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 Weight Gain?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Cooksey Posted - 06/09/2008 : 10:57:11 AM
How?
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Pepperina Posted - 12/30/2010 : 4:33:45 PM
I bought one of those faecal occult blood kits. Have used them in the past when I suspect gut bleeding either from ulcer or worms. Have only had one positive with an animal that had Black Scour Worm.

Going to do some more of my own research. Sometimes I get high test results when people send me samples. Will see if these show positive. Trouble is I don't get the opportunity to test many. Had my sheep show positive at 250 epg but their faecal occult blood was negative. Its a shame someone like the Government testing labs arent doing some sort of comparison.

Regards Barbara

Pepperina Alpacas Forest Hill QLD Australia
Ph: +61754654232
Email pamas@bigpond.com
Website: http://www.pamas.com.au/PepperinaAlpacas.htm
nyala Posted - 12/30/2010 : 09:15:33 AM
Hi,

I asked my vet about the fecal accult blood test and she said she had heard at a conference from Chris Cebra that fecal accult blood testing was not reliable in alpacas. Rats! I'm hoping she is going to the Oregon conference and can find out some more details.

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
nyala Posted - 12/28/2010 : 4:36:00 PM
Hi,

I wonder if it would be possible to do the test yourself, how hard could that be? I've found human test kits online but they are pricey.

I'll keep investigating.

Thanks for the info

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
jillmcm Posted - 12/28/2010 : 2:14:14 PM
Since it was developed for sheep, I think they're just interested in how groups of animals in particular pastures are doing.

In alpacas, I would think that if you suspect Haemonchus in an individual animal, any blood in the feces would be cause to treat - so any fecal occult blood test should work unless it's species-specific (there are some proprietary to horses that I know of).

OSU will do fecal occult blood testing:

http://oregonstate.edu/vetmed/fecal-occult-blood

And I would really think that your local vet should be able to do it, too, given how common a diagnostic tool it is in companion animals...

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ĦBESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.bagendsuris.com
nyala Posted - 12/28/2010 : 1:31:29 PM
Hi,

The info I kind find on the haemonchus dipstick test developed in Australia seems to indicate its a pooled test of 10-20 animals? I just have no idea what use a pooled test is at all.

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
nyala Posted - 12/28/2010 : 10:11:50 AM
Hi,

I guess the question would be if there was some low level would you not treat? In sheep with famacha you don't treat when they are little pale. That means they have some parasites really it means they have some level of barber pole but you don't treat. In the interest of not developing resistance you would not want to over worm. So if they had a little blood would you not treat if they were otherwise healthy?? Is a little blood okay? Sounds scary but that is the Famacha principle in sheep basically you are not treating animals that have low levels. Sheep can tolerate to a certain extent and fight off low levels but I'm not sure alpaca can.

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
jillmcm Posted - 12/28/2010 : 08:36:15 AM
Ann, here's a link to the info sheet on the sheep product, which I think has also been used with alpacas down under.

http://tiny.cc/ic9li

I believe Chuck Rademacher is familiar with it. Personally, I don't know why any fecal occult blood test wouldn't work - vets test for that all the time with cats and dogs. I'll have to ask my vet about it - the cynical side of me says that having a special new dipstick is really a special new way of making money. I know that this is "calibrated" to show levels of infestation, but honestly, it seems like all you would need to know is if there's blood in the feces or not...



Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ĦBESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.bagendsuris.com
nyala Posted - 12/28/2010 : 12:09:38 AM
Hi,


A lot of Barber pole is resistant to both safeguard and valbazan but if those work then they should be used. If we overuse cydectin pretty soon it won't work either. The issue can be if you have an animal going down do you use cydectin or try safeguard or valbazan first really the question is do you have time to try them first?

Friends at a farm near us just about lost a 7 year old girl to barber pole this past week. She's still down and I hope she gets up soon but she is eating better and after a couple transfusions is stronger. She presented with weight loss, anemia, bottle jaw the whole thing. So scary!

I'm going to try and find out more about the fecal occult blood tests that sounds like an intriguing option. Thanks Jill!

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
jillmcm Posted - 12/27/2010 : 7:40:23 PM
You can do a fecal occult blood test to help detect barber pole worm - there are actual kits being marketed specifically for this, but I suspect that any test designed to detect blood in the feces would give you an idea that you could be dealing with this little nasty.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ĦBESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.bagendsuris.com
highpeaksalpacas Posted - 12/27/2010 : 6:15:19 PM
cydectin drench kills barberpole

Debbie Potter
High Peaks Alpacas
Wilmington, NY
www.alpacanation.com/highpeaks.asp

gracelandnorthalpacas Posted - 12/27/2010 : 2:41:18 PM
Hi,

What wormer will kill barber pole? We use safeguard for pregnant females and valbazen (**not for pregos**) for males and definite non-pregnant females.

Thanks,
Pam Schaber
Graceland North Alpacas and Angora Rabbits
Cushing, Wisconsin
715-648-5150

www.gracelandnorthalpacas.com
jerry.schaber@lakeland.ws
nyala Posted - 12/27/2010 : 2:00:37 PM
Hi,

So sorry for the loss of your girl. Another evil little parasite that can fool you is barber pole. I learned at a seminar that the larvae can suck blood (cause severe anemia and death) without shedding. In the winter they can suspend development but not shed eggs its a strategy to overwinter. I don't know what the heck to do to detect this issue. I think keeping an eye on poor do-ers and still doing lots of fecals is the best we all can do. Sometimes no matter what you do you still lose them.

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
battenkill Posted - 12/27/2010 : 08:51:46 AM
no debbie it was not that girl. this was a bay black with a white face and she produced a lt brown boy with a white face. i don't know that e-mac was the problem, it's just 1 possibility. i understand now that a protein test (very inexpensive) on the blood draw would have told a lot about parasites. i frankly had never heard of the negative energy thing being anything close to lethal, and so thought we could deal with it. i also made the mistake on the fecal information, which i was unaware of and that's the reason i'm on this post. hope it helps someone else.
thanks so much for your condolances. i'm feeling now that i should have called you for advice.

doug crosier
alpacas on the battenkill
highpeaksalpacas Posted - 12/26/2010 : 10:48:28 PM
Doug- i am so sorry! Is this the female we spoke of that you thought was having a difficult birth??

Emac is very tricky and I have learned that if you suspect..you treat! it will never hurt them to treat and you can save lives. there are signs..and weight loss and lethargy are two big ones...seeing emac in a fecal is hit or miss...i do MANY MANY fecals a month and have caught emac in animals i never suspected and have certainly treated some who I was sure had it..and the treatment has turned them around. I am so so sorry that you lost your girl... if this was the girl we spoke about... I know you did everything you could...we live and learn with these awesome animals and hope that what we learn in the tough times lets us be ready for the next tough time... you two are wonderful and responsible alpaca owners..and do no beat yourselves up...sometimes we just do not KNOW. Debbie

Debbie Potter
High Peaks Alpacas
Wilmington, NY
www.alpacanation.com/highpeaks.asp

battenkill Posted - 12/26/2010 : 4:46:19 PM
we lost a female today after a long period of weight loss and i wanted to share the details so that someone may benefit. late in her pregnancy, our 7 year old with no history of health problems started seeming slightly lethargic and was losing weight gradually. i started feeding her separately and more grain than normal and waited. she had a normal birth, beautiful cria and all seemed to be normal. she lost more weight, gradually, though continuing to ate and compete for grain.
our very experienced vet came with a lot of alpaca experience and our complete trust, which she still has. she's great. the advice was a complete blood panel, but lacking that her best estimate was a negative energy balance which we needed to turn around with supplements and increased feeding. also she strongly recommended a fecal which i did myself, twice, about 3 weeks apart. negative. partly to save money and partly to give the energy balance (which is common in cows following a birth) thing a go we waited on the complete blood panel.
the cria advanced normally to 28 lbs, levelled off for 2-3 days and the mom remained lethargic. we bottle fed once a day. then twice a day. the cria gained.
the vet was hampered without a complete blood panel. in the last few days we have received a LOT of help from very experienced alpaca owners. thank you. e-mac was mentioned as well as ulcers. in the last 3 days she went downhill very surprisingly fast.
so here's the part to learn from, which i didn't learn until too late. negative energy does kill alpacas and cows. e-mac is very difficult to detect in fecals, as there is a timing thing involved in the fecal tests. also, a far more selective blood test is available that is very reasonably priced and would have indicated a parasite problem. i don't know why she died. i dismissed e-mac until too late because of my limited knowledge of the fecals. i underestimated the energy level problem. i didn't know of the protein level test to indicate parasites. we, like most, need to consider costs in any decision and that is a factor here too. i'm not sure what to do about that.
ask more questions, specific questions, and dig a little deeper for information. i'm not sure why she died or if it was avoidable, but i am second guessing and i am frustrated.


Doug Crosier
Alpacas on the Battenkill
Paradise Posted - 06/17/2008 : 12:04:33 PM
Dyne can be purchased way cheaper.

http://www.lambertvetsupply.com/Dyne-High-Calorie-Supplement-1-Gallon--pr--015TRPY40020522

I didn't get any big weight gain with it, but it is worth a try when you need to add calories.

Warning: It smells so good you may be tempted to indulge yourself. And I'm sure I would have gained weight!

Laura Hillman
Paradise Alpacas
Hempstead, TX
979-826-9559
www.alpacanation.com/paradisealpacasoftx.asp
Oakhaven Posted - 06/17/2008 : 08:58:31 AM
We have a 10 y.o. mom who is thin since delivering and nursing. We had a larger farm suggest Dyne as a supplement. It can be bought online from www.useful-items.com It costs $18 for 16 oz., $25 for 32 oz, or $70 for a gallon, and they ship it quick. We've tried increasing the amount of Evans S/G/L and then added alfalfa cubes soaked in water. So far, very minimal gain. We're hoping the Dyne helps.



Justin and Cara
Oak Haven Alpacas, LLC
Newaygo, MI
www.alpacanation.com/farmsandbreeders/03_viewfarm.asp?name=18100" target="_blank">http://www.alpacanation.com/farmsandbreeders/03_viewfarm.asp?name=18100
http://lifewithalpacas.blogspot.com
Cooksey Posted - 06/14/2008 : 10:15:27 PM
The bloodwork was sent out to the Michigan lab that is calibrated to alpaca blood. The CBC's show minimal gains in the RBC's, says the hemoglobin has flipflopped and the smear showed that active blood bacterium.

We have treated her with the LA 200 shots 2 series of 5 shots.
in the last 80 days. This is her 4th CBC. Her weight was down to 127 when I finally got her back and it shows no weight gain.

We are struggling to get the Nutri drench down her every day. I can only try and give it a couple of more weeks.

Doc called OSU again and they said that sometimes it just keeps being a problem. He doesn't want to hit her with anymore LA 200 for a while. All her other parasite fecals have come out clean as a whistle.

Another thing the researcher said was that age is also a factor when they are more susceptible to these issues.

But she still looks for carrots when I come out. And of course, she gets them.

Bonnie

Imaginary
Pollyparty Posted - 06/12/2008 : 11:34:35 AM
I have a girl I am dealing with that is under weight and was tols to feed wet cobb. Does this sound right to anyone?

Rhonda Green
Alpacas at Bear Creek
Astoria, OR.
vintagealpacas Posted - 06/11/2008 : 10:38:59 PM
Bonnie,

I found the nutri-drench was something they have to acquire a taste for. It get alot easier after about a week. Dont give up. They do come around to swallowing it well. promise :)

Kim Rassi
Vintage Alpacas

Kimberly Rassi
Vintage Alpacas
alpacanation.asp/vintage
Cooksey Posted - 06/11/2008 : 7:06:58 PM
Yes that is one true thing about those imports. They are leery of people unless something is really wrong with them. This is the first she has ever come right up to me without moving away.

Got the Nutri-Drench in the post today and gave her the first dose. That wasn't easy, so maybe she still has some spunk in her.

Thanks for all the help folks! Always open to help and advice!

Bonnie Van Meter
Clyde, Ohio

Imaginary
McPacas Posted - 06/11/2008 : 10:22:45 AM
Sound like you got some good advice. A good weight is a primary need, and connects to so many other things. I had an incident this year, though not as grave as yours. After shearing, I realized immediately one of my older girls (who is just finishing up nursing her boy) was much thinner than I had expected. It had never been an issue with her other crias, and being the boss of the barn she definitely gets her share of the grain. We chalked it up to her being older and the cria being a big eater. At the advice of another farm, I used a few ounces of Calf-Manna in addition to her increased grain ration to get her back up where she belongs. The low weight also affected the length of her fiber. She's now looking much better and is ready to breed again.
Good luck with your girl...hopefully she'll get back to being that miserable old import again soon!


Kelly McNell

McPacas ...where fun and fiber meet!
8743 Lower East Hill Rd
Colden, NY 14033
716-574-4656
meadowsong Posted - 06/11/2008 : 02:23:48 AM
Hi Bonnie,
Sounds like you have a good nutritional plan to follow. I would ask about the iron dextran shots. It was quite helpful in building the blood up for our girl. We also had pathology done on the blood to see if the cells were regenerating, etc. That was done at MSU.

One comment about the bloodwork for EPE. I was told that if you are just checking blood on a slide for EPE (not PCR) not to put it into a tube, but put it DIRECTLY from the draw onto the slide and cover it. If you put it into a tube first, or even leave it in the syringe until later, the parasites fall off the RBC's and you are more likely to get a false negative.

Good luck and don't give up! Please post again later with an update on this girl.

Diane Pedrotte
Meadowsong Alpacas
Capac, MI
Cooksey Posted - 06/10/2008 : 2:31:12 PM
Diane,

Thanks for the post of your sad story. It has given me the resolve I need to keep on seeking help for this girl. I did contact one of the big farms with a good vet on board and got a whole protocol I'm starting on this week.

1) Nutrition resolves a LOT of issues. So the Nutri-drench at 15cc's 2x a Day as it goes into the bloodstream for use within minutes.

2) 3 lb coffee can of alpaca pellets put in feeder for her and a companion for 24 hours and see how much they eat.

3) Hay has more nutrition and calories for the same amount of chewing than fresh pasture. So provide all she can eat high quality hay.

Since I am supplementing with Evans S/G/L pellets and it's 10% alfalfa, I'm limiting straight alfalfa hay to another 10% of diet, max.

4) Senior Equine pellet to be 1/4 of that coffe can. Easier digestability.

5) Suggested at least 12 hours a day in the barn with the hay and pellets and out at night with the herd in the pasture.

Blood drawn in the purple top tube, 3cc and sent to Mel at M&M lab for CBC and EPE TEST. Not PCR test. He will look at it under the microscope to see any ACTIVE signs of EPE. Also, his equipment is calibrated to read alpaca blood. Results to be forwarded to said big farm's vet/farm manager for comparisons.

She may have 'other issues' and causes for the anemia and EPE may not be the answer.

Since we only have to GAIN, we start with the vet pulling blood today and administering the extra extra rations and adding good hay to the pasture diet.

Thanks,Bonnie

Imaginary
meadowsong Posted - 06/09/2008 : 10:25:21 PM
Bonnie,
I had a similiar experience with one of my first purchases. I paid $26,000 for a bred female and after that first cria I never was able to breed her again. The sellers over vaccinated her causing Hemolytic Anemia. Within 2 weeks of taking possession of her we knew she was anemic. Of course we didn't know for a year and a half what we were dealing with. She was at OSU for 17 weeks in a 5 month period. We spent $25,000 in diagnostics and follow-up care. Since there is no test to prove this diagnosis, the selling farm basically said tough s**t. We reported her illness to the ins. co. so when her policy came up for renewal she had too many exclusions to make it worthwhile. We lost over $50,000 on her and we are far from rich.

Hemolytic Anemia causes the body to destroy it's own blood. This girl had a PCV of 3.5 at her lowest point. She was always in some degree of anemia. We gave her beet pulp until we found that it is usually sprayed with alot of pesticides. We did calf manna too. The best thing we found to keep her weight up was lots of good quality hay and alfalfa. Get some fresh alfalfa and cut lots of the good leafy part into a bucket just for her. You will probably have to stand guard while she eats it! We also gave her iron dextran (available at TSC for about $5) shots at 5cc once a week. If she wasn't eating she also got B-Complex shots 6cc daily. We used the vitaplex too. It is an excellent suppliment. She also got the MSE probiotics. We gave her Equine Senior for awhile. My girl usually had a good appetite but when her PCV was low she would have a hard time keeping weight on. When she was at OSU (before we knew what we were dealing with) they treated her for EMac with Marquis (Ponazuril) even though her fecals were clean as it doesn't always shed. Ultimately, there is no cure for IMHA. She had to be on steroids for the last 1.5 years of her life to keep it in check. I think the steroids did as much damage in the end as the illness we were treating.

I never saw an animal fight so hard to stay alive. She was a trooper. As your girl is, she was very sweet and friendly. We knew we wouldn't be able to breed her but we fought hard for her anyway. She was my heart and it took alot out of me when I had to let her go. I cried many nights over her and I still miss her. I had her cremated and I have her ashes. She will always be with me.

You may want to call or have your vet call Dr. Tournquist at Oregon State U. She is probably the leading Dr. dealing with EPE. She would have the most current information about treating available.

I wish you the best luck in dealing with your girl. I think you are doing the right thing to give her at least a year to get in better condition. She may never get strong enough to carry another cria, but she will still bring you joy.

Diane Pedrotte
Meadowsong Alpacas
Capac, MI

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