Blue Tongue/EHD

Blue Tongue and EHD, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, are two viral infections I'm sorry to have learned about.  It looks like one or the other of these may have killed my llama, Stash.  The two diseases are similar and require more testing than we did to tell apart.  Both are caused by a virus that requires a vector to move from animal to animal.  In this case the vector is a biting midge or fly.  The diseases which are found nearly worldwide, are not contagious from animal to animal and not of any danger for humans.


These viruses affect both wild and domestic ruminants.  Sheep and deer seem to be the most likely candidates.  They seem to be rare in goats, camelids and cattle.

Based on what I can find online, the gestation period can be up a month long but often the animals show no sign at all of the disease until the very end.  They appear to go from healthy to dead very quickly.


No vaccines are available for my llamas or goats.  The presence of this disease is rare.  There is nothing I should do to change my routine with my animals.  So the bottom line is there is nothing we can do. 


Hmmmm.  Not at all the answer I wanted.  Of course, I wanted a magic pill - one to each of my animals to provide complete and absolute protection from this and all other potential diseases.  My vet always laughs when I suggest it and says he will happily let me know when someone comes up with that wonderful magic pill.


For now, I'm enjoying my animals as much as I can and letting them know how much I love them.