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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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My llama cannot get up. He cannot lift his head. What should

Customer Question

My llama cannot get up. He cannot lift his head. What should i do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Steve replied 3 years ago.

Dr Steve :

HI,I'm Dr Steve. Have you had a vet look at your llama yet?

Customer :

No

Dr Steve :

One of the more common causes of symptooms like this is Meningeal worm . THis is a parasite that gets into the brain of llamas and causes enough brain injury and possibly damage to make them show ths symptoms your llama is showing. If yu dewormed him after he showed the symptoms, you still have to treat aggressively to reduce the swelling in thh brain that is caused by the meningeal worm. Sometimes this medicine is needed to be given in the vein to get to the brain faster and make the healing more likely to be complete.

Customer :

What medicine is given for this?

Dr Steve :

Meningeal worm can be treated, but the soner the treatment is started the better the chances of a complete cure. That is why it is important to have a vet treat and examine to see what medicines will be the most beneficial.

Customer :

We have a call into the vet and waiting for him to return our call.

Dr Steve :

I have treated llamas with meningeal worm with dexamethasone for the swelling and some people have used flunixamine. Dexamethasone is typically better for brain injuries.

Dr Steve :

Diid you just find him this way this morning?

Customer :

No, he has not been getting up for several days. My husband spoke to the Vet and they gave him the worm medicne to give to him and he has been getting that for 3 days.

Customer :

the medicine was mixed in with his feed.

Dr Steve :

As I mentioned the worming may kill the worm , but it doesn't help with the swelling and damage that the worm has caused. If your vet isn't able to come out to treat him you may consider calling another vet that is available to come out and give the medicines that are necessary.

Customer :

We have had several days of extreme heat and he had not be shorn/ <My husband cooled him down with water and then he clipped him to keep him cooler. Could heat also be a factor in this. My husband is calling the vet again at this time.

Dr Steve :

Unfortunately in some llamas with meningeal worm . the damage to the brain is too much and they don't get better. The only way to know if this is the case with your llama is to treat as aggressively as possible and see if he gets better. I wish there were something you could do at home, but this is really a situation that a vet needs to come out and examine him. There is no quick test for meningeal worm , but whenever a llama exhibits this type of symptoms it indicates a likely injury to the brain and the treatments are very similar . the idea is to reduce swelling in the brain whether it is caused by worm or in injury or heat stroke.

Customer :

thank you we will continue to get in touch with the vet.

Dr Steve :

Heat can make a llama stressed to the point that their immune system isn't keeping them protected from other things that normally wouldn't affect them if they weren't stressed. This could allow a meningeal worm to cause the problems that you are seeing. Heat can also cause swelling in the brain and can cause these symptoms. I hope this has helped. If it has would you please click the accept button so I may receive credit for my answer. Thanbk you and good luck. If you have mroe questions,please ocntinue.

Dr Steve :

I will check in later to see if you have more questions.

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Dr Steve
Dr Steve
Large Animal Vet
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20 years of mixed animal practice experience