DO NOT IGNORE THE SIGNS :
1. Schmallenberg Virus has not gone away. If you have any abnormal births, early abortions or difficulties in giving birth, call your vet. Please look at the BLS web site at H&W Bulletin dated 22 September 2012 and remind yourselves of the symptoms and what to look out for. Some of you may have heard that a vaccine for Schmallenberg has been produced and that it will be available early summer 2013. This will be administered on a cascade system where cattle and sheep will be the first to benefit. To date, BLS has not had any reports of the Virus affecting any camelids and no testing has been done on the vaccine for camelids. When it becomes available, it will be down to your individual vets to give you advice on whether or not to use it. At present it can only be administered by a vet. Remember, it will not be licensed for camelids.
2. Parasites - There is a serious parasite warning in place for the whole of the livestock industry. Due to the cold weather, parasites are late in hatching and therefore will be hatching now just as you put your animals onto their summers grazing. Liverfluke, Haemonchus (Barber Pole Worm), Lungworm and Coccidiosis are all mentioned as potential threats. Please keep an eye on your animals and if you suspect any problems, contact your vet. He/She will know what parasites are prevalent in your area and advise accordingly. You could also consider having a full faecal count done by your vet but you must ask the vet to check for all parasites.
3. Lice and Ticks : I have had reported that about 90% of llamas shorn this year have either lice or ticks. Please keep an eye on your animals. The lice seem to be the biting lice which are difficult to detect if your llama has not been shorn for some years. With a thick coat on, you really need to delve down deep! It is a good idea to have your llamas shorn from time to time to allow the skin to see daylight and have a good washing in the rain!
Vice Chairman BLS & Health & Welfare Representative
Nutfield Park Farm, South Nutfield, REDHILL, Surrey
With thanks to Axel Bührmann, orazal, lucianvenutian, Veronique Debord, quinn.anya for creative commons use of pictures