Neurologic Diseases in Llamas and Alpacas
Llamas and alpacas are affected by a wide range of neurologic diseases, including listeriosis, polioencephalomalacia, encephalitis caused by West Nile virus and equine herpesvirus, and meningeal worm. Cervical luxations and subluxations appear to be more common in camelids than in other species. Camelids that have otitis or discospondylitis may not present with clinical signs until the underlying pathology is severe. Meningitis and brain abscesses are an important complication of failure of passive transfer of immunity in crias. The cerebrospinal fluid tap is especially useful for diagnosing meningeal worm and ruling out other diseases. CT and MRI are particularly useful when intracranial disease is suspected or for spinal lesions that show only subtle lesions on plain radiography.
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