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Dr Steve
Dr Steve, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of mixed animal practice experience
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Aged, female llama found laying on her side, very weak. Got

Customer Question

Aged, female llama found laying on her side, very weak. Got her on her sternum then rehydrated. Llama is alert, drinking and eating well but when trying to get up she is too weak. Stool is normal. Attempts to rise are unsuccessful.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Steve replied 5 years ago.

Dr Steve :

Hi, I'm Dr Steve.

Dr Steve :

Hi, I'm Dr Steve. She is showing vague symptoms and there can be a few possibilities that culd be causing her problem. SHe could be weak from not eating and may need quick energy, SHe may have internal organ problems like liver or kidney failure which becomes more common as llamas age. Another pssibility is meningeal worm. THis is a parasite that gets into the brain and can cause diffculty walking or inability to get up. THe severity of a meningeal worm infection is related to where in the brain the worm is and how much brain damage it has caused.

Dr Steve :

Since this has been going on for 3 days and not getting better, it would be best if you called a vet . He can take blood samples to check for internal organ function, give IV fluids and energy if necessary and IV medicine to help reduce the swelling in the brain caused by meningeal worm. THereis no easy accurate tst for meningela worm, so when I suspect it , I treat the symptoms and see how the llama responds.

Dr Steve :

THe longer a llama is unable to get up the worse the prognosis becomees. Your vet can help determine which of the things I mentioned is actually going on with your llama and can then discuss prognosis and start treatment to get her back on her feet.

Dr Steve :

I hope this has helped. If it has would youplease click the accept button so I may receive credit for my answer. Thnak you and good luck. I will check later to see if you have more questions.


I have included 18 cc Valbazen and 4 cc of Flunixin to treat her symptoms. Her estimated weight is between 450 to 500 lbs. She seems to be healthy other than unable to rise and stand. She is eating well today. Thank you for your help.

Dr Steve :

You are addressing the possibility of parasitees (meningeal worm) and the inflammation in the brain with the flunixin. I have used dexamethasone as an antiinflammatory medicine because it seems to work better in brain tissue than flunixin. You should visit with a vet about using this in your llama. Depending on which part of the brain a meningeal worm is damaging I have had llamas vary from seeming pretty normal to being very sick when infected with menineal worm. Hopefully each day she will do a little better. If you have more questions, please reply. If this has helped, please click the accept button . Thank you

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Update: someone left a gate open. I found the llama on her feet, loose in the pasture and I can't catch her. I think she's feeling a lot better.

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