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by Staff Writers
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Oct 24, 2013
Llamas and alpacas are becoming increasingly popular in Europe and are highly appreciated as trekking animals and as sources of wool. Although they are robust, they occasionally fall ill but there are no authorized drugs for the species on the market.
Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) have developed an oral "paste" that can be mixed with drugs and used to treat camelids for a wide variety of diseases. A recent article in the Journal of Veterinary Parasitology reports a case of successful treatment.
South American camelids, especially llamas and alpacas, are very susceptible to infections caused by endoparasites. The so-called small liver fluke (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) is particularly problematic and infections with this parasite are frequently fatal.
Moreover, camelids are prone to stress and together with their tendency to spit (especially when they do not like the taste of something) this very often results in underdosing if they are given medicine to swallow. Inadequate treatment of endoparasites leads to progression of the pathological changes and can be lethal for the animals. Underdosing of antiparasitic drugs may also lead to the emergence of anthelmintic resistance.
A small volume with a high concentration
Drugs that are already approved for use in other species but not available in a concentration appropriate for use in llamas and alpacas can be incorporated in the paste in the correct dose.
To treat small liver fluke, the vets added the drug praziquantel to the paste to give a final dose of 50mg/kg body weight. This extremely high dose turns out to be exactly right for the successful treatment of the disease in camelids.
Swallowing is the best choice
A paste for the whole herd
The study current "Efficacy and safety of oral praziquantel against Dicrocoelium dendriticum in llamas" by Agnes Dadak, Claudia Wieser, Anja Joachim and Sonja Franz was published in the Journal of Veterinary Parasitology.
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
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