OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of administration of hydrocortisone on plasma concentration of insulin and serum concentrations of glucose, triglyceride, and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) in llamas before and after feed restriction. ANIMALS: 9 adult female llamas. PROCEDURE: Feed was withheld from llamas for 8 hours. Blood samples were collected before (0 minutes) and 120, 180, 240, and 300 minutes after IV injection of hydrocortisone sodium succinate (1 mg/kg) for determination of plasma insulin concentration and serum concentrations of glucose, triglyceride, and NEFAs. The llamas were then fed a limited diet (grass hay, 0.25% of body weight daily) for 21 days, after which the experimental procedures were repeated. RESULTS: Compared with llamas that were not feed-restricted, llamas after feed restriction had significantly higher plasma insulin concentration and serum concentrations of triglycerides and NEFAs. Feed-restricted llamas after hydrocortisone injection had a significantly smaller increase in serum glucose concentration, a decrease (rather than an increase) in serum concentration of NEFAs, and no change in blood concentrations of insulin or triglycerides. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Short-acting glucocorticoid hormones did not appear to increase blood lipid concentrations in healthy llamas, regardless of ongoing fat mobilization. Thus, these hormones appear unlikely to be major direct contributors to diseases such as hepatic lipidosis or hyperlipemia. Although administration of hydrocortisone reduced serum concentration of fatty acids in feed-restricted llamas, its use has not been evaluated in sick camelids and cannot be considered therapeutically useful.