Iowa State University Veterinarian


Iowa State University Veterinarian Records, RS 22/6/0/9, University Archives, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University, http://www.add.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/arch/rgrp/22-6-0-9.html

Call Number

SF601 V65

Document Type



Llamas (Lama glama) belong to a group of animals called South American or New World Camelids, which also includes the Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) , the Vicuna (Lama vicugna) and the Alpaca (Lama pacos). They are originally from South America, residing in the Andes mountains. These animals are of special interest because their digestive system is significantly different from that of the typical ruminants allowing them to have a higher digestibility coefficient, even higher than the sheep (25% more)! They are both browsers and grazers, and will consume a variety of plants including herbs, lichen and bark as well as grasses. Of the New World Camelids, Llamas and Alpacas have gained more popularity in the U. S. because of their packing abilities and wool quality. More and more Llama owners require the services of veterinarians to treat and prevent common diseases. To provide adequate professional services to Llama owners, veterinarians should be aware of the differences between the digestive system of the New World and typical ruminants. The purpose of this study is to present in a practical fashion the anatomy and physiology of the Llama's stomach and to review the different pathological conditions and digestive diseases reported in New World Camelids.