Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Protecting Our Alpacas From Meningeal Worm

Meningeal worms are a parasite that can lead to death in alpacas.  White-tailed deer are their natural host.  White-tailed deer are present in eastern Connecticut therefore our alpacas at Lavender Hill Farm are at risk.  In order to protect our alpacas from the meningeal worm we give them a dose of Ivermectin (Ivomec) each month.  Before we give each alpaca their dose we must know how much they weigh in order to give them the appropriate amount.  We have a large scale that the alpacas walk onto and stand for a moment while we record their weight.  Our alpacas are very cooperative for their weighing.  Based on their weight, we calculate how much Ivermectin will be administered.  Another advantage to weighing the alpacas on a monthly basis is to know exactly how much each alpaca is gaining and to see if any alpacas are losing weight.  If weight loss is noticed we can then pinpoint what might be causing it . 

Peg walking calmly onto the scale.

The Gent at 7 months on the scale.

Mellea standing quietly for her dose of Ivomec.