Friday, May 28, 2010

eimeria macusaniensis- Alpacas

What I have been told about EMAC.
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.
Good luck
I hope this helps.
I hope this helps

1 comment:

Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Excellent blog and advice, lets hope we all do not suffer from the long term effects of EMAC......we have to be vigillant.....Jayne