Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Management of a geriatric alpaca with multiple neoplasms in a zoological setting
  1. Sophie Moittie1,2,
  2. Phillipa Dobbs1,
  3. Katie Waine2,
  4. Samantha Ashfield1 and
  5. Kerstin Baiker2
  1. 1Twycross Zoo, Atherstone, Warwickshire, UK
  2. 2School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sophie Moittie; sophie.moittie{at}


During a routine health check, a 22-year-old female alpaca presented with an infected mass on the sternal pad. A squamous cell carcinoma was diagnosed on histopathology. Systemic antibiotics and topical treatment were initiated. Thoracic radiographs and blood analysis showed no abnormalities; therefore, surgical resection was performed, and the wound was allowed to heal by second intention with therapeutic laser therapy. The treatment plan for this animal was developed with the collaboration of the keeping team and zoo managers and considered the health status of the animal, overall prognosis and the possibility of frequent restraints with minimal stress. Six months after initial presentation, the alpaca showed dramatic weight loss and severe urine scalding with a mass identified in the urinary bladder and was euthanased on welfare grounds. Postmortem findings included squamous cell carcinoma metastases in the tributary lymph nodes and in the lung, adenocarcinoma in the lung, and a polyp in the urinary bladder.

  • South American camelids
  • neoplasia
  • zoo animals
  • welfare
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • polyp
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors SM worked on the case and wrote the manuscript. PD and SA worked on the case and revised the manuscript. KW performed the gross postmortem and histopathological examinations and revised the manuscript. KB supervised the gross postmortem and histopathological examinations and revised the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.