Alpaca Nutrition News
Feeding the recovering alpaca
One of the first indications that an alpaca
is ill is the lack of appetite. This is because the immune system has diverted
from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) to fight infection. Because the GIT is a major energy user, it is shut down. This means that whatever energy
is already in the body (this does not include undigested feed in the GIT) is all the animal has to defeat the infection.
The return of appetite is a positive sign that
the alpaca is recovering. It is always a relief to see the
debilitated animal attack the feed with gusto. However, the rumen and GIT are
still under-populated with beneficial microorganisms, they require nutrient
flow to resume before they can return to full strength.
If a recovering alpaca chows down immediately
following a protracted illness, there is a very real possibility of CONSTIPATION
or DIARRHEA. This is because too much undigested feed is getting to the large
intestine. These disorders have consequences of their own and may complicate
recovery. One alternative is to control feed intake and gradually increase to
normal. It is also highly recommended that probiotics be given throughout the
illness AND recovery.
A concentrated probiotic such as MSE paste or
drench should be given whenever an animal stops eating. It can prevent further
ameliorate potential side effects. A concentrated probiotic can
also assist the recovering alpaca digest feed and prevent the above
A concentrated probiotic should
be fed until the alpaca is eating and pooping normally.
MSE paste and drench are available at
www.naturs-way.com or by calling
(800)615-0299 8:30 am - 6:00 pm, M - F. Please feel free to contact
Ruminant Nutritionist, Lark Burnham at firstname.lastname@example.org.