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Questions & Replies - Page 4

If you'd like to participate, please send us your questions, experiences, or comments ...
Feel free to add a second or third reply to any of the questions below.

QUESTION: Good Morning. I recently purchased a llama whose health papers said that the heart was "ausculated". Can you tell me what that means? Thank you, Cathy.
RE: I'm wondering if that spelling is correct on your health papers? I'm thinking it may be a form of "auscultation" which is the act of listening to body sounds. If so, this would would mean that the heart sounds were checked.

QUESTION: It's wintertime in Bend, Oregon and about 3 weeks ago I noticed one of my boys had the face of a smiling raccoon! Circles of hair loss around his eyes and a crusty, dry, terrible-looking muzzle - his ears are also affected. Quickly checked my llama books and the closest description was Sarcoptic Mange. I've been beating myself up wondering why I hadn't noticed it sooner - I'm out with them every day to feed, if nothing else. Immediately took him to my vet/neighbor next door who's not real familiar with llamas but thought that could be a possibility, but was puzzled because my other two do not seem to have it. She thought it could be an auto-immune disorder, which worries me even more (never thought I'd think of mange as a blessing!). We gave him an injection of Ivermectin, and I've been working with his skin every morning ... removing scales and dry patches (even hardened crusts in his nostriles) ... plus rubbing Neosporin to the pink/red newly-removed patches and a hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching. The last week I've been checking him every day but treating only every-other day; though I still get some scaly areas to remove, they're much less and it doesn't seem to be spreading. Has anyone had a similar experience? Will appreciate all feedback. Many thanks, Sandee (Thank you so much for this website ... it's wonderful!)

RE: Are you also seeing little nits - pin point things (actually eggs of the mites), attached to the lower part of the individual hairs? Crusty like skin around the mouth, in the ears, and the nose? If so, it's probably mites which often appear this time of year due to the llamas being in close quarters through the winter months. I've been giving an injectable Ivermec this past couple of years in the early spring months just to be sure to avoid mites. I have also used a mixture of Paramite which you can get from your Vet and dab that on daily. This, with the Ivermec you have already given, should clear it up. However the lost hair will just have to grow back. Sure is a frustrating parasite. I have also found the Paramite available at this location - http://store.yahoo.com/petmarket/paramitedip.html . It is a small bottle but you mix it up in a gallon jug which lasts a looooong time. This small bottle is probably a lifetime supply. Mix up in a clean milk jug and sponge on daily.
QUESTION: Hi. In January I noticed small white worms in my llama's droppings. I talked to my vet and he said they were tape worms and gave me panacur for them. It seemed to do the trick.But I am seeing them again. I know dogs get these from fleas but when I talked to my vet this time he told me that Llamas get a different type of tape worm that has to come from a host. He gave me more panacur and said to give him 10ccs now and 10 more in three weeks. He's been wormed every three months since I got him. He's had ivomec, safeguard, then ivomec again and the panacur in January. Any information on how to take care of this would again be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Again, Vicki 
RE: I would think that the reason you're seeing tapeworms again is that the Panacur is not a 3rd generation de-wormer. So when you gave it in January, it took care of what was present, but perhaps did not take care of all the eggs. Therefore, the eggs have now hatched and you're seeing tapeworms again. When I have used Panacur, I have always been told to use 3 times the cattle dose and to repeat this dose 3 days in a row. This normally does the job. Panacur is needed to take care of the tapeworms, but it is kind of a hassle (and an expense) to give all those doseages.
I also might suggest you look into using Valbazen in your de-worming program. I don't know where you are located and what is needed for your part of the country, but Valbazen (a paste de-wormer) is a 3rd generation de-wormer and gets the eggs, larvae, and the adults. I have used it for quite a few years now with great success and still use it alternating with Dectomax. (and Panacur very occasionally) Dectomax is the same as Ivomec (and about the same price) but vets say it lasts just a little longer (therefore making it a little cheaper since you don't have to use it quite as often) and that it does not burn as much at the time of injection.
QUESTION: I am wondering if there is an easy way to teach llamas to get in and out of a trailer. Three of our llamas jump right in with no problem but the other three want nothing to do with the trailer! We've tried everything we can think of and it's still a major battle to get them in. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.Wendy
RE: One good easy suggestion is to park your trailer out in the pasture with the doors left open and put hay inside. They will eventually go into the trailer on their own to indulge in the hay and will realize that there is nothing frightful about the trailer. Other than that, just working with them more often on loading into the trailer will eliminate their fear. Just slowly encourage them to step forward towards the open door and give rewards for each movement in the right direction. With a little patience and working with them often for awhile, it really shouldn't take much to get them used to loading in a trailer. It's alot easier than a horse.
QUESTION: Hi. I have a llama that's 10 months old. I have a problem with him rearing up and running into me occasionally. He has been neutered but that hasn't seemed to help any. Any info you could give me would greatly be appreciated. Thank You, Vicki
RE: You have recognized a possible very serious problem with your young male as it sounds as if he is showing some very aggressive behavior signs. You've had him gelded which is a good step in the right direction. I suggest you follow through with strict discipline when he demonstrates this type of behavior. He must learn to respect your space! Some people will recommend a water gun, some of the high powered kinds, right in the face. If you're facing him and he starts to jump up, you can bring your knee up immediately and get him in the chest. If he's standing too close to you, wave him back. All this accompanied by a very firm verbal "NO!" should help the situation. Read more on aggressive behavior here.
QUESTION: What is your opinion on feeding pelleted feed to llamas? Before we purchased our original 3 girls it seemed that the concensus among people we talked to was that the pellets could present a choking hazard and that llamas really don't need them as long as they are getting a good quality grass hay. However, this past weekend, I attended a seminar at the vet college at Oregon State and it seemed like I was the only person there NOT feeding pellets to their animals. Are pellets necessary to add needed minerals and protein to a llama's diet? Bill
RE: This certainly is a controversial subject .... I'm not surprised that you've heard various opinions. However, I believe if you ask around to the llama vets, most will recommend that llamas be fed a pelleted supplemental feed in addition to their hay. It adds the proper vitamins and minerals to their diets - like a daily vitamin pill. Some breeders mix their own feed in various formulas, but in order to have the feed be evenly distributed and well mixed, a pellet is the better solution. There is a hazard of choking, but some pellets are now in the form of a crumble or even a very thin, hard pellet which reduces the choke problem. Also feeding in long troughs rather than individual feeding dishes helps the choking considerably since you can spread the feed out thinly which keeps them from taking big gulps of the grain. With this thought in mind, choking is as much a herd management problem as it is a feed problem. Some breeder's feel that hay is all that is necessary to their diet, but cost may be a factor here also. A llama supplemental pellet may not be an absolute necessity to a llama's diet, but it is thought to be helpful to proper nutrition.
QUESTION: This weekend, we trimmed our new llamas toenails and found that some of their toenails were overgrown and twisted. On a couple of their toes, the tip of the toe has started to twist. If we keep their toe nails trimmed will the toes eventually straighten out? Wendy
RE:When the nails are allowed to get extremely long and curl or twist, it is hard to trim them back to the point that they're straight again. Try trimming a little more often and each time you may be able to get a little more of "the twist" out.
QUESTION: Hi. I recently found your web page and love it. Thank you for all of the helpful info! My question is, is it safe to keep a gelded male with open females? We currently have 4 female llamas (ranging from 3 yrs to 10 yrs old) and are purchasing 2 more. The new additions are a female and her gelded half brother. We have been told in the past by some people that this is not safe because some gelded males will occasionally try to breed the females. Others have told us that this is not a problem. What is your opinion? This male is now 3 1/2 yrs old and was gelded at 1 yr old. Thanks, Wendy

RE: In the majority of cases, I would say it is quite safe to keep a gelding in with your females. Especially since he was gelded at one year of age before he was accustomed to breeding, and also since it's been two years since the gelding took place. I think you'll find your new gelding to be a very nice companion to your females and he will watch over them and their crias. I've always had geldings in with my females and have never had a problem. Now if you have a male that has been used for breeding for awhile and he is suddenly gelded, his behavior and desires may not change for quite awhile and he will probably be pesty to the females.
QUESTION: Hi. Two new llamas we have purchased have not had any attention paid to their wool in some time. They are both matted practically to the skin in some places. What would you suggest we do when we shear them this spring? I know sunburn can be a problem so we don't want to shear them any shorter than necessary. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Wendy
RE: Poor things. You should probably just give them a complete body shear leaving about 1/4 inch of wool. If you do this early in the spring, and leave some little wool on them, they probably won't have a problem with sunburn. It's when electic clippers are used and they are taken right down to the skin that they can have sunburn - sometimes pretty bad too. Can you imagine how wonderful they'll feel to get all that matted and felted wool off of their bodies? And their skin will be able to breathe again!
QUESTION: Greetings. I just have a quick question? Can I use saw-dust or wood-chips shaving in my barn stall for my llamas's bedding instead of straw? Best regards, Joan
RE: Sawdust or wood chips can easily be used for bedding for llamas instead of straw, it won't hurst them at all, but it is not usually recommended due to the fact that it gets into their fleece so badly. Once they roll in it, it is very hard to brush out. Actually to have the llama roll in those chips is a groomer's worst nightmare. Next to a cockle burr bush, that is. Better stick to the straw.
QUESTION: Hi, I just recently bought a male llama, 1 year old. This is my first llama. I have 9 goats in the pasture also. My question is this: I see the Llama is biting his body, he'll stretch his neck way back to his hind leg area and seem to 'bite'. Does this mean he has lice or something? Also, he doesn't ever go in the barn. We put him in there once or twice, and he always came right back out, and now just goes over to the door and looks in but will not go in on his own. Is it o.k for him to be out in the rain, and cold weather? The door of our shed is always open. It is only 16x16, so he sees right in there, and it is just a big open area. We had him in a stall in there for the first few days when we got him, but when we opened the stall, and it was a BIG stall....he went outside, never to go back in. My concern is that he isn't getting water. The water buckets are kept in the shed. We do have trenches that rain gathers in, and I have put a bucket over where he is laying down, but he doesn't seem to drink it. I am worried that he isn't getting enough water in his system. I am wondering if I should get him and put him in the barn and keep him in the stall and feed him in there since it is starting to get quite cold. Sue 
RE: Just noticing your llama bite at himself occasionally doesn't necessarily mean he has lice or mites .... he might just have an itch. You might check the area and see if you notice anything. Also, if he hasn't been dewormed recently, you might deworm him with Ivermectin which will also get rid of most mites or lice (the biting kind). Your llama will get used to your barn and go inside when he desires in his own time. Keep the door of your shed always open and it will be his choice whether he wants to stay outside in the rain and cold. Llamas do enjoy the cooler weather. The cold is better for them than the heat of the summer. In the summer he will probably go in the shed for shade and it would be very helpful for him to have a fan running in there on really hot, humid days - llamas can easily suffer from heat stress. Just leave the water bucket in the shed - he'll find it. He's probably drinking more than you know. You can also leave his feed in the shed just to get him used to "his new home".
QUESTION: Hi, I have a new llama and was told he was an "Apaloosa Llama". He is white/cream colored with lots of brown freckles on him. Is this a very common type of Llama? I live in Canada, and the guy I bought him from said there are not very many apaloosa's around. Just wondering if this is true or not. He has an exotic farm and has some very loveable friendly Llama's out there. He told me that his Llama's don't spit , and this one has never spit yet, and we have had to pull and push at him to get him into the barn, and I would think if he was ever to spit, then that would of been the time! ha ha. How popular do you think Apaloosa Llama's are? Sue - just curious : )
RE: Hi, I have a new llama and was told he was an "Apaloosa Llama". He is white/cream colored with lots of brown freckles on him. Is this a very common type of Llama? I live in Canada, and the guy I bought him from said there are not very many apaloosa's around. Just wondering if this is true or not. He has an exotic farm and has some very loveable friendly Llama's out there. He told me that his Llama's don't spit , and this one has never spit yet, and we have had to pull and push at him to get him into the barn, and I would think if he was ever to spit, then that would of been the time! ha ha. How popular do you think Apaloosa Llama's are? Sue - just curious : )
QUESTION: Is it true if you have only one llama it will greive itself to death? Thanks in advance for your reply. Wendell
RE: I'm not sure a llama will grieve itself to death, but it certainly won't be very happy or contented. Llamas are herd animals and really do require some kind of companion, preferably another llama. But there are quite a few llamas that are kept with goats, sheep, or other livestock for companions and they do just fine. A single llama will also bond with a herd of sheep or goats and act as their guardians. Some make very good guard animals against coyotes and dogs and take full charge of the herd and the young ones.
QUESTION: I have a young ( about 7 months) female llama, several weeks ago I noticed that the tips of her ears were "crimped" looking. When I felt them the tips of her ears felt hard and leathery---though there was no hair loss. Today I thought her ear had been bitten off....but on closer examination the tissue has died and literally fallen off. The opposite ear appears that it will do the same. It almost looks like it could have been frost bite....but unfortunatley here in central Texas it is still HOT! What in the world c ould this be? Any ideas? Thank you, Capra P.S. Thanks for the GREAT website.
RE: Frostbite would be my first thought also. Although it is still hot there now, what were the conditions when she was born - you said she is about seven months old? Was she born on your farm? The tissue on the tips of the ears could easily have been affected at that time, but the body is just discarding the injured tissues now.
RE: Hi, Thank you so much for your reply. Everyone in the llama world has been so friendly and kind and helpful Thank you for taking your time to give me input... I was sent some information from our llama association and you were exactly right. The llama was born in February and she must have gotten the frost bite then and then the tissue is just now coming off. The article described the condition to a "T". I was glad to know it wasn't a dreadful flesh eating bacteria or something!!!! Again thank you!!!!!!!!!!! Capra
QUESTION: I have a 6 year old female Llama who recently lost her cria to anemia. I am afraid that the mother has become anemic. Under her eyelids are very white, just as the baby had. Fortunatly she hasn't lost her appitite. I wormed her on Sunday and am feeding her an "all Stock" feed and she has alfalfa hay available to her. What else can I do to prevent her from dying like the baby did? Thank-you. Please if you have any suggestions, let me know I am at a loss on what to do. I have talked to my vet. We live in a very small town and Llama's aren't very common, so the vet didn't really know what to tell me. I am giving her some Iron supplement, but would like to know if I can be doing more. Jennie
RE: I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your cria - it's always so sad. Is the Mom on the thin side? If you're sure that she has been properly de-wormed and parasites aren't compromising her, I would just concentrate on her food intake. Perhaps you should switch her to a Llama Feed of some sort instead of an "all stock" feed as the llama feed will have more of the nutrients and minerals that llamas need in this country. Feeding about a pound a day of the llama feed, you could also add a half cup of calf manna to it. Also offer a free choice trace mineral mix formulated for llamas. Alfalfa hay is OK for awhile, but generally it is too rich for llamas. They really like alfalfa, but it tends to put alot of unwanted weight on them and also can cause urine scald. A good quality grass hay is all they really need. When I have had a Mom kinda run down, I have added about a tablespoon of Lixotinic to the llama feed each day. This is a high iron supplement and seems to help - however it is kind of expensive.
QUESTION: Hi. Thanks for this websight! I would like to know any information on leptospirosis. Have heard that our area in New Jersey, should have vaccinations. Can you tell me what lepto is, and what is the vaccine? We contacted our vet, and he was unsure about the subject. Thanks, Jon
RE: See Leptospirosis
QUESTION: I have a three yr. old llama & during feeding tonight I was petting him & noticed a large baseball size lump by his jaw neck area..I am very concerned could it be a cyst?? Lisa 
RE: Yes, you're right, the lump could possibly be a cyst. Or it could possibly be a problem with a tooth. Or it could possibly be an abcess due to even something as small as getting poked with a piece of hay. Or, lastly, I'm thinking it could possibly be that your llama is just holding his cud on the side of his mouth for a "midnight snack". Perhaps the next time you check, the lump will not be there. If the lump still remains, it would be adviseable to have your vet check it out.
RE: Thank you for responding to my email, I called my vet it sounds like a abcess. It is bigger today, was crusted. I put his halter on & got a good look it looks like the skin is real thin & starting to bleed. I guess thats a good thing ..... I just am scared, he's my best llama I don't want anything to happen to him. A week ago we trailered him to my work for an event. I didn't notice it then I have been beating myself up because I haven't noticed until last night. I am going to hot pack him tomorrow.
RE: An abcess can be a fairly common happening and can result just from a poke in the mouth or jaw with a twig or even a piece of hay. They do get sore and look awful when they burst, but at least the pressure is removed then. It'll seem a little slow to heal as they heal from the inside out. You can't blame yourself - there has to be a first time when you notice anything. It may have not been too visible before now. He'll be just fine and he'll appreciate you taking care of him. Did your vet recommend that you put anything on it?
QUESTION: Hi there. Glad I found someone to ask this question to. How compatible are llamas and horses? I've heard that the horse may have to get used to the llama, but will I eventually be able to put them in the pasture together and does it matter if there are more horses than llamas or vice versa? Oh and one more thing, will a male llama try to breed a female horse? Thanks for the advice. Elaine
RE: Llamas and horses would be quite compatible together after an introduction period. It wouldn't be just the horse that had to get used to the llama - it'd be a two-way situation. However, most farms that I'm familiar with that have both animals do not keep them together just for the sake of safety for the llamas. The horse is so much stronger than the llamas, that even a playful kick could be quite dangerous to the llama. I doubt very much if you would see any breeding occur between the two species - llamas lay down to breed.

For more llama discussions ....
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The information given here is not intended to be a substitute for qualified
professional advice from your own veterinarian.  The first advice is to
 always "call your vet".  Also, keep in mind that procedures vary according to
 different parts of the country and the specific needs of your animals. And different
 llama and alpaca owners have a variety of opinions ... what works best for them.

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