Sunday, July 22, 2012

ALPACA MOUTH EXAMS .... can cause serious injury to human fingers!

If you need to examine the inside of your alpacas mouth, do so with trepidation!

You may find an alpaca come in from a paddock with a lump on its cheek that needs examination from the outside and in. Putting your fingers in the alpaca's mouth is very dangerous, as they can have fighting teeth that can slash your fingers, but it is their natural reaction to chew when something moves down the side of their mouth - not forgetting that their jaws move from side to side when chewing cud, so they can drag your fingers into their molars and do some serious damage.

How do I know this - by experience!

If you need to check out your alpacas mouth - have a handler hold the animal for you, using a halter can help, more importantly a small piece of plumbing pipe about the width of a 10 cent piece and 20cm long, placed in the back of the mouth will give you a better view with a torch than using your fingers.

What could be the cause of the lump on my alpacas cheek?
  • A tooth problem: If there is a tooth problem causing an abscess to the gum, a foul smell will omit from the open mouth. In this case you need to call a vet in to assist.
  • A grass seed stuck in the side of cheek, gum: Generally no smell with this one. These generally burst and drain well. Worth discussing with vet to see if antibiotics are necessary to assist healing.
  • Cud: Some alpacas will just hold a wad of this in the side of their mouth more often than others ... a bit like chewing tobacco! When you open the lips you will see what looks like a ball of rubber bands, in a vibrant green colour! Nothing to do about this one - just leave them alone to finish chewing their cud!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

eye colour chart for anemia, or worm burden


A facial abscess in alpacas is fairly common. When you see facial swellings on alpacas, it could be nothing much or it could be very serious.

 Sometimes a swelling on the side of her face is not serious because some alpacas pocket food in the side of their mouth and that is probably what she was doing.

What is an abscess? Well, it's a pocket of pus. Pus contains fluid, white blood cells, dead tissue, bacteria, and possibly some foreign objects. One of these masses will have a soft center with a firm capsule around it.

Septic and sterile are two types of abscesses that can form. A septic abscess is caused by a germ. A sterile abscess is caused by non-living irritants such as an injected drug. A sterile abscess will turn into a hard, solid lump due to scarring.

A tooth root abscess can cause facial swelling, too. An infection along the jaw bone may present as a hard, bony mass.

The abscess will need to burst or be lanced to get the pus out. If the abscess does not resolve itself, the abscess needs to be drained, flushed, and possibly the alpaca will need antibiotics. If it is a tooth root abscess, it may need surgical curettage of the infected bone, antibiotics, and extraction of the tooth. If your alpaca is in need of surgery, be sure it's in the best body condition it can be. Poor body condition sets your alpaca up to be at greater risk of complications.

Some studs use a herbal poltice called "All Species Poltice" to clear their alpacas abscesses. They clean the abscess and then apply the poltice, leave it on overnight, and then start the process again the next day. The poltice draws out the pus.

Other camelid owners like a treated gauze-like material called "Silverlon" that you pack into the abscess. This material kills the infection and helps with healing.

You can google either of these products and find them. You can read about them and decide if you're interested in trying these treatments.

While doing routine health checks, be sure and feel the alpacas jaw bone, sides of the face to back of the ears, and down the neck. Because of an alpacas thick fleece you may not see an abscess, but you can feel a lump or a hot area on the skin. Also, smell your alpacas breath. Not a pleasant thought if you've smelled their spit! You can detect the smell of decay by doing this, though.

There's, also, a contagious abscess that you should be aware of in ruminants. It's caused by the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis bacteria. It is spread to other animals by direct contact with the infected pus. These abscesses can spread to other organs and should be surgically remove to prevent spreading the infection to others in the herd.

Be sure and wash your hands or at least use antibacterial wipes between examining alpacas. The simple mechanics of washing hands helps prevent the spread of viruses and infections. Many owners don't practice this simple infection control strategy.

A facial abscess can be simple or more complicated. If you notice facial swelling in an alpaca, determine that it is not a bolus of food in the cheek, then consult your vet for how to treat your alpacas specific problem.

Monday, July 9, 2012



pets2-other-100pxBanixx™ is the product of choice for many types of pets.  Although many health care products developed for dogs and cats are unsuitable for other animals, not so with Banixx™.  Banixx™ has even been used successfully on Alpacas, Goats, Show Steers, Goats and Reptiles.
Visit our case studies (below) for real-life studies and check out our FAQs for more information.

Quick Healing for Goat Ear Injury!

Goat Ear Injury - After Banixx!Nicole McAleer of Midland, GA, provided this feedback:
"Last summer my goat decided to try and crawl under the chain link fence. We are not exactly sure how it happened, but somehow in her attempt to pull back (when she realized she couldn't get under the fence) she got her ear caught in the fence. She tore the skin where her ear attaches to her head.
The wound was 3-4 inches long and deep enough for me to put the first 2 joints of my finger in it to clean it. We scrubbed the wound with betadine scrub to be sure it was clean and then after that we sprayed it with Banixx 2 times per day.
After 1 week, it was healing wonderfully and after 2 weeks you could barely see a scar. Even if you are looking for it the scar is hard to see!"

Many Uses for Alpacas

Photo by Luna Sky AlpacasPhoto by Luna Sky AlpacasDeb Hart of Luna Sky Alpacas provided this feedback:
"We have been using Banixx successfully on fly bites - it has been great! We have a yearling female who occasionally gets crusty lips from eating too much clover ... after using Banixx, the mouth is clearing up, and Banixx seems to be doing the trick again!"
(photos by Luna Sky Alpacas)

Sheep - Severe Laceration

Please Note: The following pictures may not be suitable for more sensitive viewers.

In this Case Study, a sheep (pregnant with twins) was attacked by an over-zealous sheep dog. Initial observations called for euthanasia. However, the farmer’s daughter had Banixx™ Wound & Hoof Care on hand, so thought she might attempt to save the pregnant sheep. These photos show, first, the sheep laying on her back, just after her injury. In the second photo, after just 3 days, immense healing has taken place, although, due to stress, she did “absorb” one unborn lamb. The third photo shows her injury just 3 weeks later! In the final photo, the sheep is nursing a healthy lamb!!!
Sheep Case Study - Banixx applied to severe wound Sheep Case Study - Banixx

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cleaning Alpaca Fleece
This  is a very interesting concept, a must for the avid Alpaca breeder who wants to present their fleece for  show. But most of all, we get paid more for clean fleeces.
Great Idea

Alpaca Fleece- Fibre density

Fibre density is one of the most misunderstood traits of alpacas. High fibre density is strongly correlated with low average fibre diameter. Conversely, low density is strongly correlated with high fibre diameter. By the way, science to date has shown us there is little causal relationship between the two traits - in other words, there is something deeper occurring that influences their relationship. The problem is that broad fibre will feel denser than finer fibre because of its greater mass. In other words, a broad fleece will feel denser because of its diameter, than a finer fleece, even though the finer fleece is likely to be more dense.

Performance trials with sheep and alpacas have shown that comparing fleeces using an index on fleece weight with AFD is the most effective way to increase fleece value and will have a positive effect on density.

The most effective traits to breed for are fibre diameter and standard deviation because they are the most important traits in terms of processing performance. The positive coincidence is that these two traits are the two most heritable fibre traits.  Heritability scores of about .55 and .40 respectively. Fibre density is about .30.

Paul Valleley

Alpaca Fleece-One of the hardest things to breed for

One of the hardest traits to breed for is secondary to primary ratio.
This trait has a reported heritability score of only about .20. 
The reason is that the trait is highly influenced by pre-natal nutrition. 
Secondary follicles develop during the last trimester of pregnancy with their numbers highly determined according to the female's intake of nutrition.