Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency

This time of year again, In Southern parts of Australia, we have to really be vigilant about Vitamin D deficiency.
resulting in Rickets.
Vitamin D deficiency is a problem that affects alpacas far more commonly than other species.
Normally UV light acts on Vitamin D prescursors in an animals skin to make Vitamin D which is then stored in the liver.
A combination of a high Vitamin D requirement, thick fleece and low UV levels during autumn, and winter makes alpacas susceptible to this condition.
While more common in younger animals it will occassionally affect adults.
Signs include stiffness, lameness and failure of crias to grow.
Prevention involves giving an injection of Vitamin D3.
In Victoria, we are able to obtain a product called Vitadec.
We prefer Vitamin D3, which is a concentradted pure D3 product, but you can use Vitamind ADE combinations.
Vitamin D injections should be given on the 1st of May, 1st July, and 1st September, It is not normally rewquired over the summer months.
This is because the fleece is usually shorn, and there is less cloud cover.

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