As alpaca parasite populations cycle up for summer it's time to be proactive and screen your herd. You can save unnecessary vet bills and medication by analysing alpaca faecal samples yourself, on your own farm. Equipment required is simple, relatively inexpensive (much of it is routine kitchen equipment) and the techniques are easy to learn.
Since completing an MSc in Veterinary Parasitology focussed on internal parasites of camelids and conducting extensive epidemiological research at the Royal Veterinary College, I have been educating alpaca owners and breeders on basic screening techniques.
Courses are run in the laboratory at Lyme Alpacas every month, sometimes twice a month, and each course lasts for 1 day.
Course content covers
- Why test and when.
- Parasites, (internal & external) infesting camelids and the threats imposed.
- Testing procedures for different parasite species.
- Making accurate flotation solutions.
- Correct use of the microscope & other laboratory equipment.
- Testing using samples bought with you from your own alpaca farm.
- Identification of the major helminth and Eimeria species of alpacas.
- Recording results and making sense of those results.
- A shopping list of what to purchase if you would like to set up your own 'on farm' laboratory.
Take control of your herd and improve welfare and fibre quality, and keep a step ahead of debilitating parasites.
Courses are relaxed and fun and no previous scientific knowledge is required.
Light lunch and refreshments are provided.
New date added is 23rd June 2015 - only 2 places per course as teaching is personalised and individual.
To reserve your seat in the lab and book, go to http://www.lymealpacas.co.uk/new-products/parasitlogy-testing-course-23rd-june-2015