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LANA NEWS! Llama Association of North America! Spring Edition 2019


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Contents

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Fiesta Days Parade

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Hello LANA members,

Contents

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President’s Message

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LANA Board of Directors

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LANA Business Office

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Grooming Tips

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Hobo Results Correction

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LANA Funded Study - MAF

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As the summer temperatures creep up, we need to be extra diligent to keep our animals cool. Llamas and alpacas should be shorn EVERY year even if they do not produce much fleece. At a minimum, shearing should be performed on their lower abdomen in the areas of their axilla (arm pits) and inguinal areas so that their internal organs will not over heat. In addition, providing plenty of shade and cooling options (sprinklers, wading pools, etc.) are necessary to prevent heat stress. Additional information about preventing heat stress can be found at:

LANA Youth Essay Winner

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LANA Youth Essay Contest

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Shear Profit

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Fiesta Days Parade

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How to Square Your Llama

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Emergency Preparedness

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Camelid Dermatology

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Sponsors

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LANA T-Shirts

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UPCOMING LANA EVENTS

LANA Youth Essay deadline November 1, 2019

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LANA Hobo Show Stanislaus Co. Fairground Turlock, California February 2 - 3, 2020

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https://www.rmla.com/html/-heat_stress.htm https://urbanlivestockvet.com/content/preventing-heatstress-llamas-and-alpacas Also, as we enter fire season again, it is critical that each of us develop an evacuation plan for our families and animals. During the inter-disaster period, owners are responsible for preparing their animals for relocation at a moment’s notice. To be able to do this, the following items should be assembled: halters (with contact information written on each halter), lead ropes, proof of vaccination (and relevant medical records), copies of registration papers (including recent pictures and microchip numbers (if applicable)), first aid kit, animal feed and water for 1-2 days, wire/rope (for temporary fencing) and a fire extinguisher with a shovel (just in case the first gets too close). Additional resources on wildfire preparedness for livestock owners can be found at: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/docs/files/File/ calfire_go_brochure_LINOweb.pdf https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/ Large-Animals-and-Livestock-in-Disasters.aspx https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usdalivestock-preparedness-fact-sheet.pdf Here to wishing you all have an enjoyable and memorable summer with your South American companions, Michelle Kutzler, DVM, PhD LANA President


! LANA Board of Directors

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Michelle Kutzler President michelle.kutzler@oregonstate.edu Kathy Nichols Vice President, Newsletter Editor KathySVA@aol.com

LANA BUSINESS OFFICE Joy Pedroni
 3966 Estate Drive
 Vacaville CA 95688 707.447.5046 LANAquestions@gmail.com Please contact the LANA Business Office for Member Services, Advertisements, Event Calendar updates, and any llama- , alpaca-, or LANA-related questions you may have. Visit LANA at: www.lanainfo.org

Sue Rich Secretary susan.rich9631@gmail.com Joy Pedroni Treasurer, LANA Business Office, Webmaster joy@blackcatllamas.com Jana Kane Director kaneskritters@gmail.com Dolly Peters Director ranchodollyllama@gmail.com Cathy Spalding Advisory Chair cathy@gentlespiritllamas.com

LANA News DISCLAIMER LANA News is published for educational purposes only. The information published herein is solely the opinion of the authors and does not necessarily represent the view of LANA, its Directors or Officers. LANA’s acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement of any products or services whatsoever. Articles, letters, editorials and other contributions are welcome and may be edited for brevity. Inclusion and placement is solely at the discretion of the Editor. Before undertaking any herd work with your animals, you are advised to always consult with your veterinarian. THANK YOU for CONTRIBUTING Thank you to the following for their contribution to this newsletter: Dr. Chris Cebra, Karen Conyngham, Margaret Drew, Caroline Gardner, Jana Kane, Dr. Michelle Kutzler, Aiden Pedroni, Stephanie Pedroni, Sue Rich, Cyndi Rodriguez, and Toni Strassburg

Editor’s Note: It is with much sadness to tell you that we have lost another member of the lama community.. Terry Butzbach of Skansen’s Llamas passed away due to illness. We all wish his loving wife Maria our deepest sympathy, and our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.

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GROOMING TIPS by

Caroline Gardner

A well-groomed llama in the show ring is always an eye catcher. You are not only trying to catch the attention of the judge, but the attention of prospective customers, new llama owners and colleagues.

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A well-groomed animal illuminates itself. Healthy, flowing fiber shows off the overall condition of your llama as well as its physical strengths. It is important to "groom according to fiber type."

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Take some time out to do a conformational analysis on the llamas you are considering for the show ring. It is important to make yourself invisible and your llama stand out. In regards to suri fiber, begin by picking any large debris from the fiber. A "wand" type tool can also be used. Use a blower to "skim" the surface, always pointing the same direction that the fiber grows. Blowing disturbs the fiber the least.

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On suri fiber, I do not recommend use of a grooming paddle or brush to break up the lock structure; however, I do encourage using a soft bristled brush or rubber brush to clean up your llama’s top line if it is in full fleece no matter silky or suri. A judge is not examining top line fiber and to have it clean gives your llama a finished appearance.

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After blowing all dust and visible debris, blow again while spraying in a grooming product like Glide 'n Glow or Miracle Groom. Blow some more to loosen even more debris and open the fiber.

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Again, with regard to suri fiber, working a section at a time, begin pulling each individual lock away from the felted area.

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Pull and pick as you go, section by section. Pull up a bucket to sit on, put on some music, and enjoy a relaxing time with your llama. After you have separated the locks and restored openness and movement to the suri fiber, bathe your llama.

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With regard to all other types of fiber, make sure you have always brushed your llama thoroughly before washing. What I suggest for a deep grooming now and again is to complete it over a series of days. Take a section of your llama at a time and thoroughly groom it, then tackle another section on another day. This makes for a more pleasant grooming experience for your llama, as well, with limited stress on him/her.

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Keep in mind, washing matted fiber does nothing more than felt it as time goes on. To get your llama’s fiber to hang as closely to its body as it can be in order to illuminate your llama’s phenotype for overall eye appeal, grooming is of utmost importance prior to bathing.

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I would recommend using Lock & Luster or Silk 'n Suri Shampoo followed with Lock & Luster Conditioner. There are many nice shampoo products out there, just make sure the shampoo and conditioner you are using does not weight down the fiber or give it an oily appearance.

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At this point, rinse and "squeegee" the excess water out of your llama’s fiber with your hands. At that point, I recommend using the Lock & Luster Leave-In Treatment Spray in full strength, then align the fibers with your finger tips and/or a "rubber textured tool." Gently lift and separate the fiber, restoring the lock definition.

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Put your llama in a clean area, preferably on your favorite stall cover and allow to drip dry. Avoid windy areas, if possible. As your llama dries on that first day, prepare a “diluted” mixture of the LeaveIn Treatment spray and continually spray your llama’s fiber by lifting it using a grooming wand or your hands. The purpose of spraying is to continue to add moisture to the fiber in order to bring out definition with regard to lock structure and to keep your fiber hanging closely to the body.

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After your llama is fully dried, you can use a very soft rubber brush to remove the “crunch” off the top of the fiber and begin using plain water in a spray bottle for the same purposes as above.

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On show day and before your llama enters the ring, finish your llama’s grooming experience by using the Lock & Luster Silk Screen Finishing Spray. Apply a fine mist on the surface of your dry, clean fiber.

Gently work it in with your finger tips or smooth over shorn areas. Rejuvenates locks and adds shine. Dries with no residue. Also, one more tip, don’t ignore your llama’s barrel, give your llama that edge it deserves with a velvety finish on shorn body fiber. I would recommend using Cowboy Magic’s lotion by putting a dime size in your hand and rubbing it over your llama’s shorn body and blend it into the hanging fleece at the shoulder and hip area.

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As a final grooming touch for a show-ring shine and look of a winner, bring out that extra glow to highlight the facial expression of your by apply a grooming ointment for the face. There are many on the market today and can be found at any equine store.

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You are now ready to get out there and shine!

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! ! Using the Blower ! 1. Pick and use wand to knock off large debris. !

2. Blow the fiber until dirt and dust are not seen flying through the air. On the suri-type and suri, hold blower nozzle back a couple of feet.

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3. Spray in a detangler-grooming product (Glide and Groom, Quicker Slicker, etc.) with the blower. You should see more debris flying out. Use a good amount, as it will be washed out later.

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4. Top line blowing or Skim blowing- involves placing the nozzle just resting on the llama's fiber on the top line and working the opposite side of the part while holding down the fiber closest to you, with your arm. By pointing the nozzle's airflow to skim the outer layer of fiber, you're able to aggressively remove the little pieces of debris, without disturbing the fiber. This method is used on all fiber types: Fluffy-double coat; Silky-single coat; Suri type; and Suri.

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5. Use the skimming technique with blower and continue all the way down sides, pointing and skimming with the blower in same direction as fiber (towards the floor for example). Step back a few inches and continue blowing, taking care not to tangle the fiber.

! 6. Blow the topknot and legs closely. ! 7. When you think you are finished, blow some more! ! Questions & Answers ! Q - What is the first thing you do when you begin grooming your llama for the show ring? !

A- Evaluate the fiber. There are different methods for different fiber types, and keep in mind that among those 'types' every single llama has unique fiber. There are no two quite alike.

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Once you've made a decision on what the best possible outcome can be on this particular animal, you should start by using a blower. No matter what the fiber type, I always begin with a blower. And fairly aggressively. As long as you "blow with the fiber" direction you can get in close and accurately. I call this method "topline" blowing.

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Also take into consideration the age of the llama and the condition of the fiber. Are you starting with mats? Are they mats on suri-type? Mats on a five year old, double-coated llama? No mats? Just a messy single coated llama? Some fiber takes to grooming (use of grooming paddle) and after being washed with the correct shampoo, will regain its wave, curl or lock structure. If the fiber is old and with dead ends, it has less of a chance to "come back."

! In those cases (when shearing is not an option), I will not groom them out but pick instead. ! ! ! editor’s note: This article is from a LANA Expo notebook. Products mentioned in this article may no longer be available. 8

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HOBO Show Correction My sincerest apologies to Sarah McGovern for listing the wrong llama for the HOBO Best in Show. New Leaf’s Leonore, not New Leaf’s Diorissimo, was selected as Best in Show by both judges in the Silver Show (Margaret Drew) and Gold Show (Tracy Weaver). Please see the correct result below.

BEST IN SHOW Gold & Silver Show

exhibitor

owner

New Leaf’s Leonore

shown by Lisa Labendeira

Sarah McGovern New Leaf Farm

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www.lanainfo.org w LANAquestions@gmail.com 3966 Estate Drive, Vacaville, 95688 w (707) 447-5046

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Improving the Alpaca Genome Sequence Assembly Dr. Terje Raudsepp, Texas A&M University, D14LA-005

RESULTS: Researchers improve accuracy and contiguity of alpaca reference genome. Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at Texas A&M University worked to improve the existing assembly and annotation of the alpaca genome, filling in critical information gaps. Genome assembly and analysis for alpacas and other camelids is lagging behind other domestic species. This has hampered efforts to search for genetic abnormalities associated with diseases and congenital disorders in these animals. Genome assembly refers to the final product produced after taking large numbers of DNA fragments, sequencing them, and assembling them into the correct order to reconstruct the entire DNA map of an individual. This creates a type of genome assembly library or instruction map – a critical research tool that helps scientists discover DNA mutations associated with diseases and inherited disorders. Discovery of genetic mutations then allows researchers to develop diagnostic tests as well as new prevention and treatment strategies. The team successfully characterized almost 19,000 functional genes. This improved tool will be invaluable for discovering underlying genetic factors and causes of diseases. The team already discovered genetic links to minute chromosome syndrome, a condition responsible for reproductive problems and anatomic defects in alpacas. A more detailed assembly of the alpaca genome will ultimately benefit all camelid species, from domesticated llamas to the critically endangered wild Bactrian camels found in the Gobi Desert of China and Mongolia. The updated alpaca sequence assembly is essential for the study of genetic diseases and disorders in related species as well as an important tool in conservation genetics for species survival programs.

Thank you to the Llama Association of North America for supporting this study!

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Congratulations to Aiden for his first place essay. He was awarded $25 for his winning effort. Aiden is 10 years old and in the 4th grade. The next LANA Youth contest deadline is November 1st. 12


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LANA Youth Article & Art Contest

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LANA invites youth member of all ages to submit an article on any camelid-related topic of interest to the youth. Articles should be 1000 words or less with four pictures or less.

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Articles should be written in Times New Roman 12 point font and double-spaced, with the author’s name on each page in the header.

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Young members (11 years and younger) are also invited to submit a piece of original artwork. Pictures or scanned artwork should be submitted as .tiff or .jpeg files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. The content should be the original work of the youth author.

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Articles and scanned artwork should be submitted electronically to Sue Rich at susan.rich9631@gmail.com

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One winner from each of the four age categories (sub-junior, junior, intermediate, and senior) will be selected twice a year.

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Submission due: November 1, 2019

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Winners will receive a $25 cash prize and articles will be published in the LANA Newsletter and on the website.

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SHEAR PROFIT by Toni Strassburg

SHEARING AS A BUSINESS

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As we all know, llamas are an extraordinary breed of livestock with an expansive list of uses to capitalize on. Their fiber and shearing is likely one of the most popular and easiest bi-products to exploit for profit. I’m going to use the rest of this article to take an in depth look at my personal experience shearing and how it creates a substantial revenue for my farm.

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My own shearing business was born in the Spring of 2010 due to stark demand in my local area for the service. I started by shearing roughly 45 head every spring and am now, in 2015, shearing on the upwards side of 300. Being a shearer requires heavy financial investment, a lot of physical labor, more patience than you should need, and prolific social skills in order to work and coordinate with customers. This is certainly not an adventure for the light hearted. Almost everywhere in the country llamas need annual shearing in order to tolerate our climate. Depending on your local demand, experienced camelid enthusiasts have the capability to capitalize on this opportunity and generate revenue. Below are a list of tips I have put together after 5+ years of shearing as a business. - Always have a preset, published list of your services and their cost. Be sure to share this information with your clients before you arrive and make sure they acknowledge and agree to those prices. - Come prepared. Nothing is more troublesome than running out of blades, having a motor freeze up or running out of oil mid-way through a job. You should have at least 3 sets of shears and enough blades to get through 3 x the amount of animals you have to do. Do not forget toenail clippers, blood stop powder, towels, Iodine, extra blades, bandaging, oil, cooling spray, your receipt book, cleaning/maintenance tools, halters/leads, disinfectant, and most importantly a patient attitude. It may seem excessive, but the list comes from experience. - Do not let your shears run unless they are cutting the fiber or getting lubricated. It’s easy to get distracted by talking to clients. Building positive relationships with your clients is good but ruining your clippers and letting them get unnecessarily hot is not. - Do not give out veterinary advice. Sharing personal experiences and what has worked for your farm is great, but you do not want to be caught liable for a misunderstanding.

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! ALWAYS recommend them to consult a licensed DVM. - PAY ATTENTION to your shears or clippers. Do not use them if they are too hot. Not only can you seriously damage your equipment but more importantly it’s very easy to unintentionally burn a llama’s skin. - Be clear with your customers when preemptively communicating. Make sure they understand what you will be doing and what you need from them, including having the llamas penned up. Do not be afraid to institute a ‘Catching Fee’ for animals who are not prepared for your arrival. Your time is just as valuable as your skills and equipment. - Blow out the fiber if at all possible. This will maximize potential profit by increasing the lifespan of your blades and the amount of work necessary for your shears to function. - Establish prices that are fair and profitable. Do not undercut yourself and do not take advantage of people trying to maintain the health of their pets / livestock. Check with other camelid shearers around the country. - Always bring extra clothes and dress appropriately. It is inevitable that your outfit will be completely ruined. Come prepared. - Build a customer base by word of mouth, advertising through llama related events, social media, and even craigslist! Advertising in web space can be intimidating but there are many llama owners out there that have either inherited or picked up animals without any experience and their only direction to turn to for help is the World Wide Web. - Remember when dealing with clients that inexperienced and unknowledgeable people are not necessarily bad. Education, providing resources, and positive reinforcement could lead to the next big-wig enthusiast in the llama industry! Remember: Patience. Patience. Patience.

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SHOW CUTS If you are at all experienced in the llama industry, you know how popular (/addicting) the show ring is for both breeders and fanatics. It’s where our animals get the most exposure to potential customers. Just like with humans, no matter how cute you are, a bad haircut can send people running. There are many styles popular in the show circuit today but what’s most import is not to follow trends, but provide a cut that accentuates all the positive traits your llama has to offer.

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Assess your llama’s conformation and be honest with yourself. If you need help with this, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted friend/individual. If your llama has a long back, do not give him a lion cut. If you llama’s neck short? The Argentine/Nudie cut is not what is going to show off your beast to it’s best ability. Once you have the style picked out, take your time doing the clipping. Go over areas multiple times from all directions to remove any and all lines. Take it slow. You can always take fiber off but you can’t put it back on. All cuts should be completely symmetrical from both the left and right side. Special attention should be paid to the rear legs if the animal was given a lion cut. The cut-off line should be unquestionably even when viewed from the rear. A better appearance of your animal/show string will not only escalate the presentation of your farm/program but will in turn generate more serious interest in your stock/products. Like a good showman, a flattering cut can take a llama from the bottom of a class to the top.

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FIBER First, let me tell you that anyone who says you cannot make money from your llama’s fiber is lying. Llama fiber is a high end, natural product whether it measures at a luxurious 17 or a durable 40 microns. It does take work, time, patience, practice, and people skills.

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To maximize your profit while shearing you need to make sure your subjects are clean which means grooming, blowing and washing your llamas a couple days before shearing and keeping them in a cool, clean space. This will not only keep the work of your clippers minimal and save your blade usage, but also severely reduce the amount of heavy work post shearing. Make sure the space in which you are shearing is safe, efficient, and clean with minimal dust/debris, a restraining chute and a team there to help if possible.

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Take care to set a tarp or mat is below your shearing area in order to catch any non-prime fiber (Neck, legs, tail) that falls to the ground. As you are shearing the prime location of the animal your second person should be present to catch the prime fiber in a clean bag as it comes off. Try to make one swipe per area and wait to clean up small patches or lines until you are finished. This will avoid soiling your prime fiber with the small, uneven remnants known as ‘Second Cuts’. Do your best to not let your product hit the ground. When you are finished with your prime area, label your bag with the llama’s identification and shearing date. Sort your non-prime fiber into larger bags by colors. This coarse fiber is best used for felting projects, rug making, and socks which often times requires larger quantities where it is less important to know which animal/s contributed to the product.

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Now that you have bags of clean fleece you have get to dig into your marketing skills! Don’t have them? Read a book, check out the internet, ask knowledgeable friends, and get resourceful. Llama fiber can be sold raw to avoid additional investment or sent in for processing to create unique specialty yarns and products you can later sell. Consumer research is incredibly important. There are plenty of mediums to sell your product to enthusiastic buyers, you just need to develop some creativity and find them. Determine where and how you will sell your product before you invest your time and money to maximize profit. If all that research and work isn’t your thing but still want to be active with your fiber? Consider joining a Llama Fiber Coop.

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Editor’s note: This article is from a LANA Expo notebook

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FIESTA DAYS PARADE by Margaret Drew The Fiesta Days Parade in Vacaville CA is a city and family tradition for the whole community. On the Friday before the parade, hundreds of camp chairs line both sides of the nearly one mile long parade route. The early morning anticipation of the parade participants is present among the over 100 different groups. Our staging area was in a parking lot, one of the many. Marching bands and a Sheriff’s Posse were there with the horses calmly eyeing our llamas.

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Now to wait our turn. We are a crowd favorite, side stepping, prancing, and I am just talking about the handlers. ! !

We are in a flurry of hugs and llamas. Decking out our llamas in finery, blankets, tassels, fancy halters and leads, we are ready. ~ Margaret Drew

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My little guy Harvest Moon and his sister Lacey enjoyed their first parade by prancing and showing off to the crowd. Lacey, dressed in a sparkly tutu, was a big hit with the kids as they cheered her on. ~ Jana Kane

If you have not walked proudly in a parade with your llama, you should put this on your bucket list. See you next year. The more the merrier!

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AG DAY by Sue Rich

It is always a thrill when unloading your llamas at an Ag Day to hear students from the playground crying out in amazement: “Llamas!! Look, look, there are some llamas.”

can reach. Thankfully, there is always a safe sone dead center in the pen, where the llamas congregate, willing to stand closer to each other than they would ever permit in the pasture. Safety in numbers, after all.

Living in a rural community, the students have seen their share of cows and pigs and chickens. The llamas always cause a stir, and there is a part of me that just delights in that.

A little bit of patience for repeated questions and a lot of smiles for youngsters who are truly enraptured get you through the day. It is exhausting, more so for the animals than

Ag Day serves to educate students, teachers, and parents plus a few school administrators, about the exotic species of critter. Like every other event, you can expect the classic questions: “Do they spit?” “What’s the difference between an alpaca and a llama?” With elementary students, you do get a few show stopper inquiries: Can you make that llama spit on me? (Guaranteed to come from a boy) How do you know if it is a boy or a girl? (Guaranteed to wring a smile from the kindergarten teacher standing by) Students tend to rush the pen and encircle it. They climb up a rung or two and reach in as far as their arms 22

! the presenter, but it is always fun to steal the show at Ag Day. The same experience follows you out to the trailer to load up at the end of the day. Students on the playground shout out once again - “Look, look, it’s the llamas!” What fun it is to share the llama love!!


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HOW TO SQUARE YOUR LLAMA TEACH YOUR LLAMA TO SQUARE UP IN TWO EASY SESSIONS by Cindy Rodriguez

For those of you new to the show ring, let me explain what “squaring up� your llama means. Squaring up is a term used by many of us to verbalize the way we stand our llamas in showmanship and most of the time in halter. It is the ideal stance for a well conformed llama. You want to be able to draw an imaginary line down the front of the llama from shoulder to knee, through the cannon bones, and into the foot when standing in the front and to the side of your llama. The same in the rear quarters. When standing behind you should be able to draw that imaginary line from the hip, through the hock and cannon bone to the foot. From the side there should be the angulation from the stifle to the

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hock but the cannon bone should be straight up and down on the vertical. This should give your llama a boxy look. Head up, top line straight and legs squared off its body. But, not all llamas should stand perfectly square if you want to minimize faults. If your llama “toes out� in the front, set up the front end with one foot slightly back of the other. It will de-emphasize the negative of those toes facing outwards. Also if you llama is sickle hocked you know they will stand camped under. Stretch this llama out to stretch out the over exaggerated angle above the hocks. Of course in Showmanship classes, you the handler is being judged so you should set your llama up as square as possible.

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In order to teach your llama to square up, you start with teaching him to back up his rear feet into position. To do this stand your llama two to three feet in front of a wall, hay bales, a vehicle or any solid obstacle with his hind quarters towards the obstacle. You stand on the llamas left side facing the wall. Place your left hand about four inches below the lead rope clip and ask your llama to back verbally as well as giving a slight tug on the lead.Your llama will be thinking you are a little ditsy at this time for he can see the wall; why are you asking him to back into it. You want your llama to be cautious and back very slowly, that way you can stop him when his feet are in perfect square position. Your llama will not be taking large steps backwards but tiny steps in anticipation of the obstacle behind him. Praise your llama giving the command stand or square, whatever 28


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SHOWING LLAMAS IS NOT ONLY FUN, BUT ALSO A WAY TO PROMOTE YOUR RANCH

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word is suitable to you but just be consistent. If you are using click and reward this is a good time as the llama steps into square position to click and reward. After this section is learned by you and your llama, it is time to move on to step two. First square up the llama’s back feet by backing him into it. Now to move the right front foot forward to be square with the other foot, turn your llama’s head slightly to the left. The trick is to move ever so slightly. Too much pressure and the whole llama has changed position. To move the left foot forward, turn your llama’s head to the right. Give praise and repeat the command stand or square or click and reward. Soon your llama will know when you turn your body toward him, that he is to square up. Your body language will take over the verbal command as well as the click and reward. Have fun and good luck!

This article is reprinted from a LANA Newsletter. Cindy was a long-time LANA member, BOD, and Expo presenter.

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CAMELID EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

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compiled by Karen Conyngham

! ! Why Camelid Owners Need to be Prepared !

Transporting animals to safety when disaster strikes can be difficult. Disaster preparedness is important for all animals, but it is particularly important for livestock because of the animals’ size and the requirements needed to shelter and transport them. Even if you think you are in an area relatively safe from natural disasters, remember that disasters can happen anywhere and include barn fires, hazardous material spills, propane line explosions, and train derailments, all of which may necessitate evacuation. 30


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WHEN SHOULD YOU EVACUATE? BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

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It is imperative that you be prepared to protect your alpacas and llamas, whether by evacuating or by sheltering in place.

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Some state legislatures are considering legislation that would require first responders to take animals into account when evacuating areas threatened by flooding waters, earthquakes, wildfires and other life-threatening disasters. Monitor your state legislature or state veterinary medical association’s website to determine if such a bill is under consideration for your area. 31


! Make a Plan Ahead of Time !

Make a disaster plan to protect your property, your facilities, and your animals. Where will you go, how will you get there, what supplies will you take, how long will it take to gather and load the animals?

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Create a list of emergency telephone numbers, including those of your employees, employer, neighbors, your veterinarian, state veterinarian’s office, county extension service, and a contact phone number for yourself other than your cell phone (e.g. close friend or family who are outside the impacted area). Have a copy of this list ready to give to each person helping in your evacuation.

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Have a designated person who can implement your plan in case you are not home when an emergency happens. If you update your plan, be sure this person also has a copy of the latest version.

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Keep a current copy of your association’s member ship directory in your vehicle.

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Have several alternative destinations depending on type and extent of disaster (within 15 -40 mile radius recommended). Keep a current state roadmap in your vehicle. Possible evacuation sites: prearranged farm/ranch of a friend who is not in the affected area; show/fairgrounds, sale barns, equestrian centers, veterinary colleges, racetracks.

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Make sure every animal has identification. Microchip IDs are fine but also have halter or neck tags with your name and phone number ready in case all animals are not chipped.

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Have a halter and lead for each animal; keep ID tags on each halter. Organize halters and lead ropes on a peg board in barn hallway. Dog collars can serve as an emergency substitute for halters; be sure the collar fits snugly enough that the llama or

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alpaca cannot slip it off over its heads. Train all animals to lead and load into a trailer.

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Include a picket line, bungee stakeout lines and stakes in case there is no pen or enclosure at the receiving area.

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Maintain permanent health and I.D. records for your animals in a safe place. Take them with you if you evacuate. Backup software programs at least monthly. Store a backup of the data file either on disc and keep it in your safe deposit box/home safe or email the backup file to a friend or relative.

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Print a list of all your animals and make copies. Photograph your herd and keep it with your master list. Organize your herd into groups (geldings, studs, moms and babies).

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Identify an alley, lane or pen that can easily be used to confine animals and is readily adjacent to where a trailer or truck can access them.

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Know who can transport animals if necessary and where animals can be relocated, or be prepared to leave them behind if you must.

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Find out if anyone nearby has equipment which may be shared, such as trailers, generators, water tanks or portable pens.

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If you own too many animals to evacuate in one trip, decide ahead of time what the priority evacuation list will be. Some may have to be left behind.

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Truck and Trailer: Check your truck and trailer regularly to make certain they are ready to transport camelids. Check the floor, tires, brakes, lights and hitch to be sure they are in working order. Make sure you have a full tank of gas. Do not carry full gas cans in your trailer. Always back your vehicle into your driveway facing the exit, in front of your trailer if possible. Keep your trailer in an easily accessible place.

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! Supplies to take with you is possible: !

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determine storm coverage then document damage accordingly.

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Water buckets Feed pans Hay/fee for at least three days. Medicines for any animals currently under treatment; syringes if needed (three-day minimum) Animal and people first-aid kits Clippers to treat broken toenails Tweezers to remove thorns Scissors Brush for grooming Microchip reader

Water purification – Iodine or chlorine treatments and an actual physical filter (paper towels, clean cloth, coffee filters for filtering brackish water) may be needed if water sources are contaminated. Iodine dosage: using ordinary 2 percent tincture of iodine from the medicine chest – 3 drops per quart of CLEAR water, or 6 drops to each quart of CLOUDY water, and stir thoroughly -- allow water to stand for at least 30 minutes before using or filtering for additional protection. Chlorine dosage: 8 drops (1/8 tsp. or .5 ml) for 1 gallon of CLEAR water; 18 drops (1/3 tsp. or 1.25 ml) for CLOUDY water. When storing water in 55 gallon drums or inflatable bags, use .55 ml. Average potable water needs are e1 gallon per person per day; llamas/alpacas may need 2 gallons or more each per day.

! If You Need to Shelter in Place !

Install a hand pump and obtain enough large containers to water your animals and family for a least a week (municipal water supplies and wells are often contaminated during a disaster).

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Identify alternate water and power sources. A generator (4hp minimum) with a safely stored supply of fuel may be essential, especially if you have electrical equipment necessary to the well being of your animals.

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Have 48-72 hours of water and feed on hand for animals. Use child’s plastic swimming pool, boats, trash cans, bath tubs to store water.

Survey the area around your barn and pastures to identify sharp objects, dangerous materials, contaminated water; downed power lines and dangerous wildlife such as snakes.

! Turn off power and gas lines in advance. !

! Walk fence lines. !

Keep the following emergency supplies on hand:

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Handle livestock quietly, calmly, and in a manner they are familiar with.

• • • • • • • •

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Film – Obtain film for your camera and camcorder to document storm damage. If time permits, take pictures of your structures prior to the storm. Review your insurance policy to

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After the Disaster

! Watch for unstable roads and highways. ! Looters and vandals could be in the area. !

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Plastic trash barrel with lid. Tarpaulins Water buckets First aid items for animals and people Portable radio, flashlight and extra batteries Fire-resistant non-nylon leads and halters Sharp knife and wire cutters Leg wraps (disposable baby diapers make good emergency wraps or bandages) • Duct tape, magic markers • Lime and bleach (disinfectants) • Portable pens/fencing or crates if appropriate

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Release animals into safe and enclosed areas only.

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Reintroduce food in small servings, gradually working up to full portions if animals have been without food for a prolonged period of time.

! ! !

Allow uninterrupted rest/sleep for all animals to recover from the trauma and stress Practice your plan at least once a year!

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CAMELID DERMATOLOGY Camelid skin conditions have been some of the most enigmatic and frustrating disorders that we deal with. Owners are often very concerned, diagnostic tests are not enlightening, and treatment response is mediocre or temporary at best. References are fairly sparse and most reports are anecdotal.

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NORMAL SKIN Camelid skin may be divided into zones. It is thickest in areas of the densest fiber, including the trunk and the back of the neck. It is thinnest in areas of light fleece and heat exchange, including the inguinal and axillary regions, the escutcheon and the head. To facilitate heat exchange, thin-skinned areas frequently have extensive dermal plexi. Skin also contains a number of eosinophils, which can confound diagnosticians.

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Alpaca wool is fine and has few primary guard hairs. Llama wool tends to be less dense with a greater percentage of long, coarse guard hairs. The follicles exit the skin obliquely.

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The muzzle, pinnae, legs and front of the neck are covered with short, thin hair. These regions are more extensive in llamas, whereas in alpacas, the heavy fleece covers larger portions of the legs and head. The axilla and inguinal region are relatively hairless. SKIN DISORDERS Camelid skin disorders can be roughly divided into disorders affecting one of four areas: 1) fleeced areas 2) haired and hairless areas, and 4) mucocutaneous junctions. Disorders affecting haired areas and the mucocutaneous

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junctions are the most common. In all cases, the most common findings are alopecia and dry hyperkeratosis.

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FLEECED AREAS The heavily fleeced areas of camelids are infrequently affected. The most common diagnosis is pediculosis. Camelids are affected by both sucking and chewing lice, with sucking lice more common in my practice area, but less common in other areas. Infestation is most common during the colder months, partially due to the long fleeces during that period, as well as the possibility that confinement housing or huddling eases transmission. Lice are usually easy to find by parting the fleece near the affected area, and pediculosis is one of the relatively few pruritic dermatoses that we see. Patchy fiber loss is also common. The type of louse may be identified by microscopic examination of the mouthparts.

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Shearing and exposure to sunlight and fluctuating temperatures are very effective at reducing lice numbers, but may be impractical certain times of the year. Parenteral avermectins may be effective against sucking lice. Topical livestock anti-louse treatments are effective against both types.

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Dermatophilosis (Rain Rot) may be seen, particularly in areas with wet, mild areas. Lesions are most common on the back. Affected areas have wet, clumped wool, which comes out in clumps. The underlying skin is erythematous, with erosions and exudate. Impression smears of the exudates may reveal the classic “railroad track double chains of Dermatophilus


by Christopher K. Cebra VMD, MA, MS, DACVIM congolensis, gram-positive cocci. Culture or biopsy may be used to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment is by use of parenteral antibiotics (usually penicillin or ceftiofur) and possibly clipping and topical disinfectants.

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The other major consideration regarding the fleeced area is its possible contribution to heat stress. In hot, moist areas, especially during exercise, the inability to dissipate heat can lead to a pathologic rise in body temperature. Although the fleeced area is important in the pathogenesis of this disorder, the lesions are most common in the axilla, inguinals regions and perineal region, where erythema and edema may be seen.

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HAIRED AND HAIRLESS AREAS The lightly haired areas are not as protected as the fleeced areas, and hence appear to be much more vulnerable to trauma, infection, and ectoparasitism. Bacterial folliculitis can lead to patchy, crusty, exudative hair loss, usually with minimal to mild pruritus. Staphylococcus intermedius is the most common isolate. Diagnosis is by culture and biopsy. Systemic antibiotics and topical antiseptics usually lead to resolution of signs within about 2 weeks.

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Dermatophytosis tends to affect the legs, face, or peritoneum. Winter confinement appears to increase risk. A variety of Trichophyton and Microsporum have been reported. Lesions tend to be non-pruritic and alopecic, with thick crusts. Crusts tend not to be as thick as the “asbestostype� lesions seen in cattle, and the diagnosis may be missed without further testing. Diagnosis

is achieved by identifying the organism by microscopic inspection of affected hair shafts or growth in dermatophyte test medium. Culturing T. verrucosum may require special techniques. Treatment of dermatophytosis involves clipping and cleaning affected areas, followed by topical treatment with iodine, chlorhexidine, lime sulfur, Captan, Miconazole, or bleach. Using landscapegrade lime sulfur to make a 2% solution appears to be effective.

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A variety of mites affect the predominantly haired regions. These include the Sarcoptic, Chorioptic, and Psoroptic mange mites, Demodex, possibly sheep keds, the Northern Fowl mite, and harvest mites. Of the mange mites, Sarcoptes is the most common in South America. It is a deep burrower, affecting primarily the legs, neck, face, axilla, ventrum, and perineum. In severe cases, the infestation becomes generalized. Pruritus is usually intense. Psoroptes is less common, and affects primarily the ears. Both these mites may be found by deep skin scrape, or potentially microscopic examination of exudates, particularly from the ears. Parenteral avermectins are very efficacious, and have severely limited the prevalence of these mites outside of South America. Treatment should be repeated weekly to biweekly for 2 to 4 treatments to eliminate mites newly hatched from eggs.

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Chorioptes is the most common mite in camelids in North America and Europe. It resides near the skin surface, and primarily affects the legs, feet, tail base, and ears. Typical lesions include nonpruritic or mildly pruritic alopecic areas of thickened, crusty skin. These spread and worsen

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slowly, eventually leading to large patches of dry, elephantine skin. Certain individuals appear to be affected much worse than others. A hypersensitivity reaction is suspected. Detection of the mite is through skin scrape or occasionally biopsy. Because Chorioptes dwells near the surface, the scrape need not be deep. Although the edges of the lesions occasionally yield mites, scraping the skin between the toes, even if unaffected, appears to offer the best success. The axilla also frequently yield mites.

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Chorioptic mange mites are extremely difficult to eradicate. Because we think the lesions are due to a hypersensitivity reaction in individuals, even a few surviving mites can elicit disease signs. The superficial habitat of the mite potentially decreases the efficacy of parenteral antiparasitical agent. Non-clinic herd mates or the environment can serve as sources for reinfection. Unlike lice or the other mange mites, Chorioptes appears to survive up to about 2 months off the host. The best treatment options augment individual treatment with either removal from the herd to a clean environment (semipermanently), or concurrent herd and environmental treatment. Individual treatments that appear to have some efficacy include parenteral avermectins, topical permethrins, topical lime sulfur, or topical fipronil. All are likely to fail unless the reservoir populations are also eradicated. Continuously treating over the entire 60 day off-host survival period has not successfully eliminated infestation.

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Demodex infestation is rare. When it occurs, it results in papular or nodular alopecic lesions on

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the face, neck, and brisket. Mites may be expressed from the nodules and identified microscopically. The Northern Fowl mite and harvest mites have also been described as causes of dermatitis of the distal extremities. Fowl mites usually come from chickens, so that reservoir population must be addressed. Harvest mites are difficult to diagnose because of their short time on the host. They tend to be seasonal, and may be treated with topical repellents or permethrins. Removal of the camelid from the affected pasture may be necessary.

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Non-mite related hyperkeratotic lesions were once thought to be very common. A sizeable percentage of those are now being blamed on the Chorioptic mange mite, but some remain unexplained. Among the syndromes are Dorsal nasal alopecia, Zinc deficiency/responsive dermatosis, Superficial hyperkeratotic dermatitis (Munge), Fly bite allergies, and Solar dermatitis. Most of these appear similar clinically and on biopsy, with parakeratosis with variable amounts of various cellular infiltrates and necrosis. Solar dermatitis tends to affect exposed areas with short white hair, such as the ears. Diagnosis is made easier by the presence of unaffected pigmented spots. The most effective treatments are increasing time indoors or covering affected areas with an effective zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based sun block.

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Fly bite allergies tend to be seasonal and may respond to housing or insect repellants. Dorsal nasal alopecia may relate to halters or feeders. Otherwise, these disorders tend to get lumped together in the idiopathic category. Zinc


responsive dermatosis gets its name from the fact that some lesions appear to respond to zinc supplementation, even though the camelids do not appear to have zinc deficiency. Organic forms such as zinc methionine are much more efficiently absorbed than inorganic forms, such as zinc oxide or sulfate. Given that many camelid mineral supplements now contain abundant zinc, the percentage of camelids with idiopathic hyperkeratotic dermatosis that respond to zinc appears to be declining. Other treatments that have been tried include many of the standard treatments for skin disorders, including steroids, vitamin E and selenium, antibiotics, antiparasiticals, and antiseptic swatches.

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An idiopathic congenital form of diffuse hyperkeratotic dermatosis (Ichthyosis) has been described. A fungal disorder (Entomophthoramycosis conidobolae) has also been described.

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MUCOCUTANEOUS JUNCTIONS The lips, nares, periorbital areas, and mucocutaneous junctions of the urogenital system are affected by some of the same hyperkeratotic disorders that affect haired areas, particularly Munge and zinc-responsive dermatosis. Additionally, a number of discrete, proliferative lesions may be seen. Contagious ecthyma or Orf may occasionally be seen, particularly in camelids exposed to infected small ruminants, or also potentially in camelids inhabiting a facility infected with the virus. Similar lesions may be seen in camelids exposed to camels with Camelpox. These diseases may be diagnosed by history and appearance, with

electronmicroscopy of crusts or histopathology used to confirm the diagnosis. Lesions should regress over about 2 months.

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Recently, a specific camelid Fibropapilloma virus has been identified. Associated lesions are usually multifocal and proliferative without crusting. They do not typical regress. Surgical removal can be curative, but also frequently lead to regrowth. In some cases, the regrowth is actually granulation tissue, not the original fibropapilloma. Cryosurgery and injection with cisplatin have been used on persistent, recurrent lesions.

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MISCELLANEOUS Myiasis can occur in a variety of areas. The most common sites are around injuries or other lesions, such as dermatophilosis, or around the perineum and tail base.

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Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin has been described. It appears to be an unusual tumor, affected either areas of previous injury or near the mucocutaneous junction. Oral and preputial tumors have been seen. Diagnosis is by biopsy. Excision and local chemotherapy may be curative.

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Profile for Llama Association of North America

Spring 2019  

Spring 2019  

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