A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

August 29, 2017

A Difficult Month at Windrush Alpacas – Test Results

Test Results

On Monday, July 28, we received test results that gave us some answers and direction. It seems as if we experienced a bizarre coincidence with the events on our farm.

The first alpaca we lost, Echo, who was in our male pen, tested positive for West Nile.

Moonie’s test results came back with 100% diagnosis for Polioencephalomalacia (PEM). The next step was to figure out what caused the PEM. The vets were still suspecting the water, grain or hay with the water and grain being top of the list, so those samples were tested first.

The girls who showed symptoms were all in the same pen. They were girls who needed additional supplementation for one reason or another and so received more grain than the rest of the herd. We were suspecting that it could be a combination of a problem in the grain and a problem in our water supply. In the meantime, we had been advised by our vet to feed only long stem grass hay to help clean out our alpacas’ stomach compartments just in case there were toxins.

As of August 15, 2017, we have results back on the hay and water.  The hay did not contain any noxious weeds or seeds and the water tested as being suitable for livestock.  So now we are waiting for results on the feed tests, a liver toxicity screening on Moonie’s liver and a West Nile test on Moonie’s brain. We will update this post when we receive the results.

For those of you in the Clovis/Portales area please take steps to control mosquitoes on your property and also use bug spray to protect yourselves.

West Nile Virus can affect humans as well as animals and is a devastating and sometimes deadly disease. If Echo’s death can at least serve as a reminder to people that West Nile Virus is still a threat in the US then he will not have died in vain. https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/symptoms/index.html

Here is a link explaining what PEM is for those interested in learning more.http://www.merckvetmanual.com/…/overview-of-polioencephalom…

Into August

On July 30, after a couple of days off all appearing to be okay on the farm, we were upset when we found our girl Dream showing neurological symptoms. She was trembling, in a stupor, staring into space and walking backward. Fortunately, we feel we caught her early and she responded well to treatment overnight. By the next day, she was eating and drinking and appeared okay. Our vigilance continues, we are not out of the woods yet.

Thankfully no one else has shown any systems. We adopted a new normal at the farm as we waited for the test results. We give you the details of our experience to offer assistance to other alpaca farmers and breeders who experience dis-ease in their herd. Act quickly. Be diligent in watching your entire herd. Treat accordingly. Had we not done so, our herd may have been hit even harder.

Tributes to Echo, Queen, and Moonie

The beginning of the story

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