(what to give your alpaca when they're sick)
I'm a great believer in preventive maintenance - so part 1 is really to do with the things we do (above basic feeding) to stop our alpacas getting sick in the firast place.
When to worm...
We don't worm according to a schedule. We keep an eye on how our animals are looking - their body condition score, and their poos (yes - we study alpaca poo!). If they're getting too thin, or their poo looks different to usual, then it could be a sign of worms. Sometimes, if it's been a while since we wormed the mob, we'll decide to worm regardless. But usually we'll use the services of our local veterinarians to do a faecal egg count (you can do it yourself - but that means buying a microscope & FEC kit, then trying to work out whether that dot on the slide is an egg or a piece of detritis. I never did spot one...).
If you collect a mixture of fresh poo pellets from across the paddock and tell the vet you want a 'spread'. The lab will then take a bit from each poo, which will give you an average across the paddock. Cheaper than a test per alpaca.
Deciphering your laboratory worm parasitology test
Always ask your vet to send you any laboratory test results. It's useful to record them, and to see what is reported on the.
Generally, there are two types of worms checked for - Strongyle & Nematodirus. There is a third type - coccidia. You have to ask for this to be checked for if you need it.
Work in progress