Spaying Female Llamas

How much does it cost?

Although the cost is greater than for common small animals, when you consider that a llama can live more than twenty years, the investment to spay a llama is not extreme.

The greatest expense of spaying is the general anesthesia. An "open" procedure spay may cost relatively reasonable $200-$350. A laparoscopic spay done in a large animal hospital or a veterinary teaching hospital may run up to $1000, although at a teaching hospital you might be lucky enough to receive "teaching credits," which could cut that total by up to half. Laparoscopy can also be done under local anesthetics and sedation "in the field," which is less expensive, but your veterinarian must have both the tools and the skill to perform the surgery.

When you consider that the average llama lives more than twice as long as the average dog, the cost for an "open" spay is very reasonable.

What pre- and post-operative care is involved?

The female is fasted prior to surgery, both to minimize the risk of regurgitation under anesthesia and to reduce the abdominal mass so that the surgery itself is more easily and safely accomplished. Aftercare is minimal — a preventative dose of antibiotics, overnight recovery in a clean stall or paddock, and observation for the next few days is all that is typically necessary. Those females who do experience discomfort for a few days afterward will benefit from a general pain reliever such as Banamine during that short time period.

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