Friday, 28 January 2011

A,D & E...paste or injection?

A quick blog before I start doing something that falls within the category of paid employment (as much as I try to persuade Paul that alpaca care is a chore, he knows that I enjoy it far to much). The problem about working from home is that it does require some discipline to knuckle down to it; especially difficult when I can see the alpacas outside, enjoying what is a lovely sunny day.

Yesterday Amanda and I gave the herd their monthly A,D & E paste. Whilst this is easy to administer single-handed; getting the alpacas into the catch pens is much easier with two. Amanda, who is learning some hands on care before deciding if she wants to take her girls home, managed to administer the paste without any trouble at all. No spitting, no kicking, plenty of 'muddling'; it was a pleasure. They were so well behaved that I was rather proud of them I have to say.

On the subject of A,D & E; I had intended to change to the injectable form when we finished our current supplies of paste. However we do feel that all our alpacas are doing very well with their current regime (1ml per 8kg i.e approx 10mls per adult monthly). Our vet doesn't see the need to change and I can't really find any firm evidence that the paste is less effective when administered correctly. Injections must be much more practical when dealing with large herds and I imagine more cost effective but we are a relatively small herd. I had heard that the injectable form lasted for up to 8 weeks but most breeders seem to give monthly, so no advantage there. Has anyone had an experience of paste being less effective? I believe overdosing of Vitamin A can be quite toxic so don't want to change for changes sake.

Whilst we had all the girls in, we had a good fleece rummage. It was good to be able to discuss the reasons for choosing a particular male over each female with someone else. Time will tell if these decisions are correct, if not we learn and modify! The girls fleeces are looking great, I am beginning to wonder if all of them are still pregnant; well behaved and with such bright healthy fleeces!!...however all were scanned pregnant by the Vet in September...we have discussed buying our own scanner, maybe we need to revisit this...however we wouldn't re mate this time of year anyway, so not a lot to gain at present. 

Favourite female fleece from the rummage?...Silverstream Galaxy ET...her fourth fleece is stunning; bright, fine, and between 10-12 crimps per inch. It would appear that the importation process took it's toll on her fleece last year which lacked some of the brightness now obvious. Her fleece now displays a happy, healthy alpaca! One who is hopefully still pregnant to EP Cambridge Top Account of Fowberry!

St. Patrick's fleece is also growing back nicely showing extreme brightness. He does seem to have settled in very well amongst the boys. He does however think himself rather superior. With Lady Gaga being of a similar belief, I can only imagine how their offspring will behave. Will it be a curtsy or a bow that is required?

Waradene St. Patrick of EPC surveying his land!

The messiest eater?...all of that hay was discarded overnight!

Right... back to the paid employment...what is in essence my FOURTH job after breeding alpacas, creating a knitwear range, working on Intensive Care...I am again doing some legal-medical work preparing medical notes for litigation cases...very interesting but better kept for days when the sun isn't shinning!


  1. It was a great pleasure in a very relaxed herd. Iam sure they sense our joy of being around them which creates a happy friendly atmosphere. They couldn't wait for their turn in the limelight.

  2. Hi, I dont very often blog, but love to follow other breeders blogs. Having had experience in this subject feel a need to share it. I have just had an unhappy with a cria suffering from rickets, I have been using the paste this year and have given my herd it once a month since the beginning of October, I had no problems last year and was happy to use paste rather than injections. But sadly one of my cria went down with rickets in December, it came on very quickly.

    I had been away for five days helping with my grandson while my daughter gave birth to my grandaughter. My husband stayed to look after the alpacas, but he doesnt know them as well as I do and wouldnt have noticed she wasnt herself, she had been coming in with the herd and was with the herd while out in the field.

    With the advantage of living on site, I am able to observe the herd in the comfort of the mobile without disburbing their natural routine. But during the first day I was back I noticed she was sitting a bit more than the others, although was still within the herd, the next day when I got up she was sat outside the barn while everyone else was inside, not normal at all, so I watch for a couple of hours, luckly being on site I could sit and watch (if I was not on site and just came to feed twice a day I would not notice the change of habit) she was sitting most of the time (certainly not usual) and with her legs outstretch and only just keeping up with the herd, on calling the herd back down she was totally left behind and took a long time to come down to the barn. I called the vet out and he confirmed it was rickets, sadly it became obvious that she had not been feeding as much as she should and had lost quite a bit of weight (even in the couple of weeks since she had been body scored when given her paste)the vet gave her AD&E, Vitamin B12 and pain killer injection, leaving me injections to give her a couple of days later.

    Although she was nearly five months old it was decided we would need to bottle feed her to help her gain weight back. Before this she had been eating grass, hay and feed, but she was no longer interested in eating.

    The vet told me although its ok to use paste and I had been giving the correct dose, it was difficult to know how much they actually obsorb and it is suggested that the paste only stays in the system for about 10 days, hence I really should be giving it every two weeks. (The vet we use it is registered with the camalid society and has specialised in alpacas)

    The cria is black and he said it has become apparant that the darker ones can suffer more from this problem, and it is also now suggested that it may be a good idea to give mum a ad&e injection 4-6 weeks before the cria is born to give it a boost.

    I am glad to say after a very worrying couple of weeks, this beautiful girl has come on in leaps and bounds, and after a couple of weeks had started to eat her hay and feed, and is now happly grazing in the field, we have now stopped bottle feeding and she is holding her weight steady.

    It was a very upsetting time and I have got to say I felt that I had let her down.

    I am not saying paste is bad, but would just like to share my experience with you.

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to share(I am guessing I am thanking Ginny!).

    That makes sense. I had always thought that the paste didn't stay in the system as long as the injectable vits, but have always followed the advice to give monthly (fortnightly might be a tad to often to take on!).

    In that case rather than wait for a problem to araise I think we should learn from your experience. Great that you have an experienced Vet. Injectable AD&E it will be.

    So glad to hear that your cria has progressed well.

    Many thanks,


  4. It is good to read about other breeders experiences, good or bad - it is the best way of learning.
    We use injections but had been thinking about paste.
    Thanks for sharing your experience Ginny and Barbara for your inital thoughts.

  5. Hello All,
    This is a lifetime first for me - I don't think I have ever posted on a blog before - we have just put up a news item on Alpacaseller: - this links to our advice on ADE and Rickets - it is a terribly disressing thing to have happen, and is usually avoidable - research does indicate that Vitamin D does not cross the placenta though so extra ADE for mum will most likely only help mum. Late born crias and those not taking hard feed (Camelibra/Camelibra Cria by preference) are much more at risk. As subcutaneous injection of ADE is efficacious, avoiding the pain of I/M, we believe in injections as being more certain. Also you can use a product Hideject which has 10 times more Vitamin D than standard ADE injectable, and correspondingly much less potentially toxic Vitamin A per dose. Please contact me if you would like more details.

    Fowberry Alpacas

  6. Sorry - I forgot to emphasise the importance of Phosphorus in the treatment and prevention of rickets - we have seen instances of crias that don't respond to Vitamin D in ADE injections improving dramatically with phosphorus supplementation.
    Very useful notes on the AAA website: - I think you will need to copy these links and paste into your browser to have them work - well worth a look though


  7. Well to be seen I am no good at this - the Alpacaseller link only goes to Alpacaseller. The following will link to our article on rickets.

    Fowberry Alpacas

  8. Very interesting subject .............I inject AD&E, but I must say...I don't like doing the injections....and they can be a bit tricky...if your on your own !!......and I was thinking about the suppose its made my decision for me.....albeit a bit tricky at times !.......Jayne

  9. We use the injectable ADE as well, although we have used paste too in the past but then read that the injections are more reliable. I don't like injecting, especially with loads of cria fleece, but since we started using half inch needles for all S/C, it's much better and little chance of it going I/M instead of S/C!

  10. Hi
    I have been googling the subject of AD&E for alpacas. I have been looking for somewhere to buy the paste and now I see you can inject. I found a source for ordering my syringes & needles, Ivermectin and a sharps container. Now I need help with the AD&E? Where does one buy the AD&E injectable?? Also, what shots should alpacas be getting for vaccinations? I see CDT I think and is there anything else? We are going to try doing this ourselves. :) I feel o.k. giving under the skin around the shoulder area...hopefully! I have watched the videos and am ready to start our monthly routines! Have been avoiding it, but now we have some girls with babies and they are getting thin and I am worried about worms and lack of vitamins with them. :( I hate thin alpaca girls. I can use any help on alpaca care you want to throw my way.
    Take care everyone!