How To Make A Sling To
Raise A "Down" Llama

Therapy For the Treatment Of Injury, Heat Stress, or Meningeal Worm


     Animals that are down as a result of Heat Stress or Meningeal Worm need therapy and exercise on their legs - along with the medications prescribed by your veterinarian.  One way of doing this is to fashion a sloing and pulley and life the llama periodically each day to exercise the legs.  Do not leave the llama hanging in the sling for extended periods of time or unattended.  Treatment and therapy for either of the above conditions may possibly take quite a few weeks before the animal will recover and be able to stand again.  Many animals have recovered after being down for quite awhile - don't give up on the treatment.

     Here are some suggestions from llama owners for rigging up a reasonably priced sling:

     "We took a 2x4 and put a large hook and eye through it in the middle of the length - that went to the pulley.  Then we put hooks and eyes going downwards in three locations along the 2x4 and bought a web horse stall gate from the feed store.  I think the 2x4 is about two and a half feet long.  The straps on the web stall gate already have hooks on each end.  Then we slid the web horse stall gate under the llama and attached it with chain to the hooks and eyes we'd put into the 2x4.  The chains make the length adjustable.  We later added two fleece lined girths to the back hook so that they went under her back legs to help hold up her butt.  She was about 250 lbs. and one person could "just" get her up in the air, tie off the rope, and massage her legs, then lower her into the kushed position again."

     "I had an incident that was neccesary to use a sling in recovery.  In a pinch, the vet and I fashioned one out of a rope hammock. It already has adjustable holes to secure legs and worked beautifully."


     "Here are approximate measurements for the sling I had made for CoCo last year.  They used a non-rip, heavy duty tarp material, 5' long, with handles  (seatbelt webbing) sewn and reinforced on the ends.  The width was about 24" in the middle tapering to the handles to about 8" wide, so it was shaped somewhat like a diamond.  It really worked well and didn't slide forward or backward.  It supported all of CoCo's weight and we used a pulley at a hardware store!

     I never used the horse cinches that came with my chute...they really looked like they would pinch and be uncomfortable.  And the sling that did come with it works okay for some things, but when you have an animal that is really weak and can't hold it's own weight, you need something wide enough to support it."

     For the sling, we used the cargo nets made for the Kawasaki Teryx ATV.  We put two (one would probably work) and folded the edges to size to fit under the belly of the llama.  We then wove a steel T-post through both edges of the net.  We attached chains to the T-posts and lifted the animal in the sling with the front end loader of the tractor.  A pulley could also be used.

     Horse stall guards would also work as a sling.  There are also companies who will make a woven netting with either webbing material or rope material to your required size.  Hooks can be added.  Some suggestions:

Custom Made Webbing

Webbing from

Kensington Stall Guard

Also .... U.S. Netting,



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