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Uterine torsion in late gestation alpacas and llamas: 60 cases (2000–2009)

Pearson, L.K., Rodriguez, J.S., Tibary, A.
Small ruminant research 2012 v.105 no.1-3 pp. 268-272
alpacas, cesarean section, creatine kinase, females, fetus, hyperglycemia, hypocalcemia, llamas, pregnancy, rolling, toxemia, uterine torsion
Sixty occurrences of uterine torsion during late gestation in alpacas (n=56) and llamas (n=4) were evaluated to identify the relationship of direction and degree of severity of torsion, method of correction, and dam and cria survival. Other recorded data included the time to presentation, stage of gestation, parity, and clinicopathologic assessment. Three treatment groups were identified: animals which had uterine torsion corrected by rolling only (60%; n=36); animals which underwent Cesarean section only (23.3%; n=14); and animals which first were rolled but then underwent Cesarean section (16.7%; n=10). Significant relationships were recorded between the degree of uterine torsion and the method of correction – 360° torsions were more likely to have to undergo Cesarean section, either as a solitary treatment method or after rolling (p<0.05). No significant relationship was recorded between the gestation age of the fetus and the treatment method implemented. Counter-clockwise torsions accounted for 18.3% of the cases. Survival of females was high (96.7%; n=60), regardless of the treatment method. Survival of the cria was lower for torsions corrected by Cesarean section alone (71.4%; n=14) or after rolling (70%; n=10), when compared to rolling only (100%; n=36). The most common clinicopathological findings were toxemia alone or with concurrent hypocalcemia or hepatic lipidosis, and elevated creatine kinase. All cases of toxemia had hyperglycemia and tended to have a prolonged interval to presentation.