TitleNutritional support for treatment of hepatic lipidosis in a llama.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsVan Saun, RJ, Callihan, BR, Tornquist, SJ
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Date Published2000 Nov 15

A 3-year-old female llama that was 3 months into her first lactation and 10 weeks pregnant was evaluated for anorexia of 24 hours' duration. On physical examination, the llama was in lateral recumbency, bradycardic, tachypneic, and hyperthermic. Palpation per rectum confirmed the presence of a possible dry fecal mass in the spiral colon. A tissue biopsy specimen of the liver was obtained, and histologic examination revealed moderate diffuse lipid accumulation within the hepatocytes. Lactated Ringer's solution was administered for rehydration, and partial parenteral nutrition was then initiated. Hepatic lipidosis is a disease characterized by abnormal accumulation of lipid in the liver and is associated with high mortality in camelids. Anorexia associated with hepatic lipidosis promotes further lipid mobilization and fatty infiltration of the liver. Partial parenteral nutrition with enteral supplementation may be used to maintain adequate energy intake and minimize further lipid mobilization. The distinctive metabolism of camelids may require higher amino acid supplementation relative to nonprotein calories in parenteral solutions than those traditionally provided to other species. Treatment with insulin may be effective