Sunday, 15 November 2009

HCT ok!

We have taken bloodsamples of all the alpacas after the last horrible incident. Everything seems to be normal. All the alpacas had a HCT (hematocriet / red cell count) between 33 and 52. Our blooddonors seems to have the highest HCT (after injections with Iron).

Nothing wrong with the herd? Let's hope so...


Yesterday we (The Vet Practice) had a alpaca-patiënt which / who's HCT was only 14!!! We discussed a bloodtransfusion. Her weight was just above the 30 kg (adult female). It was treated against worminfections every three months (that's ok). Nothing wrong with that!

Problem with alpacas is what dewormer are you using and how much of it.

This patient probably had Barber worm in combination with stomachulcera and a negative energie balans after birthing. I believe she will be ok in a several weeks with our treatment.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Pathalogic results of Wasaki


About 1.5 to 2 liters of blood in her intestine. Normal contains in stomach and lower bowel. In between just a very large pipeline with blood. Shutting down of the liver....

Diagnos: Catharal enteritis. Don't know what caused this. It takes only several hours for an alpaca to die.... Further examination (bacteria and histological research is to follow).

No coccidia or worms were found - that is a relieve.

Just bad luck - it seems....!

New fleece samples of our studs

Just got the results of 2d fleeces of

Lysander - 16.77 micron SD 4.3
Claudius - 21.4 micron SD 4.3

Claudius is a black male, sun of Canchoness Witness.

Super results for second fleeces...

Mail the alpaca-vet

Monday, 9 November 2009

A lot has happened since the last message...

A flashback..., no not the alpacastud Flashback!

A few good cria were born last month. No problems what so-ever...

Yesterday we had our first show. We had never shown our animals because we thought we only wanted to show winning material.

And so we did. CME Lysander ET became Grand Champion Beige / Fawn at the Germany West-show in Krefeld. And his halfsister became first in her class.

The competion was hard in every class. Almost all alpacas had extreme quality. If you see the progress which has been made in the last three years at shows in the Benelux and Germany...! It is unbelieveble - lots of excellent imports were done... Now we will have to breed the same quality ourselves (that will be more difficult than buying a excellent animal).

Of the six classes in Krefeld - three were won by the Dutch (that does say something about the progress there's made in the last year). 1 class was won by a college (DVM) from Belgium and two classes (and the Supreme Champion) were won by one and the same farm from Germany.

We were totally happy - 2 alpacas - 2 first in class and 1 Grand Champion. What better start with our showteam could we wish......

THEN CAME THIS HORRIBLE MORNING! Arunvale Wasaki. One of our best females was down in the field. She couldn't get on her feet. Her colour was pale. She had lost a lot of blood or was getting into a shock. Immediate action was taken. In 10 minutes we had a bag of blood from one of the donors (by Marieke and Gemma). In the meantime Mandy and me (Leo) were getting Wasaki on a car/tractor out of the field. We tried to gave her the bloodtransfusion and something against the anafylactic shock which sometimes occur.

After half an hour she gave up. Leaving us devestated (with a half empty bag of blood) behind. What happened here??? Saterday she looked a little bit slower, but she ate very well. She had a good weight (67 kg) last week. She was treated against coccidia with Vecoxan and furthermore she got panacur-pills (fenbendazole) and Levamisole (injections) against worminfections over the last few weeks...

No price at a show makes this lost ok!

Probably it was an aneurisma or another kind of bleeding in her belly. Ulcera? Torsi of the Uterus? We would like to get an object pathologic finding, so we brought her to dr. Dorresteijn which is known for his good diagnosis in alpacadeaths in The Netherlands and Belgium. We could have done it ourselves, but I was to emotional to do it right (and we are not specialized in pathology).

We hopefully hear something tomorrow of dr. Dorresteijn.

What a bloody shame and a f...... waste. Whithin 3 months after importing her to The Netherlands she died. She was the mother of Quickstep who won her class yesterday and she was carrying another Jaquinto cria. When shit happens, it happens very shit!!!

So this were the emotions of the last few days - from totally happy till broken down... Fortunatly we have other girls / boys for our 2010 showteam. WE WILL BE BACK! BETTER AND STRONGER!!!

Thanks for the lovely mails from our alpacafriends we already recieved. It is still a great happy (alpaca) family in The Netherland, Belgium, Germany and the UK. It seems to me that it is important to share information with our alpacafriends so we can all learn something from these sort of horrible deaths...

We will try to post a newsletter on a veterinary topic (of alpacas) every week from now.

Wishing you and your alpacas good health...,

Leo van Merwijk (DVM)
Alpacas of the Lowlands

Saturday, 17 October 2009

New born female cria

AOL Avalon

Her mother is AOL Eline and her father is CD (Alpaca-farm Carpe Diem)-U2

Notice the floppy ear. See earlier articles

Have a nice weekend,

Mail the alpaca-vet

Friday, 16 October 2009

Lysander - second place at fleece show

Last weekend CME Lysander ET fleece became second in Burgstädt (Germany). Promising a good future for him because his actual fleece is much better then last year.... Tim Hey (Inca Alpaca) was the judge.

See 3th Ost show of Germany

and the weblog of this show

Another good result on his (Lysanders) record. Up to Krefeld (in November).

Good weekend,

Mail the alpaca-vet

Monday, 28 September 2009

Three pregnant ladies?

At the right of this photo our first female (she is dead) with two of her sons. She was peruvian, and did have a really nice fleece.

At the moment we have three pregnant ladies who should / could "collaps" every minute. Maybe the most difficult for us with a very busy life (as a vet) to keep an eye on these girls.

The little boy with the FTT is a little better after 2 iron injections and every day injection with an NSAID (Non steroid Anti Inflammentory Drug). This is also against the pain. We saw him standing / scraping his teeth.... - an indication of pain. I (Leo) suspect him also that he has developed some stomach-ulcers... I didn't treat him for it. First see what the other injections will do.

Had some serious questions about buying alpacas last few days... We did mention some farms, but I get the notice that my advice is doing nothing, ha, ha... We have no interess in selling our own animals at this moment (or you must be interested in some Coburger Fuchs sheep, ha, ha...).
So again: Our advice is freely and independent! We don't get any money from any alpacafarm. We don't have any benifit from our advice. We like to help people to get a really "good start" with their new herd. You can ask us for free for advice (for us it is just a hobby with an huge H - an expression of Marieke). But certainly it is your decision from who you will buy the alpacas. I hope you don't make the same mistakes as we did when we started... It is remarkeble to see that so many people in Holland wants to buy quality alpacas.

Makes it more difficult for us to win some prices in the future, ha, ha....!

We sent Lysanders (our "super" future stud) fleece to germany for a show. We will see. I'll keep you informed.

Mail the alpaca-vet

Friday, 18 September 2009

Immunoproblems in alpacas

....................... and bloodsamples

Photo: Bloodsamples taken of an alpaca suspected of FTT Bata4en - Vet - Lab. (micr. 10 x 40)

As a mentioned before: There are a lot of immunoproblems in alpacas. You can categorise them in three groups:

  1. IDS / Immunodeficiency syndrome
  2. FPT / Failure of Passive Transfer (see article IgG)
  3. FTT / Failure to Thrive

The last; FTT was new for me. But now I have such an animal in my own herd.

The symptoms. The cria is growing normally til the moment of weaning. After that period the cria will loose weight. Most owners think it is because of the weaning. IgG-levels are mostly in a normal range (above 800 mg/dl). Futher studies on bloodlevels give a very low rate of iron and an anemic animal (very low RBC / red blood cel count). When the IgG level is low the prognosis is almost infaust - or at least very bad...

Most of them (but not all) will have very low thyroxine levels in their blood.

It is often first noticed at an age of 6 months. The alpaca is staying behind in growth. It is recommended that a treatment is started immidiatly after diagnosed.


Ironinjections / every 7 - 10 days.

T4 - supplement (orally) hormons

Hyperimmuneplasma should be administred

Multivitamins and selenium in feeding


Prognose 30 - 40% of the animals will die. It seems to be NON - hereditary! Females who will recover have normal crias.

We can test your animals within several minutes for their IgG Hematocriet and T4 levels. Let us know when you expect such a problem... You can also ask your vet to contact us.

Many greetings and a nice day to you,


Mail the alpaca-vet

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Hip problems

Last week I saw a patiënt with a locomotionproblem. It looks like it has a hipproblem (dysplasia). He walks the same like a dog with HD. We did some research in our literature, but their is nothing documented on this subject in alpacas.

So if anybody have any information on this subject, please e-mail...
Photo: Heupdysplasia in a dog / source:



P.S. "Yes we will take some X-ray, but probably the cria is too young at the moment".

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Today we picked up three girls. They were at alpaca farm Carpe Diem for matings.... Yvonne and Jan showed us some sons of Chieftain (a australian stud which is own by a former Dutchman Michiel de Reeper). One of them was really great. Only 3 months old and standing as a real CHIEF.

I hope the girls are pregnant! One of the litte cria is becoming really great... Her father is Classical Ikon. Personally I wasn't charmed by this stud, but Marieke made a good desission with Ikon.

Yvonne and Jan - thank you for taking good care of our girls.

On the photo: Last cria born (with floppy ears). It is sign of "early birth". Plasma should be used - Ask for the newsletter for more information.

Mail the alpaca-vet

Sunday, 6 September 2009


Also on twitter....

Mail the alpaca-vet

IgG and alpacas

Immuno globulin G

IgG is one of the antibodies which have all living animals / humans... Antibodies are trying to keep you from sickness. Alpacas are born with very low levels of IgG. They will get their IgG by colostrum... It is therefore important when the mare has no milk or the cria won't suckle IgG is given to the cria.

IgG can easy be won by plasma (blood without cells) from an alpaca of your herd.

It is possible that we measure the IgG level of your alpaca. When the IgG level is low or stays low it can be necessary to give your alpaca some plasma. Sometimes that means months after the cria is born. Otherwise your alpaca will have healthproblems at the first year of age.

You can contact us for measuring your alpaca/cria bloodsample for IgG-level.

Or just mail us for our first newsletter (nr. 1) which is about ALPACA / CRIA / PLASMA

Greetings, Leo

New corrals from the US

We bought two corrals from the United States. They are very light and easy to transport.

The two little females from England were in today. Nice at the gras of the garden to our house (sight from our kitchen).

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Chas tubefeeding

He 's really easy (just knows how to handle), handy and fast with alpacas. Ultrasound is made in 5 seconds. Tubefeeding alone... No worries...! The real Alpacawhisperer: Chas Brooke

Mail the alpaca-vet

Friday, 4 September 2009

Tubefeeding a cria

Saw a nice video on the website about tubefeeding...

Mail the alpaca-vet

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

What's so special?

I don't know! I didn't see it?
Ha, ha... It was beautifull. But they were closed!? So we were send away after going through the fence / gate. Nobody could own these forces from such an object. STUPID...

Very beautifull. You will pass it while going over the A303 in south of England. We did when collecting the alpacas last week.

Mail the alpaca-vet

Does your alpaca have a infection which doesn't heal?

Then alway use a sterile swab to send to the laboratorium. They can tell you what bacteria is in the wound and which antibiotics you should use...
So we did!

Flatfoot and his friends...

Don't try this at home.
This young female has a problem with her tendons... And her feet. We have to immobilize her. Give her steroïds to make her tendons and muscles stronger.

Classical MileEnd Alpacas

Thanks Rachel and Chas.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

If your work is your hobby...

X-ray! What do they say...?

First, I am a vet! And for my hobby, I have some alpacas.

What is more perfect then combining these two!

We have some alpaca-patiënts at our vet-practice this moment.

One of this patiënts has a problem with his frontleg. It was broken more than a year ago...

We made some pictures with our digital x-ray system (Philips). The fraction has healed, but their is an infection of the intramedullair bone. The inflammation will be flushed daily for several weeks with a combination of antibiotics. We first have taken a swab of the infection to determine which bacteria is involved and what antibiotics the best could be used...

Nice case for a vet who is interested in alpacas.

Many greetings, Leo

Monday, 31 August 2009

We always have beautifull alpacas for sale. Prices vary between 500 euro (pets) - 2500 (female - lower quality) till 20000 euro (superstuds).

Mail the alpaca-vet

The 18 hours of Jinke, the alpacas and me...

We were going to Paris in England???

Some recommandations for transporting / exporting animals from England to the Netherlands.

  1. Don't go for a ride all over England on the last weekend of the summer holiday (black Friday). The traffic jam is hell...

  2. Never use Norfolkline for the transport of your animals. "We go for the wellfare of the animals". But they let them wait for 6 HOURS!!! All becaus of a little rain and wind... I had to beg to get to the mainland.

  3. Don't use the port Dover - Calais or Dover - Dunkurque. Best boat to catch for the Netherlands is Harwich - Hoek van Holland. It is much more expensive, but much better for the animals. No waiting. Much larger ship - no worries for the animals - very stabel. You and the animals will get much more time for resting / sleep.

  4. Don't put to much animals in a trailer. A good advice / protocol should be half the animals you can normally transport would be the max for such a long trip.

  5. Take some hay and water with you and there must be enough straw on the floor.

  6. There should be enough ventilation for the animals...

  7. Stop every 2 to 3 hours. It is better for the animals. The stop wouldn't take longer than 10 minutes. The animals can standup when you are standing still.

At the photo's:

Me and the first officer of Norfolklline and two co-workers on the dock...

Chas Brook and me looking over compatible medicine in England and the Netherlands.

Genevuive getting mated with Paris (hopefully we will collect her in october with the other new 5 girls).

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Lysander - The new King of The Lowlands

Here he is...!

The new King of The Lowlands.

Our brand new studmale

A super stud for the future who has already won some prestigous shows in England (look at the list at the end of this article). Most amazing fleece... never saw anything like this.

Thank you Chas and Rachel of Classical MileEnd of letting him go.

Many greetings, Leo


British Alpaca Futurity 2009

Judge Amanda Vandenbosch

Junior White Male – 1st Classical MileEnd Lysander ET


BAS Spring Show 2009

Judge Val Fullerlove

Junior White Male – 2nd Classical MileEnd Lysander


Heart of England Show 2009

Judge Cathy Lloyd

Junior Fawn Male – 2nd CME Lysander ET


Devon County Show 2009

Judge Vicki Agar

Junior Fawn Male – 3rd CME Lysander ET


Royal Bath & West Show 2009

Judge Liz Barlow

Junior Fawn Male – 1st CME Lysander ET


Mail the alpaca-vet

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Girls on tour to the Netherlands...

Glamourgirls from England

Here are the pictures of two ladies which come over to the Netherlands .... We bought three animals (not seen) on the Internet. It is something we never do!!! We always want to check them before buying. But we were lucky; two of them have nice fleeces (micron - 18 both at 11 months of age). And the other had a fleecesample (same age) of 16 micron....! Very beautiful small crimp. Density and brightness could be better. But this something to improve in the next generation.

We have several options for very beautiful animals. But first we have to think what our breeding goals will be and how much money we want to spend .... And of course don't forget our ROI (Return On Investment). We have to do some serious marketing. In the Netherlands nobody knows who we are.... ha, ha....

Have a very nice weekend, Leo

Mail the alpaca-vet

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Looking for alpacas

At sunday late in the afternoon we (Marieke and I) left to visit some farms in England. We decided to take a new route (new for us). Go by Belgium and France and take the ferry to the UK.

First night we slept in Maidstone at the Black horse Inn. Really a nice little hotel. But the Full English Breakfast was very bad. And the bed was to small (or I was to tall / big to fit in).

Next day we left to visit some farms and see what we have bought (alpacaseller) and how the ones were doing which were still overthere for mating... We did see super beautifull animals, with super fleeces but for much higher prices we were used to pay in the Netherlands. Learned a lot..., maybe laughed to much but really did have a great time with the people who invited us to stay overnight at their farm. Very interesting life-stories were been told. I really like the British....

At 03.00 uur Tuesday/Wednesday we get back in Haaften. It was a very exhausting trip. But it was certainly worth it...!

Wednesdaymorning: slowly getting my normal pattern back...!


Many greetings, Leo

Mail the alpaca-vet

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Test automatic mail...

By this underscored "Mail the alpaca-vet" at the end of every article on this blog you can directly ask your questions about alpacas.

English, German or Dutch language please...

Mail the alpaca-vet

BEW Alpaca

Blue eyed white (BEW) alpacas remain one of the most controversial subjects in the alpaca industry. Those who don't own any, rarely understand the facts about them. Those who own them, generally, don't have a problem and often refer to them as their favorite alpacas or a favorite of farm visitors.
BEW's come from the breeding of two animals that each carry the white spot gene and the BEW allele variant of that gene. White-spot genes are found in white faced, tuxedo, white legs, pinto or virtually any alpaca with as little as a few white hairs as well as grey alpacas. That is a whole lot of animals!
The pairing of two alpacas with white or grey markings bring a one in four (1-4) chance of a BEW birth. However, the mating of one of these animals with a solid colored animal, should not get a BEW cria. Selective breeding is something all farms should practice.

I (Leo) think is not controversiel to breed with thes BEW's. For example: If you take the Australian shepherd. Merle x merle is not done. You get 25 % of deaf/lethal pups. In alpacas it is the same... DON'T GO FOR BEW SIRE X BEW MARE!!! ALWAYS USE A SOLID COLOR. BEW sires should not be used.

It is an utopia to think we can remove / decrease this "genentic disorder" out of our the population of alpacas worldwide..., because any animal with some with hairs could be a carrier for this gen.

Many greetings,

Leo van Merwijk

Clik here for a good scientific article about BEW alpacas:

Monday, 6 July 2009

New born criae (alpacas)

Born on the 4th of july!


After 12 months pregnancy two of our imported girls (Belgium and England) have given birth. Two little girls were born.

The first, a very beautiful chocolat (rare) brown, was born on friday 3th of july. We decided (Marieke and I) that this was the first year (2009) we really are seriously breeding for better genetics. So we have to "come up with a system for naming". We agreed to give the new born alpacas a name by the year they were born, using the alphabet.
All alpacas born in 2009 will get a name started with an A. 2010 With a B and so on...
So we call our brown girl: AOL (stands for Alpacas of the Lowlands): Aoibheann Princess of the Lowlands.
Aoibheann means "beautifull" in Irish. It is pronounced as EE-ven.

On saterday our Belgium mother was on strike. She give us a very bright little white girl. She was racing on our fields and making contact with the other mares where the brown cria was staying with his mother and was sleeping on the grass.
We named her: AOL: Ailbhe Duchess of the Lowlands
Ailbhe - meaning "white, noble, bright". It is pronounced as Elvy
She has a very soft fleece (feels realy unique and very straight and beautifull legs).

On sunday we had a better look on her and we saw that she has blue eyes. Hmmm, just our luck! I'll get back on this subject in a future topic.... BEW's - Blue Eyes White Alpacas. I tested her..., and she is certainly not blind or deaf. Well that's a relief!!!
And of course always check the placenta. It has to come off in several hours. But better is in half an hour after birthing.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Geen alpaca's mee naar Hapert

Aanstaande 21 en 22 maart is het zover. Voor de 2e maal wordt dan de Alpacashow gehouden in Hapert. Met name Jan van den Acker en Yvonne Verbeek zijn grote initiatoren van dit geweldige evenement.

Dus mensen allemaal naar Hapert aanstaande zondag.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

A new logo for "Alpacas of the Lowlands"

The new logo for
"Alpacas of the Lowlands"
Marieke has designed it...

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Pregnant or Preg-not?

Today we scanned three of our girls...

Photo 1.
From above you see a full foetus. Left is his/her chest and righthand is the pelvis.

Photo 2.
From aside you see the heart and lungs in the thorax (chest).

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Alpacashow in Hapert (2009)

We will be present at the Alpacashow in Hapert in march 2009.
You can visit our stand and see how alpacablood is collecting (on farm) and transfered into plasma for earlyborn (neonatal) criae. It is possible to buy your own mobile plasmarotor (professional). Or you can make an appointment with us to visit your "farm".
We are looking forward to meet you...!


Marieke and Leo van Merwijk (DVM)
Bata4en - Animal Clinic
Alpacas of the Lowlands

Healthproblems or buying alpacas? Ask us - FREE ADVICE!

Our adress:

Bata4en - Animal Clinic
Enggraaf 22 - 24
4175 ER Haaften
0031 (0) 418 – 591302 (monday to friday)

0031 (0) 6 - 51164000 (cellphone - weekends)

You can reach us by email

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