An alpaca and a llama in late stages of gestation were evaluated for lethargy, anorexia, and recumbency. Both camelids had cloudy, white, turbid serum, elevated serum triglyceride (1564, 5658 mg/dL, respectively) and cholesterol (158, 297 mg/dL, respectively) concentrations, and ketonuria. Signs of fetal stress were evident ultrasonographically in the alpaca, and a live cria was delivered by Cesarean section performed under general anesthesia. The alpaca developed severe metabolic acidosis, hepatic lipidosis, and acute renal failure secondary to renal lipidosis and died 36 hours after admission despite medical therapy. Histopathology revealed renal and hepatic lipidosis and neutrophilic pancreatitis. The cria died 72 hours after birth. The llama responded to IV electrolyte, dextrose, and regular crystalline insulin therapy. The pregnancy was maintained, and the llama was discharged from the hospital 20 days after admission. Two months after discharge, the llama gave birth to a live, 5 kg cria. Findings of hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, elevated sorbitol dehydrogenase activity, metabolic acidosis, azotemia, and ketonuria occurred in these two camelids. Based on this report, camelids appear to be similar to both horses and cattle in their response to severe energy imbalances in late gestation.
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