Monday, July 16, 2012

Skin Issues

Skin issues are not uncommon with llamas and alpacas.  Over the years we've seen our share...bare noses, scrapes and small sores, bare spots on the legs, etc.  Usually they're not anything to worry about, but it is important to watch for warning signs of infection or parasitism before choosing a treatment.

This spring I noticed two of our girls with small skin issues.  Bluff has two little spots of elephant skin on the "armpits" of her front legs.  They're not red or inflamed at all, just dry.

April  has developed quite a few bald spots on the bottoms of her legs (where the hair is short).  Again there is no sign of infection or parasites, and the skin underneath looks completely normal.  I have a feeling it is just a symptom of old age (she turned 18 yrs old in April), but I decided to try and get the hair to regrow anyway.
The dark spot in the middle is Bluff's elephant skin spot.
The pink spots are bare skin on April's back legs.

Big bare spot on the bottom of April's back leg.
I did a bit of research, and came up with a few key ingredients that I wanted to put in my "skin mix".  Vitamin E oil, tea tree oil, and MTG (a commercial horse liquid skin product) made the list.  I also ended up adding in some udder balm (for cows) and natural diaper cream (for babies).  Between them, ingredients include zinc oxide, lanolin, oils, and moisturizers.  I decided to make 2 different mixes...a liquid that I could spray on April's legs, and a cream that I could rub on Bluff's "armpits".  The liquid was mostly the MTG with a bit of vitamin E and tea tree oils; the cream was mostly the udder balm and diaper cream with some vitamin E and tea tree oils.
My ingredients.
I haven't been very good about applying the products to the llamas so far, so I can't really comment on their effectiveness, but they are easy to apply!  I'm hoping to see good results by the end of the summer.  Now I need to make up more of the liquid mix...I've run out already!

No comments: