Again this is published with the kind permission of Dianne Summers.
Dianne runs a Tb support group for those unfortunate enough to contract it in to their herd. This is a completely confidential group. She also runs a Tb update group for those that want to kept in touch with the latest news. Dianne was awarded the National Felipe Benevides Trophy at the BAS AGM for her work on Tb in Alpacas. This is awarded to people for extraordinary work to benefit welfare of camelids for no financial gain. A link to her Yahoo Alpaca and Llama Welfare Discussion Group is included in the links at the side of this blog.
Dianne has put a video on YouTube of the cough that one of her Tb infected animals had click here
Dianne makes it clear that if you see your animal cough like this it does not mean it definitely has Tb but recommends that you act on it right away. If she had seen this video 12 months previously she would have isolated her animal along with a companion and could possibly have saved more of her alpacas. This cough is different to the usual cough that may occur when they have eaten too quickly or a piece of hay has tickled their throat.
Raphael was actually stressed when this video was being made as Dianne was being taught how to use a stethoscope on him and he got into a bit of a strop, hence the high breathing rate.
This video was sent to the owners of Tb infected herds and those that had coughing as a symptom all confirmed that this was the exact same cough that their animals displayed.
They do not cough continually so if you do not live close to your animals you could quite easily miss it. Raphael and his companions only used to cough like this 3 or 4 times a day.
It is better to err on the side of caution because if it is Tb then they are passing it on to other alpacas they come into contact with, and possibly onto you and your family.
4 weeks ago