Camelid Diseases

Diseases of Camelids

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Here we describe various camelid diseases, with reference to acupuncture, herbal treatment, homeopathic treatment, chiropractic manipulation etc., where appropriate. We invite and accept referrals for complimentary and alternative medicine treatments.

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Camelid Disease List

Back & Neck Problems Berserk Male Syndrome Bluetongue Fatty Liver Disease Foot & Mouth Disease
Mouth Abscess
Pancreatic Necrosis Poor Condition Skin Disease Stress Tooth Problems

BACK & NECK PROBLEMS

What is it?

Back problems can be extremely disabling. Problems can vary from simple soreness, with sensitivity to pressure, through spinal and pelvic misalignments to a full-blown injury. There may or may not be chronic pathology.

You can recognise back problems by the animal’s reaction to grooming and manual pressure. He may not have a symmetrical hind limb action and his tail may be held to one side. Neck problems can often be recognised through abnormal head movement.

The existence of back problems appears to have been largely ignored or denied by the veterinary profession, over the years. More recently, however, there is greater recognition of the existence of problems.

Is it responsive to treatment?

The conventional response to this disease is to use anti-inflammatory agents. These will sometimes reduce symptoms but will do little to address the cause.

Proper resolution of back problems cannot take place, however, until any spinal or pelvic misalignments are corrected (McTimoney Chiropractic). The Alternative Vet performs chiropractic manipulation work, alongside the healing stimulus of acupuncture, LASER and homeopathy. This integrated approach is usually enough to correct most back problems. Advice is also given on therapeutic and preventive static or dynamic exercise programs.

At the AVMC, we have a special interest in the treatment of back problems.

Back People

There are many ‘back people’ who ply their trade. Animal-qualified chiropractors are examined by the McTimoney Chiropractic Association. These are genuine. Of those without this qualification, some will, of course, also be genuine but caution is advised in using someone without the qualification. Some self-appointed back people are dangerous.

Physiotherapists work on the musculature, which can be very valuable in suitable cases, but most with whom we have had contact do not acknowledge spinal misalignment.

All chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and other manipulators are required, by the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, to work only on the recommendation of a vet and under the supervision of a vet.

Gadgets

Many pieces of equipment are recommended, by salespersons or practitioners, for back problems. Ultra-sound, LASER, Magnet, Faradic and TENS are but a few of these. Before embarking on such programs, which can be expensive quite apart from safety and welfare considerations, please consult your vet, to enquire about suitability or safety for the particular animal. You may need to consult a vet who is experienced in a full range of holistic therapy, to access the necessary expertise to evaluate these tools.


BERSERK MALE SYNDROME

What is it?

‘Berserk male' is a term used to describe a (usually male) llama, alpaca or other camelid that attacks humans and defends its territory against humans. The animal will head butt, crash into you, spit and be generally very aggressive and violent.

How does it occur?

It is thought to occur from incorrect ‘imprinting' of a cria on a human, e.g. when giving bottled milk to an orphan. The animal then thinks of humans as llamas and interacts with people as it would with another llama. When adult, this results in extreme territorial behaviour. When developing in a youngster, it can be seen in abnormal facial contact, chasing feet etc.

Is it curable?

It is generally thought not, so most are euthanised, but there are no records of homeopathic treatment of this condition, that I can find. It may be possible, through using the known mental effects of homeopathic medicines, to effect amelioration or even cure of this distressing and dangerous condition. At the AVMC, we have only one case on record and it has very positive feedback from the ‘owner'. The male in question now only behaves aggressively towards one of his many carers.


BLUETONGUE

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease of ruminants and therefore of cattle, sheep, goats, camelids, buffalo and wild deer. It came to the UK in September 2007, possibly as a result of climate change. It is a viral disease borne by biting midges and appears to have spread from Northern Europe.

Although it is possible that cattle can show no signs of illness, usual signs in cattle are: fever, nasal discharge, swelling of the head and neck, conjunctivitis (runny eyes), swelling and ulceration of the mouth, swollen teats, languidness and drooling of saliva.

Sheep are the most susceptible and can die of the disease.

The disease signs that typify this condition suggest that it should be responsive to homeopathy (homeopathic treatment) and to homeopathic preventive methods (homeoprophylaxis). However, as this is a notifiable disease, if the AVMC were to treat cases we would need specific permission from DEFRA.


FATTY LIVER SYNDROME

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FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE – FMD

 

 

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a notifiable disease and, therefore, the AVMC does not provide treatment or prevention for FMD, unless special dispensation were to be offered by DEFRA. In the 2001 outbreak, the AVMC offered MAFF research, treatment and prevention help, free of charge. This involved telephone calls and faxes on an almost daily basis. All were ignored.

Homeopathy should be able to help in treatment or prevention.

We have a dedicated page for this disease (click), updated December 2007.


MOUTH ABSCESS

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PANCREATIC NECROSIS

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POOR CONDITION

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SKIN DISEASE

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STRESS

Camelids can be very prone to stress. They are generally mild of temperament but this can render them susceptible to adverse influence. Just as in all species, stress at the emotional and psychological level can lead to physical problems. It is important, therefore, to try to minimise stress in their environment.

Should they become stressed, homeopathic medicines have much to offer. Remedies such as Aconitum, Passiflora, Scutellaria, Staphisagria, Gelsemium, Pulsatilla, Ignatia and Argentum nitricum are very valuable, depending upon the circumstances.

Herbal calmatives, such as Hops, Passion Flower, Skullcap and Valerian may each be used, under appropriate conditions of stress.

Bach Flower Rescue Remedy, Vervain and other Flowers can play an important rôle in stress management.

Aromatherapy may also be beneficial, Lavender, for instance, having powerful calmative properties.


TOOTH PROBLEMS

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