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To Bee Or Not To Bee

To Bee Or Not To Bee
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Being stung by a bee, expectedly or unexpectedly, could cause an allergic reaction in alpacas. Despite the thickness of their skin, and the dense fleece, alpacas’ immune systems can still be affected by bee stings.

Furthermore, alpacas’ immune system may have an allergic reaction caused by weeds, certain feeds, pollen, drugs, and other insect bites. Sometimes it is hard to tell what caused the allergic reaction in an alpaca. Especially because it is practically impossible to find the place where a bee or an insect might have bitten them. Unless it is a very visible spot around their eyes or nose.

Before I go on, keep in mind that some alpacas show specific allergic reactions to manuka honey as well. See, because honey is a product of bees, it carries some pollen leftovers. Often times, if the alpaca is allergic to a bee sting, it will be allergic to manuka honey as well. Or, any other honey for that matter.

There are many different types of top manuka honey brands that you can review. But, it is likely that they will all have the same affect on your alpaca. this is because they all carry pretty much the same properties. The difference is that some have a higher grad of Unique Manuka Factor then others.

When an alpaca gets stung by a bee, their immune system releases a compound known as histamine. This compound is not specific to alpacas, even humans have it. It is an organic nitrogenous compound that cells release mainly in response to allergic and inflammatory reactions. This, causes dilation of capillaries and various contraction of smooth muscle.

In other words, the release of histamine in the alpaca’s body can cause swelling, respiratory difficulties, shock, and a variety of similar signs.

I’ve had a few cases of bee stings to some of my alpacas back in the day. The one that I remember most vividly was when Ron the Don (that was his name), came running around near the fence. The animal seemed distressed and its face was visibly swollen.

When I got to calm him down, I noticed that the swell went from the tip of his nose all the way up to his right eye. The swelling itself was very hard, and about three times bigger than what I’ve seen before. And I have had two previous similar cases. None of them as drastic as this one! My initial suspicion was bee sting.

See, bee stings are painful not just to us, human beings, but animals alike. In the case of Ron the Don, the irritation was localized (his face), and the swelling went away rather quickly (3 days). The very next day, I would say that the swelling was down to 50% or so. This was good, because it allowed Ron the Don to resume eating at a normal pace.

Most allergic reaction go away on their own and do not require a veterinary assistance. As was the above mentioned case. However, keep in mind that severe allergic reactions can be deadly. Especially if they restrict the airway, or manage to cause hemorrhaging. So, if ever in doubt, make sure you call your veterinary right away.