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  • Author or Editor: Christopher K. Cebra x
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Objective—To evaluate camelids with hypertriglyceridemia with regard to signalment, clinical features of disease, and response to treatment with insulin.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—23 alpacas and 8 llamas with hypertriglyceridemia.

Procedures—For analysis of medical record data, 20 hypertriglyceridemic camelids with multiple recorded measurements of serum or plasma triglycerides concentration were classified as follows: those with an initial triglycerides concentration > 60 to ≥ 500 mg/dL that were or were not treated with insulin (HT-I and HT-N camelids, respectively) and those with an initial triglycerides concentration > 500 mg/dL that were treated with insulin (lipemic [LIP-I] camelids). Only 1 recorded triglycerides concentration was available for an additional 11 hypertriglyceridemic camelids; data from those records were included in the characterization of signalment and clinical features of disease.

Results—Compared with the general population of hospitalized camelids, hypertriglyceridemic camelids did not differ significantly with respect to age or sex. Of 22 female camelids, only 7 were lactating or pregnant. Serum or plasma triglycerides concentrations in HT-N and HT-I camelids did not differ significantly at admission, but triglycerides concentrations in HT-I camelids decreased significantly after insulin treatment. Posttreatment triglycerides concentrations in HT-I camelids were significantly lower than those in HT-N camelids. During the period of hospitalization, triglycerides concentrations in HT-N camelids increased, whereas those in LIP-I camelids decreased significantly.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that hypertriglyceridemia affects llamas and alpacas of all ages and both sexes. Insulin treatment may reduce serum or plasma triglycerides concentrations in camelids with hypertriglyceridemia.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To describe a technique for abdominocentesis in camelids and report peritoneal fluid biochemical and cytologic findings from healthy llamas and alpacas.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—17 adult llamas and 5 adult alpacas.

Procedures—Right paracostal abdominocentesis was performed. Peritoneal fluid was collected by gravity flow into tubes containing potassium-EDTA for cell count and cytologic evaluation and lithium heparin for biochemical analysis. Blood samples were collected via jugular venipuncture into heparinized tubes at the same time. Cytologic components were quantified. Fluid pH and concentrations of total carbon dioxide, sodium, potassium, chloride, lactate, and glucose were compared between peritoneal fluid and venous blood.

Results—All but 3 camelids had peritoneal fluid cell counts of < 3,000 nucleated cells/μL, with < 2,000 neutrophils/μL and < 1,040 large mononuclear cells/μL. All but 1 had peritoneal fluid protein concentrations of ≥ 2.5 g/dL. Peritoneal fluid of camelids generally contained slightly less glucose, lactate, and sodium and roughly equal concentrations of potassium and chloride as venous blood.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Peritoneal fluid was collected safely from healthy camelids. Compared with blood, peritoneal fluid usually had a low cell count and protein concentration, but some individuals had higher values. Electrolyte concentrations resembled those found in blood. High cell counts and protein concentrations found in peritoneal fluid of some healthy camelids may overlap with values found in diseased camelids, complicating interpretation of peritoneal fluid values.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association