Livestock Blog

Skin Problems in Alpacas


By Mike Safley

I remember slowly bending over and grasping the front leg of a 6-month-old white alpaca: It was 1994 and I was trimming toenails. An immediate feeling of panic leapt into my chest as I discovered a bloody puss between her toes: Could this be foot and mouth disease, I naively wondered? I immediately called my vet, Dr Jerilynn Booher, and we pondered the problem. The female in question also had infected ears, hair loss, and small, puss-infused pimples on her nose. (It was not foot and mouth disease.)

I made a trip to Peru shortly after my discovery of the puss-infected toes and as I was browsing through the used book section in a small bookstore off the main square in Arequipa, I found a slim, dog-eared volume on Andean livestock husbandry: Instituto Veterinario de Investigaciones Tropicales Y De Altura (Ivita), edited by Dr. Manuel Moro S. and Dr. Saul Fernández Baca, and published in 1966.  I opened the book to a page that contained the photograph seen below (Ex. A), which pictured a more advanced condition of what I had discovered on my female.


Alpaca with skin problems


Find out more about treatment for your alpacas with skin problems. This alpaca article is written by Mike Safley, the owner and Northwest Alpacas farm. Northwest Alpacas Ranch has been breeding elite alpacas for more than fifteen years. Our farm is home to more than three hundred suri and huacaya alpacas.

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