Photo archives and comments by
Dr. William B. Ley:

  • Birthing, what to expect
  • Premature Cria

Newlsetter Archives:


Dr. William B. Ley


Dr. Ley is a nationally recognized leader in his area of expertise but there is more to his education, background, and training than just being a reproductive specialist. He taught veterinary medicine and preventive health care management for well over 20 years at 4 major Universities across the United States before entering private practice. He has provided veterinary services to some of the largest horse, sheep and alpaca farms in the U.S. He administers and delivers farm management programs and individual animal health care from the ground up. His practice motto, “Supporting the life of your equine dreams”, is all encompassing from prior to conception to beyond retirement. And that includes alpacas and llamas too!


Alpaca breeders rely on progesterone concentration level in blood samples for pregnancy diagnosis and fetal well-being. Progesterone (P4) concentration ≥ 2 ng/ml is considered indicative of normal pregnancy. Interpretation of values below 2 ng/ml is often problematic. Many DVMs and breeders may be inclined to consider alpacas with serum concentrations < 2 ng/ml as suffering from P4 deficiency and treat them with progesterone throughout pregnancy to prevent abortion. My experience with mares is that P4 levels reported in many cases may be erroneous because of problems in sample handling or may be affected by individual animal variation. Blood samples for P4 must first be collected and stored appropriately before sending the sample to a reputable lab. Single blood samples are usually not sufficient as a trend over days to weeks may be more clinically relevant. When in doubt treat with Regumate orally at the time the first blood sample is obtained, check a second sample 2 weeks later. Monitor blood P4 throughout the remainder of gestation at monthly intervals.


Bio-security on your farm has been and will continue to be an important tool that owners can use to prevent Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) from getting onto your farm and into your herd. Quarantine all new alpacas that come to your farm or that are returning from another location (shows, sales, other breeding farms) for a minimum of thirty days. Survey all returning and new alpacas before they come to the farm or during the quarantine period using the BVDV-PCR test. If the test is positive, this may only represent an acute or short lived viral exposure / infection. A second sample must be collected 3-4 weeks later and tested again to indicate that the animal is or is not persistently infected. A negative result on the second test means simple exposure to BVDV and the infection was short-lived. Animals positive on a second test must continue their quarantine and viral isolation testing should be performed. Other animals to test include: all aborted and/or stillborn fetuses, crias that die, low birth weight crias, poor doing crias, “failure to thrive” crias, very premature crias, and older alpacas with unexplained illness should also be tested for BVDV.


Please send us your best photos so we can start a photo album on Rectortown Equine Center’s new sister web site: . If you need a photographer, Gail Guirreri (artist: and breeder: has moved to Rectortown and can take your sales photo. She can also add your farm listings on our new web site to promote networking opportunities to increase exposure on internet engine searches for everyone involved.


Credit Policies: As a small practice it has become evident that some changes must be made in order to keep services to you and your horse or alpaca optimal. We have always requested that services be paid for upon delivery, yet we understand that this is not always possible in today’s economy, and that large farms pay according to an accountant’s schedule. We must require outstanding balances over $500 to be paid semi-monthly to avoid long-term balances. Finance charges are applied to all accounts that are 30 days or more overdue. Drugs and medications must be paid for when dispensed at the Office so that we may replace them on a timely basis. Our vendors require us to pay when we order new inventory, we in turn expect our clients to pay at the time of their purchase. Should you have a larger farm and need to send an employee to pick up medications or if you have out of town/state customers in your barn needing supplies or medicines, we will need a credit card for supplies / medication dispensing.


We thank you for your loyalty to Dr. WIlliam B. Ley, DVM, MS, Dact and consider each of you and your animals as ‘family’. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call us.

Photos by Gail