Fall 2014 Newsletter
|Suri Network News||
Welcome to the fall edition of Suri Network News! This issue will focus on the recent Suri Network Summer Symposium and Fleece Show, including the presentation of the Jim Barker Suri Network Ambassador Award and the inaugural Suri Strut fashion show.
The entire Board of Trustees would like to thank everyone who contributed to and participated in making this year's symposium and fleece show an outstanding success. The annual symposium is the highlight of the summer to many Suri breeders and an opportunity to feel excitement and pride in raising Suri alpacas. We are already planning next year's symposium and promise an event you won't want to miss!
The Suri Network Board of Trustees election results were announced at the symposium. Jill McElderry-Maxwell and Randy Coleman are your new board members. A big thank you to outgoing board members Kristie Smoker and Cindy Harris. Kristie was responsible for coordinating much of this year's symposium and Cindy served as editor for PurelySuri magazine. Each of these individuals worked extremely hard on your behalf to help make the Suri Network the quality organization that it is. They will be missed!
To provide continuity with programming and to guide priorities, the board has developed a long-range plan through 2016. Below are the areas we will focus on over the next couple of years.
The Board has elected officers and has assigned primary areas of responsibility as follows:
President, Suri Network
Gail Campbell - Jim Barker Award Recipient
Jim Barker left a legacy of contributions that will continue to impact the Suri Network community for a long time.The Jim Barker Suri Network Ambassador Award recognizes a SN member who exemplifies Jim’s commitment to and enthusiasm toward the Suri alpaca industry and shares the Suri Network’s mission of promoting and preserving the Suri alpaca in North America.
The selection process involved SN members submitting nominations based on criteria that represented Jim’s commitment and contributions. We received nine nomination letters and after review by the BOT, this year’s recipient was selected, Dr. Gail Campbell.
Gail practiced small animal medicine for fifteen years, and has been breeding Suris for nineteen years and operates one of the largest alpaca farms on the east coast. She is a past president of Suri Network, has served on its Marketing Committee, and edited the first two editions of PurelySuri and has written many informative articles for our industry’s magazine over the years.
She has served on the AOA Judge Training and Certification Committee for five years, has hosted judges training at her farm and is currently a judge training conformation instructor. She has given lectures at AOA National shows and the Suri Network symposium on parasitology, breeding practices, Suri fiber characteristics including density and fineness. This past year she served as a consultant for SHIP and was instrumental in helping restructure the program and training the classifiers in Suri conformation.
Gail is very approachable and always willing to answer questions from other breeders in a modest manner and she freely shares her extensive knowledge of alpacas with other breeders. She has unselfishly donated hours of time and nearly 20 years of knowledge and support to the Suri Community.
Few people have made as many contributions to the advancement of the Suri alpaca in North America than this year’s Jim Barker Suri Network Ambassador Award recipient, Dr. Gail Campbell.
2014 Summer Symposium Wrap-up
by Patty Hasselbring and Jill McElderry-Maxwell
This year’s Suri Network Summer Symposium was another success, packed with education, enthusiasm, and style! Attendees from all over North America gathered in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado for a weekend of outstanding education, competition, and camaraderie. Without a doubt, the Summer Symposium offers unparalleled value to all Suri enthusiasts. Don’t just take our word for it - here’s what Symposium attendees had to say:
“I attend every year and it gives me the shot in the arm that I need to keep going.”
“I attended last year for the first time and plan to attend every year from now on. It renewed my excitement in the suri industry.”
“Have only missed one since they started. I learn more at summer symposium than any other alpaca educational opportunity overall.”
Pre-symposium workshops offered participants the opportunity to spend half a day getting in-depth education on a variety of topics. Some owners eagerly took advantage of learning how to sort Suri fiber hands on with fiber expert and fleece judge Wini LaBrecque. New owners could learn the basics about Suri alpacas with judge and Suri breeder Jude Anderson in her Suri 101 seminar. Interested owners spent part of the day with fleece judge and Suri Herd Improvement Program evaluator Cheryl Gehly, who explained the intricacies of the SHIP program.
Friday and Saturday’s programming covered topics ranging from alpaca health to the state of the world alpaca fiber market. Dr. Tim Holt brought some literal magic with him, along with practical advice on physical manipulations to improve your alpacas’ health. You can be sure he and his bag of magic tricks will be back for more hands-on demonstrations next year!
Drs. Nancy Irlbeck and Norm Evans both addressed alpaca nutrition and its impact on fiber, with practical, management-oriented advice for improving your animals’ health along with that of their fiber. Dr. Susan Tornquist shared her expertise with the parasite Mycoplasma haemolamae - which is estimated to impact as much as 60% of the North American herd. Her research is providing us with cutting edge recommendations for treatment, and Symposium attendees heard it first.
Jude Anderson and Ian Watt both spoke on the future of alpacas and their fiber in the commercial world market, stimulating thought-provoking discussion and providing plenty of food for thought. Karl Heinrich spoke about the potential of 3D CAD design in creating suri knitwear, with some of the results on display in the spectacular Suri Strut Fashion Show that capped off the Symposium on Friday afternoon.
The mountainous beauty of the Rockies faced stiff competition from the gorgeous, haute couture clothing worn by University of Colorado students in the fashion show. Seven designers from the United States and Canada had the opportunity to show their work, with all garments containing at least 50% Suri alpaca fiber. The fashion show was open to the public, and the quality of the clothing on display stunned everyone in attendance. If you missed it in person, you can watch it here.
With the Suri Strut’s beautiful end products fresh in everyone’s minds, group discussions focusing on what individual farms and the Suri Network can do to advance Suri fiber provided excellent ideas and challenges. Watch for discussions about these ideas on the Suri Network Facebook page in coming months.
Next year’s Symposium promises to be just as packed full of education and camaraderie - put it on your schedule now for 2015: August 13, 14, and 15, at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado. Three full days of general sessions with seminars interspersed throughout will provide plenty of hands on learning as well as up to date research on everything Suri.
Fleece Show Results
The All Suri Fleece show attracted over 160 beautiful fleeces in both regular and cottage fleece competitions, along with 44 spin off entries, and some beautiful skein and fiber arts creations as well. Judges Wini LaBrecque, Cheryl Gehly and Robin Näsemann were very complimentary about the quality of the fleeces that passed beneath their highly trained eyes and hands over the weekend. There are few better ways to have your animals’ fleece evaluated than in a highly competitive venue like the All Suri Fleece Show - the comments you receive are well worth the entry price.
To see the complete results of the show, click here.
Easy Dose Calculations
by Tim Sheets and Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Many alpaca owners are nervous when it comes to drug calculations. This article will outline the common concepts related to drug calculations and walk you through a few exercises. By understanding these basic conversion factors and formulas, you will be able to calculate drug doses for your alpacas with confidence.
Let's Get Started
The amount of active ingredient in a drug is commonly referred to as its strength. For example, an extra strength Tylenol capsule contains 500mg of active ingredient. Therefore, 500mg is its strength.
For liquid drugs, both oral and injectable, concentration is an important factor in dosing. Concentration refers to the amount of active drug (strength) in a given volume of vehicle, usually a liquid, but could be a paste, etc. For example, the concentration of Panacur suspension is 100mg/ml. This means that in every 1ml of liquid there is 100 mg of active drug.
Concentration = Strength / Volume
Concentration = 100mg / 1ml
Another factor that is often required when calculating doses is the animal's weight. The weight of the animal affects how the drug is absorbed, distributed into the tissues and utilized by the animal's body. Generally, the more the animal weighs, the more drug is required for the desired effect. It is important to use an accurate weight in your calculations, otherwise, you may be giving too little or too much medication.
Because weight is such an important factor, most drug dosages you will see in reference tables and prescribed by your vet will be written as giving so much drug (strength) per pound (lb) or kilogram (kg) of body weight. For example, you will see the prescribed dose of Ivomec often expressed as 1 ml / 70 lbs. This simply means that a 70 lb alpaca needs 1ml Ivomec. But what if your alpaca doesn't weigh 70 lbs.? This is where we need to use a simple formula to determine the amount to give.
Suppose your alpaca weighs 165 lbs. Here is the formula to use:
weight of alpaca x prescribed dose = amount to give
(Remember when multiplying fractions you multiply the numerator (top number)and divide by then denominator. The same units above and below the line cancel out)
Because the Metric system of measurement is commonly used in the sciences, often you may come across dose recommendations that are based on kilograms (kg) not pounds (lbs.). You could set your scale to weigh in kilograms so you don't have to convert units of measure, but most of us are more familiar with pounds. So, we need to convert the weight of our alpaca to kilograms and then use the formula above.
For example, you are told to dose your alpaca at 1ml / 32 Kg. Your alpaca still weighs 165 lbs. Here is the conversion formula:
Now that we know our alpaca weighs 75kg, plug the numbers into the same formula we used above:
weight of alpaca x prescribed dose = amount to give
The above formulas work well when you are instructed to give a certain volume (ml) of medication based on weight of your alpaca. But suppose your vet already knows the weight of your alpaca and she tells you to give so many milligrams (mg) of a liquid medication. In this case, you need to use a slightly different formula.
For example, you are told to give your cria 150mg of SMZ orally. You look on the bottle and see the drug concentration listed as 200 mg/5ml. Remember that:
Concentration = Strength / Volume
So, 200mg = the strength and 5ml = the volume. With that in mind, here is the formula:
Remember: Before doing the calculation, convert units of measurement to one system.
1 Liter = 1000 ml
1 ml = 1cc
1 Gram = 1000 mg
1 kg = 2.2 pounds
Well, that's all there is to it. By mastering this simple equation, you'll be able to calculate the dose that will help get your alpaca back to a state of health!
Here are some “real life” medical dosing questions to solve…remember that cubic centimeters (cc) and milliliters (ml) are equivalent. Dosing information is correct for the drugs and parasites given. Always consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure about the proper dosing information for any medication.
A) Your alpaca weighs 167 pounds. The vet has prescribed fenbendazole, 10% solution, at 20mg/kg for five days for strongyles. The suspension has 100mg of fenbendazole per ml. How many mls do you need to give the alpaca each day?
B) Your alpaca weighs 122 pounds. The vet has prescribed fenbendazole, 10% solution, at 50mg/kg for five days for meningeal worm treatment. The suspension has 100mg of fenbendazole per ml. How many mls do you need to give the alpaca per day?
C) Your alpaca weighs 101 pounds. The vet has prescribed moxidectin at 0.4mg/kg for a single day dose to combat resistant strongyles. You have Cydectin drench on hand, which has 1mg per ml of moxidectin in it. How many mls do you give the alpaca?
D) Your alpaca weighs 78 pounds. Your vet prescribes amprolium at 10mg/kg for five days on, five days off, five days on for small coccidia. Corid has 96mg of amprolium per ml. How many ml do you give the alpaca each day? (Bonus: what else should you give the alpaca if using amprolium?)
E) An alpaca is receiving 14 mls of fenbendazole 10% suspension daily for parasite treatment at 20mg/kg dosing. There are 100mg per ml of the suspension. How much does the alpaca weigh?
F) An alpaca is receiving 6 mls of Corid daily at the 10mg/kg dosing level. Corid has 96mg of amprolium per ml. How much does the alpaca weigh?
A) 167 pounds equals approximately 76 kilos. You can use any of many online conversion engines to convert pounds to kilos. You need to give 20mg of fenbendazole for each kilo, so 20*76=1520mg for the daily dose. Each ml of the suspension has 100mg in it, so 1520/100=15.2 ml. Round up when using fenbendazole, so you would give 16ml. The quick and dirty way to figure this is 1ml per 10 pounds body weight (16.7 rounded up to 17ml)
B) 122 pounds equals approximately 55 kilos. You need to give 50mg of fenbendazole for each kilo, so 50*55=2750mg for the daily dose. Each ml of the suspension has 100mg in it, so 2750/100=27.5ml. Rounding up, you would give 28ml. Quick and dirty and close enough is 2.5ml per 10 pounds body weight (30.5 rounded to 30ml)
C) 101 pounds is approximately 46 kilos. You need to give 0.4mg of moxidectin for each kilo, so 46*0.4=18.4mg for the single dose. There is 1mg per ml of moxidectin in the Cydectin drench, so the alpaca would need 18ml (rounding down). The quick and dirty way is 2ml per 11 pounds (101/11=9.2) or 9.2*2=18.4.
D) 78 pounds is approximately 35 kilos. You need to give 10mg of amprolium for every kilo, so 35*10=350. There are 96mg of amprolium in every ml of Corid, so 350/96=3.7ml (round up to 4). Always give injectable thiamine every third day when using amprolium.
E) 14ml of fenbendazole suspension contains 1400mg of fenbendazole (14*100); each ml has 100mg. You are giving 20mg for every kilo, so this would treat a 70 kilo animal (1400/20=70). 70 kilos is approximately 154 pounds.
F) 6mls of Corid contains 576mg of amprolium (6*96); each ml has 96mg. You are dosing at the rate of 10mg/kg, so this amount will treat a 57.6 kilo animal (576/10=57.6). 57.6 kilos is approximately 127 pounds.
The first ever Suri Strut Fashion Show, held at the 2014 Suri Network Symposium, got rave reviews from everyone in attendance. Beth Brown did a fabulous job of coordinating the show, with the help of committee members Deb Christner and Kristie Smoker.
This huge undertaking resulted in a display of beautiful high-end fashion, modeled professionally on the runway. Seven designers from the United States and Canada had the opportunity to show their work. All garments consisted of at least 50% Suri.
Kudos to Beth and her committee for a fabulous job on the premier Suri Strut!