Crias are usually born (unpacked) without any problems, however it is important to ensure that the cria has immediate access to colostrum.
Intervene as early as possible if you suspect the newborn is having trouble suckling, as antibody absorption via the gut decreases sharply as hours go by. Swab the umbilical cord with iodine as early as possible.
Please contact your veterinarian if you suspect the dam does not have colostrum or that the cria has not fed. In such a situation we may be able to treat the cria with antibody-rich plasma by direct infusion into the abdominal cavity.
This procedure can be life-saving as it gives the newborn the antibody boost necessary to fight early infections. By law, we are unable to store plasma for clients, so if you are planning to breed alpacas, talk to your vet about extracting plasma from your own animals so that you have it on hand when needed. Plasma can be stored frozen for one year.