Did you know that alpacas were domesticated in South America thousands of years ago? These gentle, friendly herd animals are part of the camelid family, which also includes camels, llamas, vicuña and guanacos.
Mycoplasma haemolamae is a bacterium that attaches to red blood cells and causes anemia in South American camelids. A recently developed blood test for diagnosing infection indicates that some infected animals do not show clinical signs of anemia.
Many llamas and alpacas suffer from sometimes fatal worm-related illnesses because they receive ineffective doses of dewormer medications that are based on doses given to other species, such as sheep and cattle.
Alpacas can suffer from bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, peritonitis, sepsis and uterine and dental infection, that require long-term antibiotic therapy; however, there is currently a lack of information about effective drugs to treat these infections.