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see West Melton

Alpaca Articles

Nic and Linda keep up-to-date with the latest in alpaca information, by reading widely, being a member of the New Zealand, Australian, British and American alpaca associations, and attending conferences worldwide.

They share this knowledge with others through holding industry training days and workshops, writing articles for industry magazines in New Zealand, Australia, UK, and USA and also through articles on this website and other websites.

Click here for more articles  


my eyeHi.  Me again, Nutmeg, from  Southern Alpacas Stud.

Linda noticed I just wasn't my usual self, which is often all we alpacas show. As you can see, I had a sore eye.  Linda rushed off to the first aid supplies and came back with saline solution and eye ointment. That  would have been fine for most alpaca eyes, but Linda soon realised mine was special - she called the vet, who  phoned an eye surgeon for advice ! 

So have your first aid supplies, but do know when to call the vet. 

Phone 0800-ALPACA 
 for advice and help.
  Whether you have a large farm, or just a few animals, it is important to have some basic first aid/medical supplies on hand.

Items marked with a + would be considered more important for the basic vet cupboard.

The larger farms with numerous animals should carry the lot below and maybe some more, and the farm owners should get some training and hands on experience in the key areas of birthing and basic surgery.  Select according to your competence/desire to be involved.

The main thing to remember is that you are not a vet. Your job, in an emergency, is to keep things stable until the vet arrives.

Remember the vet is trained to intervene, you are not. 









































Nutmeg's surgery

  Sheet cotton or quilt wrap   4
+Roll cotton, 0.5kg roll   1
  Vet wrap 5cm    4
+Vet wrap  10 cm   4
  Gauze roll stretch type 5cm    4
+Gauze roll stretch type 10cm   4
+Gauze pads  100
  Bandaging Tape Elastikon 10cm   2
  Bandaging Tape White tape 5cm   2
+Bandaging Tape White tape 10cm   1
  Telfa pads 10cm   4
  Telfa pads 15cm   4

Topical Antiseptics 
+Nitrofurazone ointment   1
  Chlorsig eye ointment 
  Orbiton eye ointment   1
+Betadine ointment  or udder cream  1

Cleansing Antiseptics 
+Betadine or Biocil solution (2 ltr)   1
  Alcohol (Isopropyl  -- 2 ltr)   1
+Hydrogen peroxide (2 ltr)   1
+Household disinfectant (2 ltr)   1
+Salt - for saline solutions

Inoculations etc
+Syringes  (various sizes)   10
+Needles (18 gauge, 1/2 or 5/8 inch)   10
+5 in 1 (without selenium)  1
+Duoject B 1
+ADE supplement (injectable)   1
     Hideject for adults, VETADE for cria
+Antibiotic (Bivatop as a general one)   1
  Receptal (10mls)   1
  Dectomax injectable
  Lotagen   4% solution 500 mls
+Sun filter (zinc based)  1


+Scales (household, and digital)  1
  Oxygen bottle or Abu-Bag  1
  18cm  bandage scissors   1
  Catheter tip syringe (60ml)   2 +
  Red Rubber feeding tube (10 or 12 French)   1
+ Rubber surgical gloves   long and shortl
+Clean bucket   1
+Digital thermometer   1
   Long pipette  (50cm)   1

Supplements and Treatments
 EHE   1 ltr 
 Tetonic or Collovet Appetiser   50 mls
 Epsom Salts   1
 DCP powder
 Scourban   1 ltr
 Kettol    2 ltr
 Calf Aid electrolytes

Professional items
 Stethoscope   1
 Stomach tube   1
 Speculum and torch   1

Birthing Equipment
Bottle of water-based, sterile, lubrication
Gloves, both short and full arm length
Iodine preferably at least 2.5% solution, liquid, or a spray bottle
Vet wrap to wrap the dam's tail out of the way
Umbilical cord clamp - or clothes peg
Pocket knife
Old towels if the cria needs to be rubbed dry and  warm
Scales bathroom ones, or hanging cria scales
Cria coat

Cria Feeding
Plastic bottle small soft drink 500ml size with screw thread
Lamb teats
with a flutter valve - the air hole with ball bearing in it
Anlamb - best substitute milk
Glucose - for extra energy and sugar
Measuring jars to shake and make up milk
Funnel and strainer (ensure no lumps)
Bottle brush, bowl, disinfectant solution like Virkon to keep things sterile
ColoZen or similar colostrum substitute in fridge
Colostrum frozen in freezer
in small quantities like ice cube tray
Cut-down syringe to milk the dam
Electrolyte solutions - for hydration

Surgery Set-up
Restraining equipment like a shearing table
Small table for vet equipment
Pot of hot water to sterilise instruments
Ceiling hook to hang drip bag from
Buckets - for hot water, cleaning cloths, rubbish
Clean towels, clothes pegs to keep fibre out of the way
Recovery area - soft, clean, warm
- see the set-up in Caesarian Birth page

Note that some of the drugs above are vet-administered medicines, and your vet may not be comfortable with you having them on site for administration yourself.  Please discuss this with your vet.


medical books Medical Reference Books

Medicine and Surgery of  South American Camelids
Murray Fowler     Iowa State University Press

First Aid for Llamas and Alpacas 
Murray Fowler and Audrey Fowler   Clay Press, California


Updated January 2009

Nic Cooper and Linda Blake
Main West Coast Road, West Melton, RD1, Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone 0064 3 318-1917 | fax 0064 3 318-1927 | email alpacasnz@xtra.co.nz