A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

October 14, 2007

Alpaca Face Pack

 Yesterday we received a new product that we want to try out on the alpacas.  It is called “All Species Poultice” and it is described as “an astringent poultice used to draw out toxins and foreign matter from the skin while stimulating circulation”.  The “All Species Poultice” is made by a company called Eagle Peak Herbals and is made from a combination of various herbs.

We are hoping to be able to use the poultice on facial abscesses that occur occasionally on the alpacas.  We have had three alpacas that have had a run in with facial abscesses in the past, two of them had abscesses in exactly the same place on the bottom jaw, the other had a very large abscess on her neck. 

Sometimes abscesses are caused by hay poking the skin and allowing an infection to get started, other times there does not seem to be an explanation as to why the abscesses occur but we suspect it is a sign that the alpaca’s immune system is a little depleted allowing the infection to take root.  Some alpacas definitely seem more prone to abscesses than others and so far we have only had facial abscesses in our female alpacas.  The females usually are undergoing the stresses of pregnancy and often the additional stress of a nursing cria and so it makes sense that they are more likely to be prone to abscesses. 

Typically abscesses on alpacas are in positions where it is difficult to apply any sort of dressing on them to hold a poultice in place.  One of the appeals of the “All Species Poultice” is that it is made up into a paste that is then coated on to the affected area and allowed to dry, the poultice can then be either washed off or left to flake off on it’s own. 

As well as the “All Species Poultice” Eagle Peak Herbals sell a range of herbal products for both humans and animals including one named Paravac™ that is used to expel parasites and tone the digestive tract of the animal.  According to the Eagle Peak Herbals catalogue (which by the way makes for interesting reading) Paravac™ has been tested on llamas and alpacas at Ohio State University and has been found to be effective against coccidia.  It sounds as if Paravac™ would also be a handy preparation to have on hand. 

We will try the All Species Poultice first and see how that works, fingers crossed it will be effective on facial abscesses and the girls that we treat with it will all be looking good after their special alpaca facial pack!

Rosemary

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