Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Relationships between body condition score (BCS), FAMACHA©-score and haematological parameters in alpacas (Vicugna pacos), and llamas (Lama glama) presented at the veterinary clinic

South American camelids (SAC) are being more and more presented at the veterinary Clinics in Germany. A bad nutritional condition, which can be easily categorized using a body condition score (BCS) of the animals, is often not noticed by the owners. Further anaemia is also often only detected in an advanced stage in SAC. Clinical detection of anaemia can be performed by assessing the FAMACHA©-score (FS), that is adapted from small ruminants. So far, there is only little information available about BCS and FS in SAC. In this study, both clinical scores were assessed in alpacas and llamas presented at the veterinary clinic and compared with the haematological parameters from the animals. The data were extracted retrospectively from the animals' medical records and compared statistically. More than half of the alpacas (60%) and llamas (70%) had a BCS < 3, while 12% of the alpacas and 21% of the llamas had a FS > 2. A decreased BCS was associated with a decrease in haematocrit, haemoglobin, lymphocytes, and eosinophils, as well as an increase in FS and neutrophils. BCS and FS should be assessed regularly in SAC to detect emaciation and anaemia in time.

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