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In Europe, the importance of domesticated South American Camelids (SAC), llamas (Lama glama) and alpacas (Lama pacos), has grown, especially in recent years, due to their rising popularity and the associated increase in their numbers. SACs are classified as ‘food producing animals’ within the European Union. Thus, special guidelines need to be followed in the case of pharmacological treatment. For llamas and alpacas, drugs are used in an extra-label manner, since appropriate veterinary medicinal products are only authorised for domestic food-producing species such as horses, goats, sheep or cattle, but not for camelids.
Endoparasitism is a major health concern in SACs causing severe clinical diseases and economic losses. Especially, gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infections are common in llamas and alpacas kept in Europe. This is not surprising given that camelids often share grazing with sheep, goats and cattle, or are kept on pastures previously used for ruminants. Cross-transmission between host species can take place (Bishop and Rickard 1987) and GIN common to sheep and cattle have been documented in camelids as well (Leguia 1991, Rickard 1994, Fowler 2010). There are several classes of anthelmintics frequently used in all ruminants, including benzimidazoles, macrocyclic lactones, imidazothiazoles and hydropyrimidines. For anthelmintic drugs, very few data are published on proper dose regimen in SACs. It is difficult to estimate whether anthelmintic drugs applied at dose rates and routes suggested for horses, sheep or cattle lead to drug levels able …