Blood collected from an alpaca herd and processed into plasma must only be administered to cria within that same herd.
If time allows, all blood products should be warmed gently to room temperature. If preferred, products can be warmed to body temperature (37°C) using a warm water bath. Water must be monitored using a thermometer as it must stay below 37°C. Alternatively, you can use a commercial water bath. The product should be protected in a plastic zip lock bag to prevent contamination of the ports. 170ml of alpaca plasma will defrost in 8 minutes in a 37°C water bath and in 2 hours 15 minutes if defrosted at room temperature 21˚C.
Plasma products must be handled with care as they are very brittle when frozen and thawed slowly. Plasma products should be given through a filter to facilitate the removal of any debris that may be present. These filters are an integral part of the blood administration set. We recommend a new administration set is used for each new unit of plasma.
An initial infusion rate of 1.0–2.0 ml/kg/hr should be used for the first 15 minutes. During this time the patient should be monitored for any evidence of a transfusion reaction. If no reaction is seen, this can be increased to a standard rate of 20ml/kg/hr. Any plasma remaining in the bag 4 hours after breach must be discarded.
The standard recommended dose range for initial treatment of immunoglobulin deficiency is 15–30 ml/kg (average 20ml/kg). Every patient should be monitored as to their individual response to this dose. Dosage may need to be more or less depending on the recipient. Cria should continue to be treated until clinical signs have resolved appropriately.
Most cria weigh in the region of 7–10kg, so this equates to a dose of 140–200ml plasma. New World Camelid plasma is supplied by Pet Blood Bank as standard units of around 150ml (although there is slight variation as it depends on the donor animal’s PCV); please reference the product data sheet below.