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 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 Liver Flukes
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1046 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2008 :  5:07:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had my vet(newly found knows nothing about alpacas, but I gave her my Dr Evans book to read and she loves it, which is super because she seems so willing to learn)draw blood on a girl I have that has been thin since I got her no matter what we give her to eat. She said that her GGT (?) is elevated which has something to do with her liver. After reading the book and consulting with another vet (also new to alpacas) they feel she has liver flukes. She told me what she is going to treat her with, it starts with a V, but she has to wait a month after being bred. Has anyone ever dealt with liver flukes before? She feel she might also have skin issues because she has become resistant to Ivermectin (according to Dr Evans book) I am not in M worm territory in NM supposedly so at least I don't have to worry about that. Her fecal came back excellent, so it isn't other worms causing her weight loss, also attributing to the liver flukes diagnosis. This is an older girl(11). Thanks

Susan Rempe
Four Corners Alpacas
Bloomfield NM


1401 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2008 :  8:49:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit llamapelli's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Don't know much about liver flukes, but wanted to say I'm glad you found a new vet--especially one who is willing to learn. Since it also still seems to be a worry for you (judging by the use of supposedly), no white tail deer in NM and no M-worm--really. The only cervids in the area (mule deer and elk) aren't carriers.

Melanie McMurry
Anasazi Alpacas & Kokopelli Llamas
Gladesville, WV
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10 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2008 :  08:17:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Susan, The dewormer your vet probably mentioned is Valbazen. We don't use it during pregancy at all although I've heard of others using it in late pregnancy. I certainly wouldn't use it during the first half.

If you could give us a more complete history on the girl, we may be of more help. Where did she come from, how long have you had her. What are her other symptoms? Anemia, any weight loss?

The skin issues may well be mites. There has been a thread regarding the ineffectiveness of Ivermectin on this issue and what others have been successful doing.

I'm glad you've found a vet that is willing to work with you. Kathy

Edited by - kklay on 09/06/2008 08:19:34 AM
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1046 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2008 :  5:48:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
She came from Ohio, I have had her since April. She has been thin since I have gotten her, and as soon as I found a vet to come I had them do blood on her. her IGG is elevated, and she is slightly anemic. She was just bred a couple weeks ago as she did not hold her first breeding in July past 5 weeks. Her cria is eating hay, pasture and pellets, although I do see her nurse occasionally. She is 3 months old and looks big to me although she is my first so I have nothing to judge her against. My girl is eating well, it very alert, shows no sighs of illness other than the not gaining weight although to be honest I think she looks better now than she did before she had the cria. Her fecal came back very clean. I do not know if you can check for liver flukes through a fecal. She was vaccinated with covexin 8 in April a vet I decided never to use as she was due in 6 weeks, and I didn't know it caused abortion in late term girls. I was so lucky she (and my other two girls ) were ok with that shot. This vet wants her to be past 1 month of pregnancy before she gives the shot. I read last night there was a case of deformity in 1 horse that they thought was due to that drug, but at this stage what do I do if she is pregnant? Kind of in between a rock and a hard place. I would opt to save my girl in a sec (which I have told the vet) but if she doesn't abort this cria she could carry 11 months to have a deformed cria. So any suggestions would be helpful. I do not want to step on vet toes as it is super hard to get any vet here, but she is new, but has dealt with liver flukes in other animals I am sure as she was the one to told me to give my cria covexin 8 because of the liver flukes in this are. I think they come from our irrigating the pasture. So please let me know any suggestions or possibly another drug, she did mention another one but said they had the Valbazen here, which I didn't question her on but will on Monday. This is very scary to me I couldn't sleep last night thinking about it. This is my favorite girl. not that I would want anything to happen to any of them, but this one would truly break my heart if I lost her. Thanks for the help

Susan Rempe
Four Corners Alpacas
Bloomfield NM
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469 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2008 :  11:03:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
FYI #1 - There is a second type of ivermectin product called Ivomec Plus. It contains a secondary ingredient - "clorsulon" which is identified on the package as being effective against adult stage liver fluke.

FYI #2 - I am not a vet, and only mention the Ivomec Plus as a possible alternative. If I were you, I would double check with a vet to confirm the relative effectiveness of this product against liver fluke, particularly since it specifically mentions adult stage liver fluke, I would wonder what it's effectiveness is against larval stage liver fluke.

FYI #3 - You mention that this animal came from Ohio. Ivomec Plus (product I mentioned in point 2) is sold in Ohio, and if this animal was treated with improperly low doses of the product previously, your animal might be carrying a resistant strain of liver fluke. I'm not sure what the different life stages of this liver fluke is, and finding this out would be of use to both you and your vet in fully understanding the best approach to take both in treatment and future prevention.

FYI #4 - All of the above are caveated by saying it would be uselful to know if you can confirm a diagnosis of liver fluke. Not sure if it's possible, without an invasive procedure (biopsy, etc.) to determine it or not, or whether a fecal can determine it (as you mentioned) but I'm sure Ohio State or Kansas State would be useful places for you or your vet to consult with to determine this.

Best of luck!

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
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230 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2008 :  12:43:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit alpacatreasures's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Susan,

I have not had personal experience with liver flukes. But, I have heard from vets and several breeders who successfully use Curatrem (Clorsulon) for flukes. It kills them at the immature and adult stages. Valbazen only treats the adult stage and is NOT to be used on pregnant females. I do not know the safety of the Curatrem on pregnant dams. I believe the treatment is a single dose followed by a repeated dose at 4-6 weeks, but I do not have the exact dosage.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Best regards,

Sara McElroy
Alpaca Treasures
Maple Valley, WA
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