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The Barbers Pole worm is a deadly worm. It lives in alpacas without any outward sign until its too late and the alpaca suddenly falls ill and is too far gone to save. This is one of the reasons it is important to inspect your alpacas on a daily basis. I do not mean you have to put them in a yard and do a hands on inspection; watch them and see if they are behaving "normally". Each alpaca has its own individual character - get to know your alpacas. It certainly helps if something is wrong.

Alpacas spread worms very quickly through the herd due to them "sniffing the dung pile". They breath in the eggs and the cycle keeps repeating itself. Be careful and keep your paddocks clean to avoid this transference.

Barbers Pole Worm can be treated with specialist wormers.



Some years ago one of my young males died after eating the growing tip of a wisteria plant. The poisoning resulted in his kidneys and liver shutting down. The DPI advised they had never had a reported animal poisoning from wisteria although there are reported instances of children being poisoned through putting the seed pods in their mouths. I have seen other alpaca eat the leaves of the wisteria with no ill effect but this little boy ate approximately 12cm of the growing tip and was sick within fifteen minutes. He showed the classic signs of poisoning - labored breathing, drooling, unable to stand, severe stomach pain. I managed to get him over the initial poisoning however it appears irreparable damage was done to his organs.

This prompted me to check on the web for what other plants in the garden were poisonous and was I in for a surprise. The amount of everyday common plants in EVERYONE'S garden that are poisonous is staggering. Bulbs are definitely up there as well as common hedging plants and other ornamental plants. Its worth checking out the web for a list of these plants (you will be surprised).


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