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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16262
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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My alpaca was choking on an apple two days ago. We ended up

Customer Question

My alpaca was choking on an apple two days ago. We ended up doing the Heimlich and part of it came out and she was no longer in distress. Yesterday he was fine and today he's a little by himself and has a snotty nose.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Is the discharge from both nostrils or just one? What color?

Any coughing or sneezing?

Any appetite decline?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Looks more like one nostril yellowish color, still eating, but staying to himself a little. Seems tired maybe.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh and no coughing or sneezing that I have witnessed
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Based on his recent history, I do suspect he may have a degree of upper airway irritation and inflammation. As well, if he had this choking episode, it is quite possible that he may have refluxed some material from the airway/throat into the back of his nasal passage (as these are all connected). Or at the very least, the stress of the episode could have induced immune dampening such that an upper airway infection is starting to take root (though usually those will cause nasal discharge from both sides).

Therefore, in this case, I do think it is worth being proactive here. Ideally, we'd want to consider treating with an anti-inflammatory (ie Flunixin, Ketoprofen, Meloxicam, etc) to reduce any inflammation in the airway/throat region. Or at the very least, since he is eating, you could try him on a low dose of aspirin (ie 5-40mg/kg every 12 hours after food) to reduce that. Furthermore, since the nasal discharge is yellow (a sign of bacteria), we'd be best to consider also covering bases to clear any brewing infection. Therefore, you may want to also consider putting Alfalfa on a short course of a broad spectrum antibiotic (ie Oxytetracycline, Penicillin) to settle this as well.

Overall, I am very glad to hear that you were able to get the apple out of his throat. At this stage though, our current signs are likely side effects of that stressful situation. Therefore, we'd want to treat for likely inflammation but also infection if we are seeing snotty discharge at this stage.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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