Alternative Medicine for Camelids (Llama, Alpaca, Vicuña, Guanaco)

Camelids incl. Llama, Alpaca, Vicuña, Guanaco

The llama and its relatives (alpaca, vicuña and guanaco) are generally peaceful creatures and amenable to gentle handling. The keeping of llamas and alpacas (the wild forms are vicuñas and guanacos) has markedly increased in the UK, over the last twenty years. There is a relatively lucrative market for young females and wool opportunities are expanding. Happily, these gentle creatures* seem more or less trouble-free to keep, even on relatively small acreage, with certain provisos. Feeding should not be too high energy. There may be an increased Vitamin D requirement (presumably due the non-native environment). Zinc supplementation may also be necessary.

Llamas and others are responsive to homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs (herbal medicine), chiropractic manipulation and other natural therapies.

The skin disease, that is relatively prevalent, can be very refractory to treatment. We are still researching consistent natural treatments for this condition.

When we see a llama or any of its relatives, we look closely at previous veterinary history and results of any tests or investigations. We take an extensive history, enquire into diet and lifestyle, ask about management of the grazing and environment, examine the patient closely and select appropriate therapy, whether homeopathic, herbal, acupuncture, chiropractic or other therapy. It may even be an integrated combination of these. We also advise on future management for health, to boost our chances of a successful outcome.

While offering an approach alternative to conventional options, the use of homeopathy, acupuncture and other alternative therapies does not rule out the need for a proper examination and assessment of each individual patient, necessary diagnostic tests, appropriate measures to repair injury and a study of natural lifestyle and diet (special for each species or type), in order to be able to speed recovery. We have enjoyed a good measure of success through this methodology, seeing, as in other species, recoveries from diseases which are usually associated with a poor prognosis in conventional terms and wisdom.

*Hand-rearing of male crias can lead to ‘berserk male syndrome' – for human health and safety, these animals can no longer be placed in the ‘gentle' category.

  • Have you ever been told that your animal is now untreatable?
  • Are you concerned about the safety of modern drugs for your animal?
  • Do you know what is in the foods or supplements you are using?
  • Are you confused by manufacturers' claims?

There may be another way …. Holistic methodology may provide some of the answers you are seeking.

See also:

Camelid Topics
Nutrition & Natural Feeding
Hoof Care
Case Histories
Camelid Diseases
Pasture Management
Preventive Medicine
Notifiable Diseases


Many of these conditions have been seen and treated by the AVMC:

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

Click on any condition for more information. Send a request if a disease is not shown or is not yet covered. N.B. Some of these links are in preparation.

If asked to treat a camelid animal, while the only promises that can be made are that we will always concentrate and put in maximum effort on the animal’s behalf, and strive for excellence in the application of natural medicine techniques, we are able to report an encouraging level of success in such species, in a wide variety of medical problems. A great many creatures have surprised us with their ability to defy prognosis and recover. Follow a full holistic program and rely on the animal’s innate healing ability.

Main Treatments offered (see Therapies):

  • Homeopathic treatment
  • Acupuncture treatment
  • Herbal treatment (Phytotherapy)
  • Aromatherapy treatment
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Nutritional advice – Feeding advice
  • LASER treatment
  • Ultrasound treatment
  • Back manipulation – Back treatment
  • Bach Flowers
  • Holistic medicine – Holistic veterinary medicine
  • Flower Essences
  • Tissue Salts
  • Holistic therapy – Holistic treatment – Holistic care
  • Holistic advice
  • Integrated medicine
  • Natural medicine – Alternative medicine – complimentary medicine
  • CAM – CAVM
  • Natural Feeding – Natural Diet

These approaches represent a philosophy that is alternative to the current conventional norm but the use of alternative therapies does not do away with the need for a thorough examination and assessment. Nor does it preclude the use of modern diagnostic techniques where necessary. A holistic vet will take into account all these things, in addition to closely scrutinizing lifestyle, grazing, diet, environment etc.