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Diseases and causes of death among alpacas in Sweden: a retrospective study

Björklund, Christina and Båge, Renee and Morrell, Jane and de Verdier, Kerstin and Hartzell, Lisbeth Nisu and Kjellinbro, Nanna and Belák, Katinka and Bernodt, Karin and Gavier-Widen, Dolores (2019). Diseases and causes of death among alpacas in Sweden: a retrospective study. Veterinary Record Open. 6 , 1-7
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Abstract

Background: Due to increasing popularity in Sweden during the last decade, alpacas are frequently encountered by practising veterinarians and pathologists. Knowledge regarding their health and diseases under Swedish conditions is, however, limited.
Objectives: To improve knowledge about the health of alpacas in Sweden by collecting information on diseases and health status. Design: A retrospective study was made of 93 necropsies conducted on alpacas in Sweden during the period 2001–2013. Setting Data were obtained from the two major veterinary pathology centres in Sweden. The alpacas were hobby or farm animals and they were submitted by veterinarians in local practices or at a national animal healthcare organisation.
Results: The digestive system was most frequently affected (29 per cent), with parasitic gastroenteritis (17 per cent) and hepatic disease being especially prevalent (15 per cent fascioliasis and 7 per cent hepatitis). Cardiovascular conditions (9 per cent), systemic diseases (7 per cent) and perinatal deaths were also common, including abortions (10 per cent) and fatal septicaemia (4 per cent). Wasting/emaciation was a frequent finding (26 per cent). Other diagnoses included dermatitis (8 per cent), diseases of the central nervous system (8 per cent), traumatic injuries (7 per cent), neoplasia (5 per cent), pneumonia (5 per cent) and nephritis (3 per cent).
Conclusions: This study identified areas of concern regarding diagnostic and pathological procedures, for which specific measures have been recommended. One particular cause for concern was the number of deaths from emaciation in weanling alpacas during late winter or early spring. For adult alpacas, infectious and noninfectious causes of death were approximately equally frequent. Many of the diseases were considered clinically acute but pathology often showed them to be chronic conditions that had eventually deteriorated and presented as acute cases in the late stages. This study revealed similarities in the health/disease status reported in other European countries and in North America. The results can be used by alpaca keepers and veterinary practitioners to improve management, diagnosis and treatment of alpacas.

Authors/Creators:Björklund, Christina and Båge, Renee and Morrell, Jane and de Verdier, Kerstin and Hartzell, Lisbeth Nisu and Kjellinbro, Nanna and Belák, Katinka and Bernodt, Karin and Gavier-Widen, Dolores
Title:Diseases and causes of death among alpacas in Sweden: a retrospective study
Year of publishing :2019
Volume:6
Page range:1-7
Number of Pages:7
Publisher:British Veterinary Association, BMJ
ISSN:2052-6113
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Pathobiology
Keywords:alpacas, Vicugna pacos, Sweden, health, diseases
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-100592
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-100592
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1136/vetreco-2017-000239
ID Code:16230
Faculty:V - Veterinärmedicinsk fakultet (t.o.m. 2003)
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
(VH) > Dept. of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 Jul 2019 09:39
Metadata Last Modified:05 Jul 2019 09:39

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