear and it is shot with Ivermectic, does the tick then just die and stay way down in the ear? It sounds very painful. I have seen her shaking her head now and then since she is home, but not as hard as she had before New Bolton and I was assuming it was flies bothering her, but I do still notice that she does not sit with her neck and head up straight when she is cushed and still has a slightly hunched (head and neck hoovering over the ground) look that has not corrected. I guess it would not hurt anything to put a cc in each ear just in case? I actually keep Dectomax on hand--would that work too?

Thanks for all the great info everybody.

Sheri
Alpacas of York
York, PA
www.alpacasofyork.com


Go to Top of Page

alpacasofeldorado

77 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2009 :  9:56:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit alpacasofeldorado's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad your cria is getting better. In answer to your question about ear ticks. Yes, they can get very far down in the ear canal. And after we put the Ivermectin in we don't often get to pull the tick or in some cases ticks out. But it will kill them and stop the head shaking. I have had alpacas that shake their head so severely that they can damage themselves by just hitting their heads on a gate. They also will not eat, nurse or walk, and sometimes cough severely. So we use the Ivermectin right away and don't worry about getting the tick out. I don't know if detomax would work but you could also try mineral oil mixed with the dectomax. After I put it in the ear I massage the ear for a minute before letting the alpaca go. They will shake their head afterward, but it generally stops in a few minutes.

Laurie Findlay
Alpacas of El Dorado
530-642-8082
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Jump To:
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation © 2000 - 2009 AlpacaNation LLC Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000

WELCOME TO ALPACANATION

Our family has 8,529 breeders, with more joining every day.

Join Now!