We have been sent 2 videos by one of the members of the Camelid TB Support Group. We have permission to use them.
To view the videos you should go to the bovine tb blog
Here is what the owner would like to say.
The purpose of this video is not to break your heart (and it will) but to show you how perfectly healthy an alpaca can look and yet be riddled with TB having PASSED a skin test.
The first clip was taken an hour before he was put down. He was in his pen - alone waiting to be culled. He wasn't showing ANY signs of ANY illness let alone TB. He had PASSED the skin test TWICE but FAILED the blood test. No outward signs at all.
This wee alpaca was culled one hour after the footage was taken.
This wee alpaca had TB lesions throughout his entire organs.
Sadly those of us that are in the TB Support group - who have culled reactors to the blood tests - this is sadly an all too familiar sight but for others - it should open your eyes to the silent killer known as TB.
I hope you may now all see why I continually state that you cannot rely on the skin test alone to detect TB infected alpacas and the reason why we cannot trade with any confidence if we come out of restriction having only used the skin test and supports both my advice and that of BVCS vet Gina Bromage to not consider selling - showing - moving alpacas around for a minimum of one year maybe 2 - maybe longer - on the back of a negative skin test.
I get phone calls constantly from owners and potential owners of alpacas stating that they have been told that a negative skin test is a guarantee that the alpaca or llama is TB free. I wish that was the case. As the video clip clearly shows - it isn't.
Does this alpaca look to you as if he is dying or is ill? Does he look like he has TB. You decide.
Remember when you read my updates on numbers culled because of blood tests - all blood test reactors have PASSED the skin test. Again this supports the importance of the blood tests and the current research into the gamma interferon validation project and the hope of a reliable ante-mortem test.
I thank the kind member of the TB Support Group who sent me these clips. The reason is simple - it is to educate others.
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