Alpaca Blood Sugar
This blog post is a follow up to a video and post we did many years ago regarding a cria that had a seizure. Because of this incident we adopted a protocol of checking the blood sugar levels of all new born crias. The cria seized 24 hours after being born. The mothers milk came in so strong that the cria could not latch on and nurse even though to us, it looked like everything was just great. So just like you and I, if we don’t eat our blood sugar will drop and with crias there is not a large reserve to draw upon. We also wanted to be able to keep our distance from the new cria and mom and let them bond and not interfere in their nursing schedule.
What we do is 4-5 hours after birth and no later than 5pm we do the procedure as outlined in the video. Why 5 pm? Because if we find an issue we have time to get things corrected. They sleep better and so do we! On a side note to this procedure, if we have a problem we will isolate female and cria and due our best to milk the mother and tube the cria her colostrum. Over the years we have also accumulated colostrum from various females that let us milk them. Frozen and stored in refrigerator we can thaw and tube to a cria. We have given up on the bottle for a few reasons. We do not want bottle babies and we do not want to take the time necessary to bottle feed, we also want to know exactly how much we are feeding the cria.
We have been very successful at getting crias to nurse and able to step away without creating a bottle baby. So you may be asking what is the magic number from the blood sugar monitor? We have found that normally nursing crias will be over 100, these we leave them alone, We tend not to panic unless they reach 60 this seems to be a good threshold for intervention, so between 60 and 100 we tend to watch closely and check more often.
As a side note we have also used this on older alpacas as part of our diagnostic protocol.
We hope you find this information valuable to your alpaca operations. If you would like more information please don’t hesitate to call or email us. Please find and like us on Facebook and keep abreast of happenings at RobAsia Alpaca Ranch