Alpacas give blood at Derbyshire practice

Vet Times
By: David Woodmansey  
Photo: Courtesy of Scarsdale Vets
Photo Caption: Alpaca blood donation event at Scarsdale Vets with BBC One's Countryfile.

Original content from Vet Times.      

Scarsdale Vets’ farm and equine unit at Markeaton brought together a group of Derbyshire alpaca owners for Scarsdale’s first blood donation event for the species.”

The event was held so animals that donated could provide plasma for their own herd, offering a lifeline to baby alpacas – crias – if needed.

Farm and equine unit

BBC One’s Countryfile was keen to find out more about the thinking behind the venture, and presenter Matt Baker took part in the filming for a programme that will be broadcast this weekend (25 February).

The alpaca blood donation event took place at Scarsdale’s farm and equine unit at Markeaton and brought together a group of four alpaca famers from Derbyshire and six of their animals, which were eligible to give blood.

No antibodies

The event was run by Scarsdale’s Fay Pooley, who is a farm vet by profession and working towards a certificate in advanced veterinary practice specialising in camelids.

She said: “Having spoken to a number of our alpaca-owning clients, we had the idea of bringing together a small group of animals to help us build up a supply of plasma.

“The reason it is important to have a good supply of plasma is baby alpacas are born without antibodies, which can leave them open to serious infections in the first few days of life.”

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