Paste, Haste, Greed, Feed, Jab, Stab – opinions vary for ADE in Alpaca
I am often asked how we proved the essential Vitamins to our Camelids at Kensmyth. The answer is that we inject Subq (subcutaneously – under the skin) at regular intervals from when the sun fades (usually September) until it is present in force again (varies each year but usually end of April/May).
Kensmyth inject the entire herds including all adults and all cria. Cria are injected from 4 weeks with the dosage prorated according to age and weight. The standard dose for injecting Hipravit ADE Forte for example is 2ml per adult.
But why inject? its tedious, invasive and we use clean needles each time, bottles going out of date within 28 days usually.
The answer lies with “if it don’t break don’t fix it” and years of experience have taught us the chant “paste haste feed greed jab stab” as a method of explanation.
Feed = Greed
Ok – newbie Alpaca owners do not like injecting (jab stab)as a rule so they seek to use different methods. The most common method used is by extra vitamins in the feed. Herewith entering the “Feed greed” scenario. if the vitamins are to be administered in the feed – how on earth can you accurately ensure that each Camelid has the correct intake and the answer is you cannot. Some Camelids are greedy and push others away before guzzling down the lot and therefore getting an “overdose” and others therefore get little if any. the photo below shows an adult with varying size cria – how could you possibly tell if each one was getting the right amount of vitamins? Really? lets get real here.
So Kensmyth feed vitamin inclusive hard feed every day of the year to ensure that no one misses out at any time and Kensmyth uses drainpipes to ensure adequate space for each Camelid at each trough… but we still inject (jab stab) in addition to this; as explained at the outset.
Paste = Haste
Another method used in Camelids is a Vitamin Paste. This is a great idea for some Camelids and some owners but again, ensuring each Camelid has the correct amount according to weight and age is essential to the health of the Camelids… can you really no seriously tell me that a twizzle on a nozzle pushed into each mouth of each Camelid ensures each one gets the correct amount? Really? I think not, I rather think that two things struck me very early on in Camelid ownership regarding this method. The first is that you cannot get each Camelid to swallow a precise amount from a syringe, its awkward in most cases to hold the Camelid, open its mouth and squidge it in AND some will inevitably spit it out if it even got there in the first place.
What concerns me perhaps more about this method is the fact that the Vitamin Paste syringe is repeatedly being inserted into the mouths of differing Camelids one after the other which in todays age cannot surely be a good practice?
There are reasons why a clean needle is used each time for injecting so the principle must surely be the same for Vitamin Pastes.
I am sure I will get lynched by Vitamin Paste providers for writing this BUT it is my opinion and I am entitled to it. I am not saying that in the right hands a Vitamin Paste is not kinder than injecting but I personally would not trust the accuracy of its ability to provide what Camelids need through winter months of low light and sunshine.
Jab = Stab
Carefully penning and holding each Camelid for a Subq injection of the correct dosage ensures a slow release of accurately measured vitamins at regular intervals. Yes, its time consuming, yes, it costs a few pence more to change the needle each time but at least you guarantee that each Camelid is definitely getting is Vitamins.
please note ADE for Camelids in injectable form is most usually only available from your Vet.
Happy healthy alpaca that grow well to a proper height and weight without risk of rickets = SubQ ADE for me!