Winter 2016

Ask the Vet: Responsible Use of Medicines in Camelids

Claire E Whitehead BVM&S MS MRCVS Diplomate ACVIM (Large Animal).
RCVS Specialist in Camelid Health & Production. Director Camelid Veterinary Services Ltd.

When vets prescribe medicines for camelids in the UK, we do so under the “Cascade” which permits use of medicines that are licensed for similar uses in other species. There are a variety of sources of information about how these drugs are dosed, but probably the most comprehensive recent resource is within the pages of “Llama & Alpaca Care” (Elsevier 2014, editors Cebra, Anderson, Tibary, van Saun and Johnson). Within this text, the doses of various medicines are provided based on pharmacological studies or sound clinical experience.

I have often heard people say that “we don’t know anything about camelids” or that “there is no information”. In fact, this is not true. Although there are admittedly far fewer journal articles (and research studies) on the use of different medicines in camelids, there are many in the peer-reviewed literature.

As mentioned above, no drugs are licensed for use in camelids which means that they have not had a whole barrage of safety and efficacy testing specifically in Camelid species prior to going to market. These will have been completed for the species for which they are licensed and tested for their uses specified on the label.

This article can be found on Page 18 of our Winter 2016 edition, on sale now! Click here for subscription and purchasing information.

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