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Introduction to the alpaca and its veterinary care in the UK
  1. Gian Lorenzo D'Alterio

    Gian Lorenzo D'Alterio qualified from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy, in 1995. He subsequently completed a threeyear residency at Bristol in production animal health, with particular emphasis on South American camelids. He is currently in mixed practice in Maremma, Italy. He holds an MSc in wild animal health and, in 2005, was awarded fellowship of the RCVS for studies on skin disease in South American camelids in the UK.


SOUTH American camelids, particularly alpacas (Lama pacos), are becoming increasingly popular exotic livestock species in the UK. As with most exotic animals, veterinary intervention relies heavily on knowledge gained with more conventional and familiar species. However, species differences must be taken into consideration, and it is crucial that exotic patients are placed within the appropriate biological context. This article discusses the husbandry procedures commonly adopted for alpacas in the UK and describes how routine veterinary techniques are conducted in this species. It also outlines an approach to disease prevention.

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