Photograph displaying hands-on physical assessment of an alpaca. Visual inspection is limited because extensive wool cover can distort body contour. Body condition is typically scored from 1 (emaciated) to 9 (obese), with 5 being ideal. The midback region is palpated, as palpation over the boney dorsal pelvis tends to give the false impression of thin body condition. Camelids are generally tractable and can be trained to walk on a lead. A properly fitted halter is essential, as camelids are obligate nasal breathers.
Courtesy of Dr. LaRue Johnson.