Hair Loss

All llamas/alpacas periodically lose hairs as new hairs are emerging from hair follicles. More intense shedding of neck fiber, particularly in short fleeced llamas/alpacas, may occur around 18 months of age and probably will not grow back to the youth length. Fleece breaking off at a very short length and coming out in handfuls may be caused by a stressful occasion, heat, illness, nutrition, or even birthing. Whatever the stress that caused damage to the hair follicle, probably occurred 3-5 months before you noticed the fiber break. Often this is limited to just an area up the back of the neck, but sometimes it includes fiber breaks over the entire body. The fleece will grow back to the original length, but it will take close to two years. A complete bald spot, called alopecia, can look crusty, flaky, red, or even thick upon a closer look. This could be mange, ringworm, a fungus, or zinc responsive skin disease. A skin scraping by your vet should confirm the actual cause and therefore proper treatment can be provided. Alopecia on the bridge of the nose is quite common, especially in dark animals, in the summer months and is often caused by fly irritation and rubbing. This area usually grows back in winter months. (see specifics about mange, ringworm, alopecia, bare nose, and fungus).