Removal of a Male Llama's Fighting Teeth

A male llama will develop a total of six fighting teeth at around two
years of age. There are two upper and one lower needle sharp teeth
on each side. These are hooked and angle back towards the rear
of the mouth. These dangerously sharp teeth need to be removed
when they start to appear as they are dangerous to other llamas and
also to people if confronted with an aggressive animal. When male
llamas fight, they use these teeth in a ripping way around the ears,
legs, and "private areas" of their competition and have even been
known to do a castration on their pasture mate.



Right Side
Bottom Tooth Is Not Totally
Erupted Through Gum

Left Side
All Three Fighting Teeth
Are Visible

Removal With OB Wire

All Six Fighting Teeth

Fighting teeth can be removed rather easily by quickly sawing back and forth with an OB wire carefully wrapped around the tooth.


It is reported that these teeth appear in conjunction with the llama's ability
to settle females and that until you see these fighting teeth coming in, the
male llama is not fertile. It has been our experience, in more than one instance,
that the fighting teeth and the ability to breed successfully do not occur at
the same time. We have had males settling females at close to 18 months
who do not have any sign of their fighting teeth. And we have seen fighting teeth
coming in and the male does not yet have the ability to settle a female.
Guess our males have not read the "right books".

Be prepared to eliminate any accidents, Start checking for
fighting teeth at about 18 months of age.


The Llama's Teeth

The above diagram identifies and shows the position of teeth in the llama's mouth. 

Upper Jaw - Notice there are no teeth on the front upper gum.  On the upper jaw, on each side there are only the Fighting Teeth (2) and further back are the Premolars (2) and Molars (3) which are used for grinding.

Bottom Jaw - The Incisors are the teeth in the front of the bottom jaw and are used in conjunction with the upper gum to break off grasses in the pasture or pluck leaves from trees and bushes.  There are 3 pairs of incisors - central, middle, and corner - making a total of 6 incisors in the mouth.  Behind the Incisors is the one Fighting Tooth on the bottom jaw.  Behind this fighting tooth are lower Premolars (2) and Molars (3) on each side.  These back teeth are used to grind the food and chew cud.


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