OBJECTIVES: To describe the morbidity and mortality patterns and identify factors associated with morbidity in pre-weaning llamas and alpacas. DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study of 287 crias born on four farms in Ohio, USA. PROCEDURE: Historical data representing all crias born over a 6-year period were obtained from two llama farms and two alpaca farms in Ohio. Multivariable generalised linear mixed effects regression models were used to identify factors associated with morbidity outcomes. RESULTS: In total, 105 (37%) of the llamas and alpacas had some reported morbidity during the pre-weaning period, and mortality rate was 2.1%. In addition, 51 (18%) of llamas and alpacas experienced morbidity because of infectious disease, and 47 (16%) experienced morbidity during the neonatal period. The three most commonly reported morbidity events were undifferentiated diarrhoea (23%), umbilical hernia (16%) and unspecified infectious disease (15%). Difficult birth was an important risk factor for pre-weaning morbidity in this population. CONCLUSIONS: Camelid veterinarians and their clients can expect that pre-weaning health events are common among crias, although mortality is low. Crias experiencing difficult births may require additional monitoring for health events during the pre-weaning period.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david_anderson1/28/