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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11313
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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We live in Michigan. So we have up and down weather. Been

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we live in Michigan. So we have up and down weather. Been low on hay once in a while give beet pulp and alfafa pellets, till hay comes in usually no longer than 4 days at a time. They are kept in barn thru out the winter. He is 4 years old. He cannot get up and now has taken to laying on his side with legs out. get him back to cushing and later he is on side. with help we try to get him on his legs and walk but he is up for 2 minutes then goes down again.

Update just went to check on him at 1 am and he was down on his side head down in the dirt.  Tried to get him up but to no avail he would not put weight on legs front or back.  Put him on a bail of hay and worked his legs and he did try to fight back a little.  Kept curling his head back or dropping it to the ground.  He did eat, would not drink, left him on bail for 1/2 hour til he dropped himself down.  we put him in cush position and he is still up eating with head up and it is 3 am.  please reply with answer soon I am afraid he might not make it thru the night.  He does have 2 others with him in stall to keep him company but it seems he is giving up.  and he did get his last dose of safeguard while out there.  Don't know if we should continue the safeguard or try something else.  Don't know if it is Mengilial worm or rabies or polio.

btw- U should know that we lost 2 other males from the same symtoms the first lived 8 days with the safeguard treatment and the other just started to show the stiff leg that night and by morning he was dead.  This has all come down in the last 2 weeks, losing one a week.  I have a barn of 13 alpaca, 1 llama, a horse, 2 goats (that are penned in barn away from alpaca) and chickens and ducks (that are free to roam in barn).

Hi. I am online and available to assist you. Thank you for your patience.
You alpaca needs emergency veterinary intervention right now.
Once he is stabilized, or if he dies, then a comprehensive evaluation of the environment needs to be done to see is a source of this issue can be found. If this male dies, I highly recommend a comprehensive necropsy be completed.
Is there anything else you would like to discuss at this point or have all your questions been answered to your satisfaction?
I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.
Thanks in advance,
Dr. Rick MD FACS
I am sorry to see that you have given me a poor rating for the assistance I have provided. Ratings do not apply to system malfunctions...only to the quality of the expert.
I would ask that you give me a chance to provide you with further data so that you have the information you need to address your issue.
I would appreciate a good or excellent rating and will work hard to obtain it if given the chance.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

can u give me something to look for? a likelyhood of what the problem may be? I know you cant make a true statement without assessing the animals yourself but I dont want to lose anymore animals and having them die so suddenly like this without any real warning is heartbreaking as I have mentioned I know of no alpaca vets close to call for treatment. We thought it was menengial worm but how can 3 find slugs that are contanminated and die. When we started proper treatment as soon as unset occurred and they get ivermec.

It has to be something that is spreadable for so many to get it so fast. Polio may be the problem and is treatable with thiamine and b12 but where do I buy these at?

Don't know about the rabies part just a thought. Also could it be fatty liver diease. With just beet pulp at night and grain 2x's a day when they were finished they had nothing to munch til feedings again. I was not told about this problem til 2 days ago or I would have made sure to get hay or cubes to eat thru out.

I am new to the alpaca farming as this is my 2 year but haven't had problems til now.

I am concerned about the prior deaths and the moribound condition of your current male.
My first thought is that it is a toxin, even though not every animal is affected.
Rabies is possible, but if this is the case everyone who comes in contact with animals is at serious risk.....
Even if you don't have a veterinarian who is knowledgeable specifically about alpacas you need expert care NOW to at least rule out things like rabies etc. Also, that vet would be able to arrange a necropsy if the animal dies and check out the liver, look for toxins etc.
As you know you have a very serious situation on your hands and what is needed is expert, on-site veterinary care right now. Online chat is not what you need, nor do you need to continue to try and deal with this issue on your own.
I know you gave me negative feedback for my assistance before and I realize that this was not the answer you were hoping to hear but it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information.
Surely, you prefer that I tell the truth rather than what you wish to hear. Because it reflects very poorly on me unless you press one of the top three faces, keep this in mind when rating my answer and please do not punish me for being honest. I understand that this may not be easy to hear, and I empathize.
It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.
Dr. Rick, MD and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you for your honesty that is what I expect not what I want to hear as that does not help me in finding a problem. i will be calling a vet to help get some answers but thank you.

I wish you the best of luck. I hope that this male survives and you find the source of the problem