We check fecal samples every 6 weeks or so on all the fiber animals. The goats are particularly susceptible to parasites. The llamas are less so but still need to be checked. The parasites are less active in the winter so we can go longer between checks but need to check more frequently in the summer. What that all means is that parasite control is always a moving target.
We pulled samples the beginning of last week and had an interesting range of results. The scale goes from Negative to 4+. Because goat parasites tend to become resistant to wormers faster than do horse or cattle or llama parasites, we are particularly careful about treating. Negative, 1+ and 2+ goats don't usually get treated. 3+ goats we watch carefully and will be treated or not based on their individual history. 4+ always gets treated. In this batch of tests we had individuals through the entire range. Two animals were negative including, Gloucester and Millie. We had some 1+, a couple 2+, one 3+ and Smokey the llama was the only animal at 4+.
I can treat the goats by myself. Or with the help of someone to either hold the animals or hand me the syringes full of wormer. Basically all the wormers we use are administered by mouth. The goats don't love it but they are pretty easy. The llamas, on the other hand, are an issue.
We have various wormers painting the walls of the barn from previous attempts to worm the llamas. I learned early on that I can't do this by myself. I can't even do it with Ron's help. I need extra hands. In the past, several of the techs from the vet's office have come out to help with the worming. The last time they came out it was pretty ugly. We made a pact that the next time the llamas needed to be wormed I would specifically request Dr. Ridlen come out and do it. That happened this past week.
The funny thing about having someone who is experienced and talented do something I can't seem to manage is just how quickly the whole thing is over. Dr. Ridlen arrived with several helpers but it was just him and Dario in the stall. The whole thing was finished up in less than two minutes. Dario got the halter on Smokey quickly and easily. Dr. Ridlen walked in with the wormer and it was done. Damn. I was impressed.
Was Smokey happy? No, he was not. Did he get safely wormed? Yes, yes he did.