Injecting Llamas

Giving injections to llamas can be quite intimidating, given their size and strength.  However, injections are a necessary part of routine healthcare and the diagram below should help to simplify things a bit.  

Photo taken from Facebook, "Alpaca chats"

Intramuscular Injections (IM)

The shoulder or rump are the best areas for intramuscular injections, but any large muscle mass will do – just make sure to avoid the sciatic nerve.  Ensure the needle is inserted fully to make sure you are injecting into the muscle.​

Subcutaneous Injections (SQ)

These injections are not quite so deep as the intramuscular ones and should be given with the needle held at a slight angle to the skin, to deliver the product into the layer between the skin and muscle.  Llama skin is surprisingly tough, so if you feel resistence as you try and push the plunger, you are still probably in the skin, not below it!

Intravenos Injections (IV)

These injections are best left to the experts as the product is delivered straight into the blood vessel.

Intradermal Injection (ID)

The shallowest of all injections, these are delivered into the uppermost layers of skin.  Although this sounds the simplest, it can often cause the most discomfort to your llama as this part of the skin contains the highest number of nerve endings.