Xylazine (Rompun) 200 mg. (2cc) in the muscle for a 1000 pound camel. Adjust this based on size of the animal and degree of sedation needed. The
camel will be awake but drowsy. This is not a general anesthetic, but most procedures can be done with this sedation combined with a local anesthetic. Lay the
camel down before or shortly after the injection is given. Full effect will not be seen for 15-20 minutes. The camel may be sleepy for several hours. Make sure the
camel stays lying on its chest (to guard against bloat), keep its neck straight, and don't return it to the herd until fully awake.
Antibiotics: Baytril, Naxcel, ampicillin, and penicillin are all good injectable antibiotics. If an aminoglycoside is necessary, use amikacin instead of gentocin.
Albon is a good oral antibiotic (dissolve in water and mix with grain) but should not be given to a camel who is dehydrated or ill (use for injuries, etc.), and should
probably not be given for more than 5 days and not in conjunction with any other drugs that are processed through the kidneys.
Anti inflammatories: Avoid banamine and phenylbutazone if possible. If you must use these drugs, use only a single dose, not in animals that are ill, debilitated
or dehydrated, and at no more than one third to one half of the regular horse dose. Dipyrone (if you can find any) and ketoprofen are okay if the camel is well
hydrated. The best short-term anti inflammatories are steroids such as dexamethasone sodium phosphate (e.g. 20-30mg (5-8 cc) in the vein for 1000 pound camel)
or Voren (10-15 cc in the muscle or vein for a 1000 pound camel). Do NOT give these steroids to a pregnant camel or to a breeding bull (they may cause abortion
in the last trimester of pregnancy and may temporarily interfere with sperm production). I use a product called No Bute for camels that have to be on an
anti-inflammatory for any extended length of time. This is a formulation from the devil's claw plant and is very safe, although its use in pregnant animals is not
recommended. It is made by Emerald Valley Botanicals (888-638-8262).
Rumen conditions: For frothy bloat (caused by alfalfa), use DSS, 2-8 ounces orally (adult dose). In a pinch, if no DSS is available, use Tide laundry detergent (!),
one heaping tablespoon mixed with a cup of water. For rumen acidosis (caused by too much grain) use 250-500 grams of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) and /
or 500 grams (maximum) of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). This is the adult dose; adjust it accordingly for smaller animals. Repeat in 12 hours if necessary.
One ounce equals approximately 30 grams.
Newborns: In addition to all the usual stuff (too extensive to be discussed here), all baby camels should have their IgG (blood antibody) levels checked by 24
hours of age. The babies get these antibodies from their mothers' colostrum. Once in a while the colostrum is inferior, or the baby doesn't suck enough, or the baby
might drink plenty of colostrum but mysteriously be unable to absorb the antibodies properly. This IgG deficiency is called failure of passive transfer, or FPT. If
this happens, the baby, having insufficient immunity, may get ill or die at 3 days to one month of age. Although FPT is not common, it is deadly enough to make
testing all of the newborns worthwhile. Think of it as cheap insurance. Test kits can be purchased from Triple J Farms (425-868-6200; they are also on the
internet). You or your veterinarian should have the test kits (which work for llama babies also) on hand well before the babies are due (keep in mind that these kits
only last one season).
FPT, if detected early enough, can easily be treated by a plasma transfusion. Timing is essential; once a baby shows signs of illness due to FPT it can be very
difficult and expensive to treat. That is why prompt diagnosis and treatment is so essential. A good practice is to have camel plasma on hand before the babies are
born (it will keep in the freezer for two or three years), rather than having to scramble around at the last minute with the clock ticking. Have your veterinarian draw
4-5 liters of blood (from a couple of different camels) into some plasma collection bags and have it spun down (camel blood will not separate on its own like horse
blood does) at a local blood bank or hospital. (You will have to call around -- not all of these facilities have the appropriate equipment, but they are usually very
helpful). 4-5 liters of whole blood will make about 3 liters of plasma. You can draw blood from any of the camels; it does not have to be from the specific mothers.
However, all of the blood donors should be vaccinated as described above for pregnant mothers in order to make the plasma more protective. Triple J farms has an
excellent monograph (also available on the internet) on a simple technique for performing a plasma transfusion in llamas; this technique works very well in camels.
These are just a few of the basics. I hope they are helpful, and I will be happy to entertain further questions or comments. I am also interested in hearing about
differing experiences. Good luck and enjoy these wonderful animals!