Anemia occurs when the red blood cell count is extremely low and
results in a variety of symptoms, including weight loss, lack of
energy and damage to the organs. If left untreated, anemia in camelids can also cause death.
With anemia and a low Red blood cell count, the blood has lower than
normal hemoglobin (Hgb) levels. Hemoglobin is the part of the
red blood cell (RBC) that carries oxygen to all the cells in the
Anemia in camelids often occurs as a result of
parasites, specifically the Barberpole Worm which sucks a lot of
blood from its host. Famacha scoring on a regular basis can
give you warning signs of anemia or a low red blood cell count.
Check for a lot of weight loss, loss of pink color under the
eyelids, and pale gums.
Loss of pink color in eyelids
If you animal is prone to anemia, any stress such as moving from
location to location, parasites, or even birthing and nursing a cria
can bring on anemic episodes.
In cases of anemia, your animal can be tested for Mycoplasma
haemolamae which is a toxin that causes anemia in llamas and
alpacas. Mycoplasma haemolamae destroys the red blood cells - a
serious disease that can cause death. See more about Mycoplasma
Your llama or alpaca may need a blood transfusion to help boost its
red blood cells and increase its immune reactions.
Feeding your llama iron supplements, such as iron dextran will
increase the red blood cell count. Also a product called Red Cell,
a supplement meant for large farm animals to help treat iron
deficiency. The addition of Vitamin B12
helps the body absorb iron.