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  • Author or Editor: Murray E. Fowler x
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Summary

Blood samples were collected from 25 neonatal llamas before suckling and at 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hours of age. Nine tests for determining serum immunoglobulin concentrations were performed on each sample, to compare within-test variation and correlations among tests. The single radial immunodiffusion assay was the only quantitative test and therefore, was judged the most accurate test for determining the status of passive transfer of immunoglobulins in neonatal llamas. Measurement of globulin concentration and total serum protein, and the sodium sulfite precipitation test were accurate when compared with radial immunodiffusion assay results. Measurements of total serum solids by use of a hand-held refractometer and of albumin concentration, and the zinc sulfate turbidity and 10% glutaraldehyde coagulation tests were not reliable for detecting failure of passive transfer in neonatal llamas. Ten of 25 neonatal llamas were suspected of having partial to complete failure of passive transfer on the basis of results of the single radial immunodiffusion assay. The other tests used in this study identified between 4 and 7 of these 10 llamas at 24 hours of age. On follow-up communication 4 to 6 months after the last blood sample collection, none of the 25 llamas were identified as having been clinically ill or had received any treatments for illness associated with low immunoglobulin concentrations.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

The placenta of llamas is epitheliochorial, with patchy areas of dense folded papillation serving as the placentome. The amnion of the full-term placenta is closely adhered to either the allantois or the chorion and remains with these structures at the time of parturition.

Llamas and alpacas, like dromedaries, have an extra fetal membrane that is derived from the epidermis of the fetus. In association with the watery amniotic fluid of llamas, the epidermal membrane is slippery, facilitating delivery of the fetus.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Coccidioidomycosis was diagnosed in 19 llamas (California, 9; Arizona, 10). All but 1 had a disseminated form, with pyogranulomas principally in the lungs, thoracic lymph nodes, liver, and kidneys. However, lesions were found in tissue specimens from most organ systems. Antemortem diagnosis was based on radiographic evaluation of the lungs, serologic testing, or presence of spherules of Coccidioides immitis in pyogranuloma aspirates, skin scrapings, or biopsy specimens.

Animals residing in endemic areas of southwestern United States are at risk, and llamas appear to be highly susceptible to developing disseminated forms of coccidioidomycosis.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine concentrations of estrone sulfate in serum, estrone sulfate in urine, relaxin in serum, and progesterone in serum in pregnant llamas and alpacas and to assess the potential of these hormones as pregnancy indicators.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

19 parous pregnant camelids (8 llamas and 11 alpacas).

Procedure

Estrone sulfate concentrations (in serum and in urine) and progesterone concentrations (in serum) were determined by enzyme immunoassay. Relaxin concentrations (in serum) were measured by radioimmunoassay. Serum and urine samples were collected daily for the first 30 days after breeding and, thereafter, once weekly until parturition.

Results

Estrone sulfate concentrations (in serum and in urine) peaked twice during pregnancy. The first took place 21 days after breeding and the second during the last month of pregnancy. Relaxin concentrations increased at 3 months of gestation to > 20 ng/ml, decreased at 5 months to 5 ng/ml, then increased from 8 months of pregnancy until parturition. Progesterone concentrations were detectable 4 days after breeding and were maintained > 2 ng/ml throughout pregnancy.

Clinical Implications

The first increase in estrone sulfate concentration over basal values may indicate early interaction between mother and embryo, whereas the second increase may reflect fetal viability. Use of estrone sulfate concentration to diagnose pregnancy in llamas and alpacas is highly dependent on time of sampling. Relaxin concentration in serum is a superior indicator of pregnancy after the second month in the llama and alpaca because its existence is suggestive of interaction between mother and fetus, and concentrations are greater than basal values for a long period of pregnancy. Progesterone is not a direct product of the embryo or fetus and only indirectly confirms a diagnosis of pregnancy. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:2027-2030)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

A Tigon fistula was surgically implanted into the third compartment of the stomach of 5 llamas to allow measurement of gastric pH. The llamas were allotted into 2 groups and given flunixin meglumine or cimetidine hydrochloride for 3 days. After 4 days without treatment, the drugs given to each group were reversed. Measurements of gastric pH were taken every 30 minutes for 6 hours, using an automated pH meter. The pH measurements after drug administration were compared with measurements obtained during a pretreatment control period. Gastric pH during pretreatment control periods had a mean of 1.43 ± 0.063 (mean ± se). The use of flunixin did not significantly decrease gastric pH, compared with pretreatment controls. Gastric pH was significantly higher within the first 30 minutes after administering cimetidine, compared with pretreatment controls, but this difference disappeared at all later times.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objectives

To measure blood selenium concentration and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and serum concentrations of vitamin A and α-tocopherol, and to determine the correlation between blood selenium concentration and GSH-Px activity of llamas fed alfalfa hay.

Design

Mean (± SD) serum vitamin A and α-tocopherol concentrations, blood selenium concentrations, and GSH-Px activity were calculated from 9 sequential blood samples collected from llamas fed a diet of alfalfa hay.

Animals

15 clinically normal llamas (8 males, 7 females) between 10 and 14 months of age.

Procedure

Llamas were fed alfalfa hay for 40 days prior to sample collection and then for the duration of the trial. Vitamin E, selenium, and concentrations of vitamin A precursors were measured in the hay. Blood samples were collected on days 0, 6, 7, 9, 13, 20, 42, 64, and 98. Blood selenium concentrations were measured, using an inductively coupled spectrometric method. Blood GSH-Px activity was measured with a spectrophotometer, using a modification of a previously described assay. Isocratic high-performance liquid chromatography with florescent detection was used to determine serum α-tocopherol and vitamin A concentrations.

Results

The alfalfa hay contained 0.2 mg/kg of selenium, 5 mg/kg of vitamin E, and 0.9 mg/kg of vitamin A precursors. The mean (± SD) blood selenium concentration and GSH-Px activity were 0.179 ± 0.032 pg/ml and 25.76 ± 6.53 mU NADPH oxidized/min/mg of Hb, respectively, with a correlation coefficient of 0.97. The mean (± SD) concentrations for serum α-tocopherol and vitamin A were 128.1 ± 41.7 and 74.8 ± 5.5 μg/dl, respectively.

Conclusions

Blood selenium concentrations in llamas are highly correlated to GSH-Px activity. Blood selenium concentrations in llamas appear to be similar to other domestic ruminants and diets containing 0.2 mg/kg of selenium appear to provide an adequate dietary source. The concentrations of vitamin A precursors and vitamin E in the hay were below currently recommended dietary levels for llamas, and alfalfa hay appears to provide an unreliable source of vitamins A and E in this species. Further studies are required to determine optimal dietary concentrations and to substantiate a reference range for these vitamins in llamas. (Am J Vet Res 1996; 57:689–692)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research