Parasite control will bring about as many different answers as you have questions, but a great deal has to do with the part of the country you live in, the weather conditions, and the numbers in your herd. The information can be overwhelming and confusing, to say the least.
The best way to develop a good de-worming program for your own herd is to take some random fecal samples into your vet's office to be
analyzed. Then follow the instructions by your vet based on the results of the fecal samples and also what he suggests as a preventive for your part of the country. You can also get suggestions from other camelid farms in your area based on their experience. If you live on the west coast, advice from the east coast or midwest areas may not prove to be effective in your area.
For some basic information, here are some articles written by veterinarian specializing in camelids:
The following information is from an article sent out in May, 2001 by David E Anderson, DVM, MS, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Associate Professor of Surgery, Food Animal, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University:
"This article is from Dr. Monahan, our parasitologist researching camelids. He says some thought
provoking things! Cliff Monahan, DVM, PhD; Dept. Veterinary Preventive Medicine; Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine."
INTESTINAL WORM PROTECTION
We have found that Ivermectin at 1 cc per 100 pounds body weight does not do as good a job as we would like in eliminating some
intestinal worms. Of particular interest are whip worms and Nematodirus worms - these can cause severe problems including weight loss and low blood protein. At 1.5 to 2 cc per 100 pounds we see a better response for Nematodirus, but these two worms can persist. The same is true for Doramectin - no real difference between it and IVR.
We have found that fenbendazole (safeguard or panacur) given at label doses (cattle = 5 mg/kg, sheep = 10 mg/kg) does not do as well as we would expect. At 20 mg/kg we see excellent response and the whip worm and Nematodirus are controlled. Thus, we use 1 cc per 10 pounds of the 10% suspension when using safeguard. If there is an established whip worm problem, you probably need to use this product for 3 to 5 days in a row!
We do not feel that fenbendazole is as reliable in preventing Meningeal worm infection as is IVR. Thus, we are currently recommending that you use IVR monthly to prevent meningeal worm infection and use fenbendazole every 3 to 4 months to control whip worms and
As always, consult with your veterinarian and have fecal egg counts and parasite identification done to see what types of worms
you have on the farm. This is critical to developing a FARM SPECIFIC parasite control strategy. If you have a low stocking density, you may find that you do not need to de-worm as much. If you have a high stocking density, you may find that things are getting out of control !
CAMELLID FECAL ANALYSIS
Commonly used gravity fecal floatation techniques do not seem to be very sensitive for llama and alpaca fecal parasites. The traditional floatation media including he McMaster's technique detect parasite burdens of more than 100 eggs per gram of feces. We commonly see problems develop in llamas and alpacas with egg per gram of feces in the range of 30 to 60. A special technique, the modified Stoll's Technique is needed to detect this low concentration of eggs. That is the test of choice for intestinal parasites of lamas and alpacas.
We are presently compiling information on the spectrum of parasites that infect Llamas and Alpacas and the drugs used to control these infections. Our purpose is to recognize the onset of drug resistance in camelid parasites due to regular use of anthelmintics (dewormers). Any llama or alpaca owner may submit feces for examination. Please fill out the following questionaire and send it in with the fecal specimen. There is an $18 charge for each fecal test run. That will allow us to evaluate the use of anthelmintics and the parasites present in our llama and alpaca populations.
Number of camellids on farm:
Any other livestock:
Water source (pond, creek, well, city water):
Please list all the anthelmintics (dewormers) you use on your farm (in the past several years), the dosages for each that you use, and when the last dose was given:
Please describe when you begin to treat each year, how often you treat, and if or when you discontinue treatments at any predetermined time of the year.
Do you work with a local veterinarian for parasite control?
The preferred technique for fecal sample collection is to individually house each animal slected and collect FRESH feces into plastic
zip-lock bags. Alternatively, you can collect the feces from the rectum using a well lubricated gloved hand (have your veterinatian work with you on that!). It is important that you know WHO that sample came from. You should collect from at least 5 animals unless you have fewer than 5 on your farm. Put the bags into the refrigerator and mail by overnight service in a styrofoam container (water tight container) on cold-packs.
Mail to: Dr. Cliff Monahan, 1900 Coffey Road, Sisson Hall, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Cost per sample for parasite identification is $18. A detailed report will be returned to you for use with your local veterinarian in
determining to adequacy of control of intestinal parasites on your farm.