Analysis of first gastric compartment fluid collected via percutaneous paracentesis from healthy llamas

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Objective - To evaluate the safety and efficacy of percutaneous paracentesis for fluid collection from the first gastric compartment of healthy llamas and to describe characteristics of that fluid. Design - Prospective study. Animals - 10 healthy adult llamas. Procedure - Physical examinations were performed prior to sample collection and for 14 days afterwards. A CBC was performed prior to sample collection and 5 days later. A 16-gauge, 7.5-cm stainless steel needle, positioned approximately 20 cm caudal to the costochondral junction of the last rib, was pointed in a dorsocraniomedial direction and pushed through the abdominal wall into the lumen of the first gastric compartment. Fluid was aspirated and analyzed immediately for color, odor, consistency, pH, methylene blue reduction (MBR) time, protozoa, and bacteria. Results - Fluid samples were obtained from 9 of 10 llamas. Mean volume was 4.1 ml, mean pH was 6.67, and mean MBR time was 173 seconds. Odor was slightly acidic, color was light brown-green to light yellow-green, and consistency was moderate. Small protozoa with variable iodine staining and gram-negative bacteria were commonly detected. With few exceptions, results of physical examinations and CBC remained within reference ranges. Clinical Implications - Fluid samples from the first gastric compartment can be successfully obtained by percutaneous paracentesis. Fluid characteristics were similar to those of fluid collected via orogastric tube in llamas and cattle.

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Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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