Monday, May 31, 2010
I love the high lustre of this girl.
Born Xmas day in 2008, she has grown out beautifully, Her fleece stats came in today on her second fleece as
Mic 16.6 SD 3 CV 18.4 Comf Fact 100% tested 1/6/10
Along fibre SD dev .7
Along fibre Mic dev .6
as required for gift testing
Alpacas do not often adopt others crias, they will look out for them, but rarely would they take on anothers.
Flaiming Star's dam was an old girl, and leaving him on her, he will not grow to his best potential, and he will definately take too much out of his dam.
Surianna was born on the same day, and so were in the animal nursery together.
He was bottle fed for about a week, when we noticed that Laronda was also letting him drink of her, that makes it really easy and both are doing well.
This very attractive, well grown med fawn female, DOB 26/10/07, sired by Murray River Denton.
Highlander, Inti, Antares are just a few of the known names behind this girl.
Her fleece stats came back today on her 4th fleece
Mic 21.4 SD 4.7 CV 21.8 Comf Fact 94.4 tested 1/6/10
Along fibre Mic .9
Along Fibre SD 1.3
Friday, May 28, 2010
EMAC is a type of coccidia that is only found in ALpacas.
The first incidents of research of EMAC was peformed by RIRDC when the second import of alpacas came out from Peru, and were at time in quarantine in Nuie Island, Off NZ.
Paul Presedente also was involved with some of the research undertaken, and it was considered not very common, with over 600 alpacas regularly tested under different test measures, with only (by memory), i think 5 were found.
The normal sugar floatation does not pick up EMAC oocysts in the findings.
The reason for this is the EMAC oocysts are about 5 times bigger than the normal oocyst, and also 5 times heavier, so a normal sugar floatation test will not pick it up, as it has been too heavy to float to the top in the time described.
Paul would keep the floatation for 24 hours which ensured all the oocysts including any heavy ones, to float to the top.
In quarantine, as the alpacas are kept on mats, and all faeces is picked up twice a day on a daily method, there is no time for any oocysts to contaminate anyone else.
The oocysts need to be exposed to air for over 24 hours before it can be picked up and expose others to it.
Without the exposure to air for that period of time, and during the first 24 hours, it is harmless, and cannot expose others to EMAC even if picked up.
the air is needed for a certain time.
Alpacas that would be most affected to EMAC, will be the ones that are under stress.
Young crias as their immune system is still immature, teenage males, as these guys hormones are changing alot at this time, hierachy, being bullied by older males, mating, etc, puts these males most at risk, lactating females.
Shedding, lack of feed, transportation, shows, overstocking, lots of handling when the alpaca does not like being touched, these are all factors that can trigger the chances of EMAC taking a hold.
In the cases that i have been told about, withing 3 weeks EMAC can be of a menace to the fact that the alpaca if untreated can be affected to the point of death.
One point that Paul made as he was also consulted by NZ MAF when they were doing their survellience, is the biosecurity of the individual farms.
Gumboots a huge offender, when boots are worn from one paddock to another or one area to another, without being disinfected between each exposure can carry oocysts and move these around the farm.
Thank goodness to date we have not been exposed to EMAC to date.
I have heard, that often symptoms if not regularly checked are very easily overlooked.
Generally weight loss is a big factor, anemic, i think also is a trigger to look for.
in some cases Diarrhea, and left unchecked this could be spread.
Baycox is used in the quarantine as a precaution by Mariah Hill for those travelling to NZ- this should give the alpacas a cover for any stress once they arrive for the next 5 days.
A follow up of Baycox is then recommended, as the stress is in the flight, not previous to the flight, but after the flight.
Observation, body language of each individual animal, body score regularly, especially if you do not have scales.
Worm any new arrivals before exposing them to your stock, and isolate for a couple of days prior to introduction, after worming, to make sure anything shed is not shed in your paddocks.
regularly pick up poo piles especially in small paddocks or small farmlets, or rest your paddocks regularly. Stocking rates is a huge importance, do not over stock, if you have no other way but you have to overstock, then clean poo piles every dayt, do not feed directly on the ground, keep feed in feeders above the ground, disinfect your hands, boots and clothing, or have a boot shed close to entry point of paddocks, where you can change your gear before entering your paddocks and after.
Any detection of diahhrea, separate, and yet let the sick alpaca still see other alpacas, and treat immediately, do not let the alpaca de hydrate, give plenty of electrolytes.
and if it does not clear up within hours of giving a diarrhea treatment, such as scourban, then take to a vet, without hesitation.
In fact, if we, even if we have approx 400 alpacas still will take any alpaca to the vet on the onset of diahhrea.
Why, because we need to determine why the alpaca has diarrhea.
You can treat, but if you treat with the wrong medicine, you are acheiving nothing, but letting any bacteria, infection or parasite take hold.
I hope this helps.
I hope this helps
macusaniensis was detected in New
Zealand alpacas. This paper describes the investigation
that followed the discovery.
Clinical findings and risk
factors associated with
the first report of Eimeria
macusaniensis in New Zealand
Three coccidian species – Eimeria lamae, Eimeria alpacae and
Eimeria punonensis – have previously been reported in camelids in
On 29 July 2005, a pathologist at Gribbles Veterinary Pathology
notified MAF of a suspected identification of E macusaniensis
in the faeces of a ten-year-old female alpaca.
The diagnosis was subsequently confirmed by a Biosecurity New
Zealand reference parasitologist.
At the start of the investigation, Biosecurity New Zealand
considered the coccidian to be a new incursion and, because of its
reputed pathogenicity(4)(5), declared it an unwanted organism under
the Biosecurity Act 1993. A measured response was initiated on 10
August 2005 with four objectives:
• to prevent spread of E macusaniensis by implementing interim
containment measures on the properties that received alpacas
from the affected import consignment,
• to complete a cross-sectional survey of camelids on affected
properties to detect those shedding E macusaniensis, and assist in
understanding the epidemiology of this parasite in New Zealand,
• to collect and assess case history data for ill alpacas in recent
• to commission Biosecurity New Zealand’s reference parasitologist
to review the literature on E macusaniensis, including its
potential pathogenicity (published in this edition(6)).
Movements of all camelids and their faecal material were restricted
on to and off the four properties suspected of having affected
animals. To enforce these measures each property was issued a
Restricted Place notice under s130 of the Biosecurity Act 1993.
AgriQuality Limited provided a Restricted Place Manager (RPM)
for each property to help manage the conditions of the Restricted
Place notice, and fulfil duties in accordance with MAF Standard
153 (Response Programs for Exotic Diseases of Animals, October
A cross-sectional survey was used to help elucidate the
epidemiology of E macusaniensis on affected properties. The survey
categorised the animals shedding E macusaniensis into four at-risk
• alpacas from the May import consignment,
• alpacas from previous import consignments,
• alpacas exposed to the May import consignment,
• alpacas not exposed to the May import consignment.
A fifth South Island farm with a single E macusaniensis positive
animal was identified through passive laboratory surveillance
around the time of the response, and was also included in the
cross-sectional survey. This property had been run as a closed flock
for a number of years and had no contact with recently imported
animals or the four infected places.
Faecal samples were collected from all alpacas older than three
months, with the exception of those close to parturition. The
census sampling was intended to provide a 95% confidence of
detecting at least a 2% prevalence of shedding animals in the
smallest of the five risk groups. A prevalence of 2% represents
the lower 95% confidence interval for prevalence determined in a
survey by Jarvinen(7) in the northwestern United Sates.
A sealable plastic bag was inverted and used as a glove for per
rectum collection of faeces. Samples were delivered the same day
to the laboratory and a faecal sedimentation technique used to
detect coccidial oocysts. Because of the large size of
E macusaniensis oocysts, faecal sedimentation is considered a more
sensitive technique than faecal flotation(7). All at-risk farms were
sampled in mid-August 2005.
Univariate analysis using chi-squared or Fisher’s exact methods
were used to explore the data for potential explanatory variables
associated with faecal shedding of E macusaniensis oocysts.
Analysis was undertaken using STATA 7.0 (Stata Corporation,
USA). A p-value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Prevalence of shedding
On the first four at-risk farms, 427 alpacas were sampled and 14
animals determined to be shedding (Table 1). A further 33 animals
were sampled on Farm 5 where a single animal had been identified
as shedding. Inter-farm prevalence of shedding ranged between
0.61% and 7.55% (Table 1, Fisher’s exact p = 0.033).
Table 1: The intra-farm prevalence of alpacas shedding Eimeria macusaniensis oocysts
on the five affected farms
Farm 1 Farm 2 Farm 3 Farm 4 Farm 5 Total
12 August 15 August 12 August 15 August 25 and 29 August
Number sampled 164 1211 107 35 33 460
Fisher’s exact p-value = 0.033
1 Findings from a mob of 15 animals imported from Australia on to Farm 2 on 19 July were excluded from the summary figures above and in Table 1.
Table 2: Univariate analysis of risk factors for shedding of Eimeria macusaniensis
determined after investigation of five affected farms
Risk factor +ve
(prevalence of infection)
Risk factor -ve p-value
Risk factors for shedding
Univariate analysis was carried out to assess risk factors for
E macusaniensis shedding in individual alpacas. As noted in the
footnote to Table 1, findings from the mob of 15 animals imported
on to Farm 2 in July were excluded from this analysis. This was
because the prepatent period for E macusaniensis of 32-40 days
would mean infection in these animals would have taken place
before their entry into New Zealand(8). Six of the 15 (40%) animals
in this group were found to be shedding E macusaniensis oocysts.
Shedding was significantly associated with age (<12 months) and exposure to the May import consignment. Factors not significantly associated with shedding were sex, the import status of the animal, or whether the animal belonged to the May consignment (Table 2). There was no difference in the proportion exposed in the two age groups. Case history summaries Case history (clinical, necropsy and laboratory) data was available for four ill alpacas from recent import consignments. Eimeria macusaniensis was not implicated as the cause of death in a cria and two adults from the May import consignment, but was determined to be the cause of death of an alpaca in a July consignment. Hypothermia with terminal aspiration of stomach content was responsible for the death of the cria, and chronic liver disease was identified as the cause of death in the two adults from the May consignment. In one animal the aetiology of the liver pathology was not evident, and a toxic origin appeared likely in the remaining adult. The death of the alpaca from the July consignment was attributed to the severe gut pathology associated with infection by E macusaniensis. The key findings in this case are summarised below. This animal was an Australian bred adult female alpaca imported on to a Canterbury alpaca farm on 19 July 2005, after 30 days quarantine in Victoria, Australia. The farmer was experienced with alpacas, having successfully imported, bred and shown them for five years. On 14 August 2005, the farmer observed the animal to be in light condition (estimated condition score: 2-2.5) with loose (semi-solid) faeces. The farmer treated the animal with an oral coccidiocide (off-label use) but it died on 17 August. At MAF’s request, the farmer’s veterinarian carried out a postmortem, and collected samples for biochemical, faecal and histological analysis. Necropsy showed small intestinal gastroenteritis and enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes. The carcass was otherwise grossly normal. Significant histological lesions (Figures 1 and 2) were confined to the gastrointestinal tract. Occasional coccidial cysts were identified in the duodenum. The ileum was affected by a severe coccidial infestation with suppurative enteritis and multifocal ulceration. Large numbers of various stages (oocysts, schizonts, etc) of coccidia were present in the lamina propria. The number of crypts was reduced, with villi shortened and the sides of some villi covered in a flattened epithelium. The area of the basal lamina propria and muscularis mucosa had neutrophils and macrophage infiltrates with the reaction extending through the submucosa to affect the tunica muscularis in places. The rest of the submucosa had areas of oedema and widespread infiltration of neutrophils, macrophages and plasma cells. Multiple foci of ulceration were also present with ulcers filled with necrotic debris, bacteria and neutrophils. The spiral colon and large intestine had no significant lesions. Serum was collected at postmortem. Reduced blood albumen (20 g/l) and total protein (40 g/l) were consistent with a proteinlosing enteropathy. Elevated blood creatine (441 μmol/l), urea (33.6 mmol/l) and phosphate (5.71 mmol/l) were considered to have resulted from dehydration. Faecal sedimentation identified abundant (+++) E macusaniensis oocysts. Faecal culture for salmonella was negative. Discussion There have been conflicting reports in the literature of the importance of this protozoan. Clinical disease in individuals and groups appears to occur only sporadically, and when it does it is often associated with stress and/or poor management. Generally infection is subclinical with a low herd prevalence of faecal oocyst shedding (Jones J, UK, personal communication; Cebra C, USA, personal communication)(4). The range in herd shedding identified in the New Zealand investigation (0.61% to 6.61%) was comparable with that found in overseas studies(7)(9)(10). The range differed significantly among the New Zealand study farms (p = 0.033; Table 1). The cross-sectional survey identified age (less than 12 months) and exposure to the May import consignment as significant factors influencing shedding (Table 2). Eimeria macusaniensis is generally associated with clinical disease in young animals(11) and has been associated with death in neonatal alpacas in South America(5). A higher prevalence of shedding has been noted in young llamas(7)(8) although this has not previously been substantiated in alpacas. Management factors associated with importing animals are likely to increase susceptibility to E macusaniensis(12) and lead to increased rates of shedding with resultant contamination of the environment and exposure of other animals. The risk associated with recently imported animals is supported by the finding of a 40% prevalence of shedding in the July import group, sampled within a few weeks of their arrival. Stress factors involved in importing include confinement in quarantine, a change in ration, international and national transport, and acclimatisation to a new environment, management system and peer group in New Zealand. This assessment found a significant difference in the prevalence of the two risk factors, identified at the individual animal level, across the five farms. The proportion of cria in the flock ranged between 4.3% and 26.5% (p<0.001), while the proportion of alpacas exposed to the May imports ranged between 0% and 92.6% (p<0.001). The worst affected farm (Farm 2) had the highest proportion of cria and also the highest proportion of individuals exposed to the May import consignment. Investigators identified a number of management differences (farm-level risk factors) that are likely to influence prevalence and that may have affected the relationships identified at the individual animal level. These include variability of faecal pick-up by the farmer, differences in stocking density, paddock management that encourages midden formation, grazing system (Figure 3) and the numbers of recently imported animals. A further factor that Figure 1: Section of ileum showing multifocal ulceration, reduced crypt formation, neutrophil, macrophage and plasma cells infiltrates in the muscularis mucosa and submucosa, and large numbers of various life stages of Eimeria macusaniensis in the lamina propria (x40) Figure 2: Section of ileum showing numerous developing stages of Eimeria macusaniensis in the lamina propria, including meront (M) and thick-walled oocysts (O) (x400) would affect the resident animals’ exposure is the variability of quarantine period imposed on new arrivals. For alpaca imports, this separation traditionally serves the purpose of ensuring more intensive management of the imports as they recover from the stresses of importation but also importantly serves to protect resident stock from introduced diseases or parasites. The severely affected animal described in the case report appears typical of sporadic cases reported from Australia(4), the USA (Cebra C, personal communication) and the United Kingdom(13). Eimeria macusaniensis infestation predominates in the ileum with dramatic parasite numbers obliterating normal intestinal architecture. Secondary changes include necrotising and/or bacterial enteritis, and multifocal ulceration. Most pathology occurs in the small intestine, leading to weight loss and hypoproteinaemia. As a result sick alpacas may present with acute weakness or sudden death. Diarrhoea is not a frequent finding (Jones J, personal communication)(4). During the investigation it became apparent that this was not the first incursion of E macusaniensis. Evidence included the presence of E macusaniensis in alpacas not exposed to the May consignment on two of the four affected farms, a retrospective Australian quarantine report of the coccidian in alpacas destined for New Zealand in April 2004 (a finding identified at a review of Australian quarantine test results, requested by MAF as part of this investigation), and the detection of E macusaniensis in an alpaca on a fifth farm that was not associated with the others. New Zealand Import Health Standards have never required testing and/or prophylactic treatment for this parasite. Since this organism did not appear to be a recent introduction to New Zealand, and as its pathogenicity may have been overstated in the literature, MAF removed interim containment measures on the affected farms. The findings of this investigation are a reminder that import testing protocols do not exclude all diseases and pests, that farmers should remain vigilant and take measures to protect resident stock and report anything unusual to MAF through the 0800 809 966 exotic disease and pest freephone. Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank all Gribbles Veterinary Pathology staff, veterinarians, AgriQuality Limited field personnel, and Biosecurity New Zealand’s Pre Clearance team, who contributed during the initial investigation and follow-up survey. The invaluable input of Marsha Stevens and Rob Fairley (Gribbles Veterinary Pathology Christchurch), Melanie Taylor and John Gill (Gribbles Veterinary Pathology Invermay) and Donald Arthur (Selwyn Rakaia Veterinary Services) is especially acknowledged. Alastair Johnstone (Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University) is also acknowledged for providing photographs of the histology sections. References (1) Guerrero C. Coccidia (Protozoa: Eimeriidae) of Alpaca Lama pacos. Journal of Protozoology 14, 613-6, 1967. (2) Guerrero C, Hernandez J, Bazalar H, Alva J. Eimeria macusaniensis (Protozoa: Eimeriidae) of the alpaca Lama pacos. Journal of Protozoology 18, 162-3. 1971. (3) McKenna PB. Some new host-parasite records. Surveillance 28(1), 4-5, 2001. (4) Lenghaus C, O’Callaghan MG, Rogers C. Coccidiosis and sudden death in an adult alpaca (Lama pacos). Australian Veterinary Journal 82, 711-2, 2004. (5) Rosadio RH, Ameghino EF. Coccidial infections in neonatal Peruvian alpacas. Veterinary Record 135, 459-60, 1994. (6) McKenna PB. Eimeria macusaniensis in camelids - a brief review. Surveillance 33(4), 8-10, 2006. (7) Jarvinen JA. Prevalence of Eimeria macusaniensis (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in midwestern Lama spp. Journal of Parasitology 85, 373-6, 1999. (8) Rohbeck S, Gauly M, Bauer C. On the biology of Eimeria macusaniensis, an intestinal parasite of South American camelids. 19th International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology. New Orleans, USA, 2003. (9) Rickard LG, Bishop JK. Prevalence of Eimeria spp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in Oregon llamas. Journal of Protozoology 35, 335-6, 1988. (10) Schrey CF, Abbott TA, Stewart VA, Marquardt WC. Coccidia of the llama, Lama glama, in Colorado and Wyoming. Veterinary Parasitology 40, 21-8, 1991. (11) Leguia G. The epidemiology and economic impact of llama parasites. Parasitology Today 7, 54-6, 1991. (12) Rickard L. Update on Llama medicine: Parasites. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 10, 239-47, 1994. (13) Chief Veterinary Officer, U.K. The Report of the Chief Veterinary Officer - Animal Health 2004. 2004. Thomas Rawdon Andrew McFadden Caleb King Investigation and Diagnostic Centre (Wallaceville) Biosecurity New Zealand PO Box 40 742 Upper Hutt Email: Thomas.Rawdon@maf.govt.nz Verona Mitchell Mosgiel Veterinary Services Limited 4 Cargill Street Mosgiel Mark Howell Surveillance and Incursion Response Biosecurity New Zealand Wellington
I would like it noted, that all alpacas are checked in quarantine for all parasites, and coccidia, liver fluke and salmonella.
All counts are also taken if any are found., and treatment is required and retested to confirm any alpaca in quarantine destined for export to NZ, will be zero for all tests.
These tests until death of Paul Presedente, were tested by Paul himself, and since by technicians taught by Paul.
These tests are all completed by Australian GOvernment Laboratories, and all alpacas are zero for EMAC, and any other coccidia, as well as Liver Fluke, Salmonella (tested twice), and stomach parasites, as well as mites, and ectoparasites.
(taken from the same Survellience notes, (MAF NZ 2006), as in previous post- i hope this is of some help.
Eimeria macusaniensis in
camelids – a brief review
Of the four or five coccidial parasites known to infect llamas and
alpacas, namely Eimeria lamae, E alpacae, E punonensis, E ivitaensis
and E macusaniensis(1)(2)(3), only the first three have previously been
recorded in New Zealand(4). However, in July 2005 oocysts of
E macusaniensis were detected in the faeces of a ten-year-old female
alpaca on a property in Otago, approximately eight weeks after its
importation from Australia. Because of the supposed pathogenicity
of this protozoan, a limited survey was undertaken to determine its
presence elsewhere in New Zealand(5). Its general biology is briefly
All mammalian coccidia are considered to be quite host specific.
Thus coccidia of camelids are not infective to other domestic or wild
ruminants and those of the latter hosts will not infect camelids(6)(7).
Because of their genetic relatedness, it is generally accepted that all
camelids share the same species of coccidia. Thus E macusaniensis
infections have been recorded in alpacas (Vicugna pacos), llamas
(Lama glama), guanacos (Lama guanicoe)(8)(9) and vicunas (Vicugna
vicugna)(10). It has also been observed that both the oocyst and
the endogenous stages of E macusaniensis are almost identical to
those of E cameli of the dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) and
the bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus)(11). This has prompted
speculation that these two coccidians might eventually be revealed
to be the same species (Duszynski et al. The coccidia of the World.
Distribution and prevalence
Infections of E macusaniensis have been reported in camelids in
Australia(12), North America(8)(11)(13), South America(2)(14), the United
Kingdom(15) and Germany(16). While most of these reports have
involved llamas, in some instances they include alpacas and guanacos
as well. In the United States, infections of E macusaniensis were found
in two of 144 (1.4%) llamas from Colorado and Wyoming(11) and in
two of 189 (1.0%) adult llamas in Oregon(13). A prevalence of 12%
was also recorded in 301 llamas from the midwestern United States(8).
There have been fewer investigations of the frequency of occurrence
of E macusaniensis infection in the other hosts but prevalences
of about 7% were found in 115 alpacas and 27 guanacos in the
midwestern United States(8). In other surveys, oocysts of
E macusaniensis were found in the faeces of 24% of 160 alpacas in
Peru(15) and in nine of 12 guanacos examined in Patagonia(17).
Although infections with E macusaniensis may be found in
both adult and younger hosts, the latter group tends to be more
frequently involved. Thus the highest prevalence of infection (67-
71%) was found in llamas of two and three months of age on a farm
in Germany, with somewhat lower levels of infection (16% and 26%,
respectively) recorded in mature dams and yearling males(16). Others
have reported similar results with prevalences significantly greater in
animals less than one year of age than in older animals, both in the
midwestern United States(8) and in Peru(17).
So far, E macusaniensis has been recorded on only a limited number
of properties in New Zealand and these have largely involved
infections in alpacas recently imported from Australia(5). However,
infections with other coccidial species have been detected in
previous importations(4) and it is difficult to believe that
E macusaniensis would somehow be selectively excluded from
these. Indeed, a far more likely scenario is simply that its presence
remained undetected either because fewer oocysts were present and/
or because of the low sensitivity of the examination procedure used
to detect them (see below). If this is correct, then it is possible that
the parasite has been present here for a number of years.
Life cycle and development
The life cycle of E macusaniensis is that of a typical coccidian
with infection initiated by the ingestion of sporulated oocysts
and endogenous development taking place in the small intestine
of infected hosts. Here there is a period of asexual reproduction
(schizogony or merogony) within epithelial cells, followed by sexual
differentiation (gametogony) into male microgametes and female
macrogametes that give rise to unsporulated oocysts, which are
shed in the faeces. By a process of sporogony or sporulation, four
sporocysts each containing two sporozoites are formed within the
oocyst, which then typically serves as the only source of infection for
all potential hosts.
Asexual and sexual reproduction do not continue indefinitely within
the host and, in the absence of reinfection, coccidial infections are
self-limiting in duration. Reinfection may take place but usually the
host develops a degree of immunity following primary infection.
In experimentally infected llamas, the interval between the ingestion
of sporulated oocysts of E macusaniensis and the subsequent first
appearance of unsporulated oocysts in their faeces (the pre-patent
period) was found to be 32-36 days. Oocyst shedding continued for
39-43 days with a mean total output during this patent period of 3-10
million oocysts. Reinfection two or three weeks after the end of the
first patency resulted in a prolonged pre-patent period of 37-40 days, a
shortened patent period of 20-23 days and a reduced oocyst output(16).
The time taken for oocysts excreted in the faeces to undergo and
complete sporulation, and thus become infective for other hosts, is
largely temperature and oxygen dependent and for most coccidial
In 2005, oocysts of Eimeria macusaniensis were
detected in the faeces of an alpaca in Otago. This
article briefly reviews the organism, its distribution, life
cycle and pathogenicity, and methods for its detection,
management and control.
species occurs within the range of 10-30oC. In the case of
E macusaniensis, sporulation has been found to take 12-15 days at
23oC(13). Others(16) report that the maximum number of sporulated
oocysts (85%) was obtained after 15 days at 30oC and after 25 days at
Diagnosis and detection
The diagnosis of E macusaniensis infection is largely based on
the detection of oocysts in host faeces. These may be readily
differentiated from the oocysts of the other coccidial species that
may be found in the faeces of llamas and alpacas by their greater size
(three to four times larger), brown colour, and prominent micropyle.
Detailed descriptions of the oocysts of all these species are provided
elsewhere(1)(2) but, briefly, those of E macusaniensis are pyriform in
shape and measure 80-110 μm long by 60-80 μm wide. They also
have very thick oocyst walls approximately 8-12 μm thick(11).
Like other coccidia, E macusaniensis oocysts may be detected by
standard flotation techniques. However, because of their large
size, flotation solutions with specific gravities of ≤ 1.2 may fail to
detect E macusaniensis infections and those with specific gravities
of 1.28-1.3 are required(8). Such oocysts may also be detected by
a sedimentation technique. Indeed, the latter technique, which is
likely to provide a more sensitive faecal examination procedure(2)(8),
represents the method of choice.
It is also important to note for diagnostic purposes that oocysts of
E macusaniensis are unlikely to be present in the faeces of animals less
than one month of age since the prepatent period is greater than 30
days. An epidemiological study in Germany, for example, found that
oocyst shedding was first detected when animals were two months
old(16). In addition, because of the long pre-patent period, it is possible
that acutely infected animals could die before oocysts are present in
their faeces. Although infection may sometimes be accompanied by
enteritis and diarrhoea(7), commonly few clinical signs are apparent(8).
In such cases, diagnosis depends on the histopathological examination
of the small intestine and the demonstration of schizonts, gametocytes
and oocysts in epithelial cells(12)(14).
Most coccidial infections in llamas and alpacas are described as
asymptomatic and self-limiting(6)(7). However, young animals may
show signs of clinical coccidiosis when faced with heavy infections
and at times of stress, and two of the coccidial species most frequently
associated with such outbreaks are E lamae and E macusaniensis(10). In
addition, co-infections of E ivitaensis and E macusaniensis have also
recently been implicated in fatal cases of diarrhoea in young alpacas
in Peru(18). Despite this, information relating to the pathogenicity
of E macusaniensis remains somewhat contradictory and confusing.
Thus in the paper of Rosadio and Ameghino(14), Guerrero et al(19) and
Guerrero and Leguia(20) are cited as suggesting that E macusaniensis is
minimally pathogenic. However, in the same paper J Alva is reported,
in a personal communication, as has having identified ‘clinical cases
caused by this organism in association with natural outbreaks of
diarrhoea in southern Peru’.
Other authors(17)(21) cited in the papers of Rickard and Bishop(13)
and Foreyt and Lagerquist(22) also consider that E macusaniensis is
pathogenic for alpacas, a conclusion supported by the reports of
Rosadio and Ameghino(14) and Lenghaus et al(12). The latter authors
certainly believed their report confirmed that E macusaniensis was
highly pathogenic in alpacas and that coccidiosis resulting in severe
damage to intestinal epithelia predisposes to necrotising enteritis
and death. Somewhat similar views were expressed by Leguia(10)
who considered that coccidiosis was mainly a problem of alpacas
reared in confinement but that frequent outbreaks of subacute
or acute infections occurred in animals born late in the breeding
season in Peru. He stated that such outbreaks seemed to be mainly
caused by infections of E lamae associated with E macusaniensis.
Such co-infections he considered to be highly pathogenic since
the first species destroyed the intestinal epithelium while the
second damaged the crypt glands and inhibited regeneration of the
epithelium. This resulted in complete stripping of the intestinal
mucosa and its total loss of function, leaving the intestinal wall
exposed to secondary viral or bacterial invasion. He(10) believed,
therefore, that there was a strong correlation between coccidiosis and
bacillary enterotoxaemia, which resulted in up to 50% mortality in
newborn animals in that country.
While enteritis has also been associated with E macusaniensis
infections in a three-month-old guanaco and an adult alpaca,
these infections were considered incidental findings at necropsy(7).
Jarvinen(8) also points out that the contribution of other pathogens
was not considered in the Rosadio and Ameghino(14) case. The same
author(8) further stated that the pathogenicity of E macusaniensis
had not been evaluated in controlled studies using experimentally
induced infections. Certainly, no clinical signs were associated with
infections in llamas in Jarvinen’s survey(8). However, others(16) have
since carried out experimental infections in llamas. In this latter
study, five one-month-old llamas, reared parasite-free, were orally
infected with 20,000 E macusaniensis oocysts while another twomonth-
old animal received 100,000. Although, the primary purpose
was to study the parasite’s pre-patent and patent periods, one would
have expected that any associated health issues would also have been
reported. The fact they were not, suggests that none were observed.
In summary, it would appear that while E macusaniensis may have
the potential to cause death and disease in both young and adult
camelids, the frequency with which it is likely to do so may have
been somewhat overstated.
Management and control
There is no published information relating specifically to the
longevity and survival of E macusaniensis oocysts. However,
coccidial oocysts are generally considered hardy long-lived resting
stages capable of withstanding the action of many chemical andphysical agents and it is likely the thick walls of those of
E macusaniensis make them particularly resistant to such challenges.
Once oocysts of this species are present in the environment,
decontamination of affected properties is, therefore, likely to be
difficult. Possibly some measure of control could be achieved by
a combination of faecal removal and animal treatment but total
eradication of infection from affected farms would appear to be an
In addition to exposure to the organism, clinical coccidiosis in
camelids is generally linked to a combination of stress factors
including weaning, overcrowding, cold, travel and poor nutrition(7).
Good management is, therefore, likely to be the key to preventing
infection with E macusaniensis becoming too much of a problem
on individual properties. Obviously the treatment of infections may
play a part as well but since no anticoccidials are registered for use
in camelids in New Zealand, this may be somewhat problematic.
Nevertheless, toltrazuril (Baycox, Bayer New Zealand Ltd), which is
registered for use in poultry and piglets here, is likely to represent
the best candidate. Previous studies have shown that this drug,
usually administered at a dose rate of 20 mg/kg, is effective against
all intracellular life cycle stages of a variety of other coccidial species
in a number of mammalian hosts(23).
(1) Guerrero CA. Coccidia (Protozoa: Eimeriidae) of the Alpaca Lama pacos.
Journal of Protozoology 14, 613-6, 1967.
(2) Guerrero CA, Hernandez J, Bazalar H, Alva J. Eimeria macusaniensis n.sp.
(Protozoa: Eimeriidae) of the alpaca Lama pacos. Journal of Protozoology 18,
(3) Leguia G, Casas E. Eimeria ivitaensis (Protozoa: Eimeridae) en alpacas (Lama
pacos). Revista Peruana de Parasitologia 13, 59-61, 1998.
(4) McKenna PB. Register of new host-parasite records. Surveillance 28(4), 4-5,
(5) Rawdon T, McFadden A, King K, Mitchell V, Howell M. Clinical findings and
risk factors associated with the first report of Eimeria macusaniensis in New
Zealand alpacas. Surveillance 33(4), 11-14, 2006.
(6) Cheney JM, Allen GT. Parasitism in Llamas. Veterinary Clinics of North America:
Food Animal Practice 5, 217-25, 1989.
(7) Rickard LG. Update on Llama medicine: Parasites. Veterinary Clinics of North
America: Food Animal Practice 10, 239-47, 1994.
(8) Jarvinen JA. Prevalence of Eimeria macusaniensis (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae)
in midwestern Lama spp. Journal of Parasitology 85, 373-6, 1999.
(9) Beldomenico PM, Uhart M, Bono MF, Marull C, Baldi R, Peralata JL. Internal
parasites of free-ranging guanacos from Patagonia. Veterinary Parasitology
118, 71-7, 2003.
(10) Leguia G. The epidemiology and economic impact of llama parasites.
Parasitology Today 7, 54-6, 1991.
(11) Schrey CF, Abbott TA, Stewart A, Marquardt WC. Coccidia of the llama, Lama
glama, in Colorado and Wyoming. Veterinary Parasitology 40, 21-8, 1991.
(12) Lenghaus C, O’Callaghan MG, Rogers C. Coccidiosis and sudden death in an
adult alpaca (Lamas pacos). Australian Veterinary Journal 82, 711-2, 2004.
(13) Rickard LG, Bishop JK. Prevalence of Eimeria spp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in
Oregon llamas. Journal of Protozoology 35, 335-6, 1988.
(14) Rosadio RH, Ameghino EF. Coccidial infections in neonatal Peruvian alpacas.
Veterinary Record 135, 459-60, 1994.
(15) Anonymous. Losses in ewes associated with fetal death and putrefaction. VLA
Surveillance Report. Veterinary Record 156, 629-32, 2005.
(16) Rohbeck R, Gauly M, Bauer C. On the biology of Eimeria macusaniensis,
an intestinal parasite of South American camelids. 19th International
Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary
Parasitology, New Orleans, USA, Abstract p 221, 2003.
(17) Guerrero CA, Alva J, Leguia G, Bazalar H. Prevalencia de coccidiasis (Protozoa:
Eimeridae ) en alpacas, Lamas pacos. Boletin Extraordinario Instituto
Veterinario de Investigaciones Tropicales y de Altura 4, 84-90, 1970.
(18) Palacios CA, Perales RA, Chavera AE, Lopez MT, Braga WU, Moro M. Eimeria
macusaniensis and Eimeria ivitaensis co-infection in fatal cases of diarrhoea
in young alpacas (Lama pacos) in Peru. Veterinary Record 158, 344-5, 2006.
(19) Guerrero CA, Hernandez J, Alva J. Coccidiosis en alpacas. Revista Facultad
Medicina Veterinaria Lima 21, 59-68, 1967.
(20) Guerrero CA, Leguia G. Revista de camelidos sudamericanos (Enfermededades
infecciosas y parasitarias de las alpacas). Serie de Informacion y
DocumentacionIVATA/CICCS Lima Peru 6, 34, 1967.
(21) Guerrero CA, Alva J, Bazalar H, Tabacchi L. Infeccion experimental de
alpacas con Eimeria lamae. Boletin Extraordinario Instituto Veteranario de
Investigaciones Tropicales y de Altura 4, 79-83, 1970.
(22) Foreyt WJ, Lagerquist J. Experimental infections of Eimeria alpacae and
Eimeria punoensis in Llamas (Lama glama). Journal of Parasitology 78, 906-9,
(23) Jones-Gaddam M, Pomroy WE, Scott I. Coccidiosis in calves around weaning
and the use of toltrazuril. Proceedings of the Society of Sheep and Beef Cattle
Veterinarians of NZVA Publication No. 234, 53-61, 2004.
Gribbles Veterinary Pathology
PO Box 536
so this is more common than most of us are aware.
I thought i would publish a few more interesting documents on this subject.
I was very lucky enough to be able to have known a great man, Paul Presidente, who was the Parasite expert for Australia, with a special interest in Alpacas.
He was able to guide me through the maze of womrers etc, when we first started doing Quarantines, as New Zealand require the alpacas to have Zero count of all worm eggs, and Oocysts.
Paul died suddenly, as he walked to his car after work one night, he spent all hours there, i could be rining him up at 9pm at night with a question, and he undoubtedly was at work.
He was so dedicated, knowledgable and thankfully he was eager to tell you and help you with any problem that may arise.
He was also considerate enough to inform me of any new updates with parasites.
I will never forget you, and you could never imagine how much your advice has helped me, and others.
I still refer to his notes from time to time.
Extracted from, MAF (New Zealand), Survellience Notes, July- Sept 06.
Register of new host-parasite records
Eimeria macusaniensis in an alpaca
Of the at least four coccidial parasites known to infect llamas and
alpacas, namely Eimeria lamae, E alpacae, E punonensis and
E macusaniensis (1)(2), only the first three have previously been
recorded in New Zealand(3). However, in July 2005 oocysts of
E macusaniensis were detected in the faeces of a ten-year-old female
alpaca on a property in Otago. Oocysts of this coccidian species, which
are readily recognisable by their dark brown colour and pyriform
shape, measure 81-100 μm long by 60-80 μm wide. They also have
thick oocyst walls (approximately 8-12 μm thick) and an obvious
micropylar cap (Figure 1). Eimeria macusaniensis is considered by
some to be highly pathogenic in alpacas(4). However, although this
coccidian may have the potential to cause death and disease in both
young and adult camelids, the regularity with which it is likely to do
so may have been somewhat overstated.
Lamanema chavezi in llamas and
During the performance of routine faecal egg counts on llama
and alpaca samples from a property in Canterbury, some rather
unusual worm eggs were detected. Although these resembled those
of Nematodirus in size (measuring 175 x 76 μm), they differed from
them in being more flat-sided and having a morula in a further stage
of development than the typical eight-cell-stage normally associated
with freshly excreted Nematodirus eggs. They also had an obvious
yellowish-brown colouration atypical of those of eggs of members
of this genus, apart, perhaps, from those of N battus, which have
been variously described as ‘markedly brown’(5) or ‘coffee coloured’(6)
(Figure 2). Similar eggs were subsequently detected in the faeces of
a further five llamas and alpacas from the same property.
Incubation of the worm eggs showed that they completed their
development to the third larval stage while still within the egg
(Figure 3). However, even after more than 30 days at 27oC very few
larvae had actually hatched. Development to the third larval stage
while still within the egg is characteristic of two known nematode
genera of camelids, Nematodirus and Lamanema. Examination of
the third-stage larvae isolated from these eggs showed that they were,
at 700 μm long, considerably shorter than those of Nematodirus
The following are some new host-parasite relationships
recently recorded at Gribbles Veterinary Pathology
laboratories or submitted to the author, for initial or
second opinion identifications, by other veterinary
diagnostic laboratories or persons in New Zealand.
(Sorry Pictures will not come over to this file)
Figure 1: Oocyst of Eimeria macusaniensis
Figure 3: Freshly passed suspected Lamanema egg
Figure2: Embryonated suspected Lamanema egg containing
Figure 4: Suspected Lamanema third-stage larvae
species and that they lacked the long whip-like tail sheaths typical
of members of this genus (Figure 4). Accordingly, based both on
the morphological features of their eggs and their third-stage larvae,
as well as the idiosyncrasies of their embryonic development and
delayed hatching, it was deduced that these eggs and larvae were
likely to be those of Lamanema chavezi.
Lamanema chavezi is a small (8-18 mm long) nematode of uncertain
taxonomic status(7)(8). It is also the only member of the genus and
appears not to have been previously recorded outside of South
America. Although believed to be a characteristic helminth of
South American camelids, being found in the small intestines of
alpacas (Vicugna pacos), llamas (Lama glama) and vicunas (Vicugna
vicugna)(9), L chavezi has also been recorded in the chinchillid rodent
Lagidium viscacia in Argentina(10). It is considered to be the most
pathogenic nematode parasite of South American camelids(9) and
is a rather unique trichostrongyloid in that the parasitic third- and
fourth-stage larvae undergo an enterohepatic migration(11). However,
no obvious clinical signs of infection were evident in the llamas and
alpacas on the Canterbury property.
Other new helminth parasite records in
llama and alpacas
Based on the identification of adult worms recovered following
anthelmintic treatment from the faeces of llamas and alpacas
on the same Canterbury property as above, a number of other
nematode parasites were recorded in these hosts in New Zealand
for the first time. In llamas, these included Nematodirus
spathiger, Camelostrongylus mentulatus, Cooperia oncophora and
Trichostrongylus colubriformis. Another species of Trichostrongylus,
T vitrinus, was also recorded in the alpaca here for the first time.
Oxyuris karamoja in a rhinoceros
A nematode recovered from the perineal region of a white
rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) at Hamilton Zoo was identified
as Oxyuris karamoja. This parasite is somewhat similar to the horse
pinworm, Oxyuris equi, except that it is smaller (1-7 cm long) and
has a coarsely striated cuticle at the cephalic end and three hookshaped
teeth that protrude into the buccal cavity(12). Like O equi,
this species probably causes an anal pruritus in the rhinoceros
resulting in restlessness and improper feeding. The life cycle is direct
and infection is by the ingestion of infective eggs.
Syngamus trachea in a hihi
Small numbers of eggs of the nematode Syngamus trachea were
detected in the faeces of a stitchbird (hihi, Notiomystis cincta) from
the Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre. Apart from this finding,
the parasite has previously been recorded in a variety of other
domesticated and wild birds in New Zealand including chickens,
pheasants, partridges, finches, blackbirds, starlings, silvereyes, kea,
kaka and kiwi(13)(14)(15)(16)(17). The main pathogenic effect of this parasite
is asphyxiation, seen clinically as ‘gapes’, but in heavy infections
migration of larvae through the lungs may cause clinical disease. Its
life cycle is direct but earthworms may act as transport hosts.
Heterakis gallinarum in a guinea fowl
The caecal nematode Heterakis gallinarum was recovered from
a guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) in the Hawke’s Bay. Although
previously unrecorded in this host, it has already been documented
in a number of other birds in this country(13)(18) and may be
widespread and common, at least in domestic fowls. Generally it
is a parasite of limited pathogenicity and its importance is mainly
related to the part it plays as a carrier of Histomonas meleagridis, the
causal agent of ‘blackhead’ (enterohepatitis).
(1) Guerrero CA. Coccidia (Protozoa: Eimeriidae) of the Alpaca Lama pacos.
Journal of Protozoology 14, 613-6, 1967.
(2) Guerrero CA, Hernandez J, Bazalar H, Alva J. Eimeria macusaniensis n.sp.
(Protozoa: Eimeriidae) of the alpaca Lama pacos. Journal of Protozoology 18,
(3) McKenna PB. Register of new host-parasite records. Surveillance 28(1), 4-5,
(4) Lenghaus C, O’Callaghan MG, Rogers C. Coccidiosis and sudden death in an
adult alpaca (Lamas pacos). Australian Veterinary Journal 82, 711-2, 2004.
(5) Thomas RJ. A comparative study of the life histories of Nematodirus battus
and N. filicollis, nematode parasites of sheep. Journal of Parasitology 49, 374-
(6) Jansen J. Where does Nematodirus battus Crofton and Thomas, 1951, come
from? Veterinary Record 92, 697-8, 1973.
(7) Rickard LG, Hoberg EP. Reassignment of Lamanema from Nematodirinae to
Molineinae (Nematoda: Trichostrongylidae). Journal of Parasitology 86, 647-50,
(8) Hoberg EP, Lichtenfels JR, Rickard LG. Phylogeny for genera of Nematodirinae
(Nematoda: Trichostrongylina). Journal of Parasitology 91, 382-9, 2005.
(9) Cafrune MM, Aguirre DH, Rickard LG. First report of Lamanema chavezi
(Nematoda : Trichostrongyloidea) in llamas (Lama glama) from Argentina.
Veterinary Parasitology 97, 165-8, 2001.
(10) Sutton CA, Durette-Desset M-C. Contribucion al conocimiento de la fauna
parasitologica Argentina XIV. Presencia de Lamanema chavezi Becklund, 1963
(Nematoda, Molineidae, Nematodirinae) parasito de camelidos en Lagidium
viscacia boxi. Bulletin du Museum national d’Histoire naturelle Series 7
Section A 4, 791-4, 1985.
(11) Guerrero CA, Rojas M, Alva J. Lamanema chavezi, an enterohepatic nematode
of South American camelidae and its control using levamisole. Revista
Latinoamericana de Microbiologia 23, 121-3, 1981.
(12) Skrjabin KI, Shikhobalova NP, Lagodovskaya.E.A. Oxyurata of animals and
man: Part one Oxyuroidea. In: Skrjabin KI (ed). Essentials of nematodology. Pp
1-599. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, 1974.
(13) Weekes PJ. Checklist of helminth parasites of birds in New Zealand. New
Zealand Journal of Zoology 9, 451-60, 1982.
(14) Orr MB. Animal Health Laboratory Network: Review of diagnostic cases - April
to June 1990. Surveillance 17(3), 29-31, 1990.
(15) Goold M. Fungal infection and concurrent giardiasis in a kaka. Kokako 1(2),
(16) Jacob-Hoff R. Kiwi parasite survey. Kokako 5(3), 12, 1998.
(17) Anon. Syngamus trachea. Surveillance No.1, 19, 1977.
(18) Weekes PJ. Two nematodes from a wild brown quail. New Zealand Journal of
Zoology 10, 126, 1983.
Read next post which details a little bit more on EMAC
Alex is having so much fun, taking a break on the farm.
The girls have all got together, Hannah came around dyed their hair and gave them a cut.
Baby goats to be fed, Alpaca babies being born, and helping Lauren with Jessie, Alex's day is very full
Alan Stables, can be congratulated with the enormous effort he has made to promote tirelessly this Alpaca Congress.
At the moment i cannot go to this event, although i wish i could be there.
It looks a really great event for those that can make it to this event.
What an excuse to go and visit such a beautiful city- Madrid.
I have a few quarantines going through at the moment, which always take priority.
When there is a quarantine going, my total focus is on that quarantine, as there is so much bookwork, and legislation that has to be followed to the T.
I hope the congress is enjoyed by all.
a Little of what is to be experienced by the attendees, follows-:
The International Alpaca Congress is being held in Madrid, Spain from 4th to 6th June 2010. The congress consists of 16 international speakers, with all speeches in English.
I saw on another Blog site, that there is now a TB Blog site to update all concerned breeders on any updates with TB.
Even though we do not get TB in Australia, thank goodness, i thought this would be a useful site for other breeders that may be affected by TB, or know of others that have been.
Biosecurity of a farm must be the utmost first priority.
We can only hope that this can be readicated across the lands.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
We have just come home from doing another large export to Malaysia.
We have negotiated some alpacas to be exported to Malaysia before August this year, being the first to be exported there,
Hopefully this will be the beginning of a new marketplace.
Last year i started to venture into exporting goats, and sheep, and have extended my licence to cattle and buffalo.
Other species are able to be exported to many more countries than alpacas are.
So my main aim, is to see how each country's protocols are for each species, so i can work out and negotiate a protocol to introduce alpacas to these countries.
At the moment, we do have interest in Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, China.
The more countries that require alpacas, will give the Industry the boost and influence it deserves
The ferral goat is an introduced species to Australia, and has been left to run wild in the desert, It is estimated there is over 30 million wild goats, and 20 million wild camels in central australia, that is destroying the fragil land.
Now we have had the Apnea monitor, and special formula, he now seems to be getting on top of it all.
He loves standing on his feet, he has from day 1 as a newborn, but with the baby exercises, you pull him up, as if sit ups, and he just goes straight to his feet, you cannot stop him.
sorry the movie is on it's side, but i think you can get an idea of what i am talking about.
He is so, so cute
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I read though of stories from breeders from overseas, of the reported cases of TB.
My ears pricked up this morning as we were having breakfast, we were watching Nat geo on TV, on the cape buffalo in Sth Africa. It is called Buffalo Warrior.
Lindsay Hunt, has been doing research on this and FMD which has been prevalient throughout the cape buffalo since 1988.
He did a study on trying to see how it is transmitted from one to the other, and so quarantined a group of infected buffalo, and i am certain they said they inncoluted them against Tb, but when the cows gave birth they immediately had to remove the calves, as if they nursed the antibodies of the innoculation would transfer through the mother's milk, and so if later in life, the calves would test positive to TB, and it would be uncertain if the animal had been exposed to it, or had it.
But after 9 mnths, the scientist then was able to clear the Tb in the group he had, all were negative, and when he mixed them back in the wild, where there were more stresses, Tb and FMD came back.
So he had his quarantine herd, that had never been exposed to Tb, and then was able to prodruce, new herds of TB free animals.
From his studies the knowledge was gained, that when under stress, then TB was prevalient, but when the animals were not stressed at all. Food plentifull, not overgrazed, clean water, etc, Tb was not spread.
It was also noted that TB is spread through by air, and saliva, and body fluids.
It was noted though that it is not spread through their drinking water.
I wonderd also if this information would be helpful for those in other countries that have had incidences of TB, whether or not, the animals that contracted TB, were at times under stress, even land transport is stressful.
Here is a couple of links to the story.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Alpacas help clean up Gulf Coast oil spillPosted: May 08, 2010 9:24 AM Updated: May 08, 2010 9:45 AM
The President is calling the oil spill off of the Louisiana coast an "environmental disaster." Here in the Tri-Cities, some people are doing what they can to help out with the situation, but in some unusual ways.
"It is useful, any natural hair apparently will absorb oil when it's put in the sea water. It won't absorb the water, but it will absorb the oil off the water," Alpaca raiser Brenda Trammell says.
Today Brenda is helping sheer Alpacas. After their wool falls off, part of it is sent to the Gulf to help soak up the oil.
"What I understand they're going to do is they'll stuff it into things like pantyhose and make a boom out of it, then apparently the cuticle on the fiber actually absorbs oil," she says.
Who knew, during a huge environmental disaster, each Alpaca can make a difference.
Brenda says they will send roughly 100 pounds of Alpaca wool by next week.