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Validation of the FAMACHA© system in South American camelids

Camelids experience similar problems with Haemonchus contortus and multiple drug resistance as small ruminants. Therefore; the FAMACHA© system should provide benefit. But does it?

University of Georgia researchers conducted a validation study of the FAMACHA© system on 21 llama and alpaca farms over a two-year period. They used the FAMACHA© system to score the color of the lower eyelid. Packed cell volumes (PCVs) were measured and compared to FAMACHA© scores.

On 17 of the 21 farms, Haemonchus contortus was the primary parasite. PCV was determined to be statistically associated with FAMACHA© score, fecal egg count (FEC), and body condition score. The use of FAMACHA© scores >3 and PVC >15% provided the best sensitivity, whereas FAMACHA© scores >4 and PCV >20% provided the best specificity.

Researchers concluded that the FAMACHA© system is a useful tool for detecting clinical anemia in camelids and that treatment decisions based on FAMACHA© score should mirror those established for small ruminants.

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