llama xray tango foxtrot
February 1, 2010 8:50 AM   Subscribe

I want to get my sister a llama x-ray for her birthday at the end of March. Is this possible?

My sister is nuts about llamas, and also weird medical/x-ray stuff. I'd like to get her a llama head x-ray for her birthday. I'm aware this may be impossible. I am pretty good at the Google and I haven't been able to turn up a way to do this via conventional shopping, so I figured I'd ask here. I'm okay with something that isn't literally on x-ray film [i.e. a transparency is okay, a photocopy is probably not] but I'm really needing this to be 1. a llama head [not a horse, not a goat, not another farm animal] 2. an x-ray [not a photograph, not a postcard, not a drawing, though maybe a drawing of an x-ray?]

For anyone saying this is likely impossible, that's okay. I just want to make sure I've exhausted my options. I have seen this, this, this and especially this (animal x-rays for sale) and they are not what I am looking for. Should I start calling llama vets? Other suggestions? Thanks.
posted by jessamyn to Pets & Animals (25 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Hmm... Try and call a llama farm and check to see if they would be able to share their llama X-ray's with you. They are bound to have some since they have lots of llama's. Or the vet idea is good too!
posted by boomcha76 at 8:55 AM on February 1, 2010

What about your local zoo? Also, you sound like a great sister.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:01 AM on February 1, 2010

How about a university's vet school?

(And in an unrelated offer, if she's a Democrat who doesn't already have one of these, she's welcome to have the "Llama for Obama" pin I got at the 2008 NY Sheep and Wool Festival...)
posted by Madamina at 9:02 AM on February 1, 2010

Have you seen this (llama abdominal CT scan images), or this (llama thoracic xrays)? I think you need to broaden your search terms to include "radiology", and "roentgenogram".
posted by roofus at 9:03 AM on February 1, 2010

You can try contacting Don & Sue Mellen of Autumn Mountain Farm in Danby, VT. We bought our llamas from them, and they have about 100 llamas and cria. You can even name drop us as why you contacted them. Don is an animal nutritionist and Sue does holistic hoof care. Good luck.
posted by terrapin at 9:09 AM on February 1, 2010 [4 favorites]

I go to school with an alpaca farmer. if that's close enough for you I can ask him if he has any x-rays?
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:13 AM on February 1, 2010

Are you interested in computer-generated images of llama skulls? You may be able to print them out on transparency sheets.
posted by amicamentis at 9:15 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I hate to second guess a librarian, but if you decide to go querying more primary sources for expert opinions (which I imagine this quest getting to), I'd start searching around the phrase "large animal veterinary radiology."
posted by nanojath at 9:21 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's worth an e-mail to someone at Tufts Veterinary School's Media Services to ask if whole-body images of animals that large are even possible.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:21 AM on February 1, 2010

There are several llama head xrays in this book on Medicine and surgery of South American camelids.
posted by roofus at 9:23 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Get in touch with the folks at Alpace and Llama Clinic? Or maybe you can get a copy of this publication? Or maybe these folks would have leads?

What a strange and wonderful gift!
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:26 AM on February 1, 2010

Agree with the suggestion to contact a vet school; the UGA vet school has a whole series of pages devoted to a llama (but only x-rays of his knee). The other thing I thought of is the veterinary science literature; Veterinary Clinics of North America:Food Animal Practice devoted the July 2009 issue to llamas and alpcas, but I don't have access to anything more than previews and so don't know what kind of illustrations they have.
posted by TedW at 9:34 AM on February 1, 2010

I hesitate to state the obvious, but have you searched the veterinary literature? A quick search in ScienceDirect ((camelid? or llama?) and (radiograph? OR Imag?)) yielded 193 hits; most are probably useless, but patient winnowing may get you somewhere. Obviously, ScienceDirect is only one database you might consider. I would call my nearest vet school library. This sounds like a fun one.
posted by Wordwoman at 9:41 AM on February 1, 2010

OK, never mind, you don't want a photo of an x-ray. Sorry.
posted by Wordwoman at 9:44 AM on February 1, 2010

Try the llama farms and/or zoo option. You might be able to get someone to sign a release allowing you to possess a copy of their animal's medical records. I'm sure about the llama farms having the privilege to release private medical records, less so about the zoo, due to differing privacy restrictions, who has the legal ability to sign things over, etc.

Veterinarians--and veterinary teaching hospitals, so on and so forth--will not* release client radiographs to a third party without client permission, and teaching radiographs are funded internally and taken from clinic cases or research, and we're not really allowed to just hand out copies, even if you're willing to pay for the cost of copies, unless the rads were of our own personal animals. Really. It's a huge ethical violation that could lead to disciplinary procedures.

How do I know this? I work at a university veterinary teaching hospital. (Can't be more specific, because there are few enough that I'd out myself.)

*or rather, should not. If they do, that's a Big Problem.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 10:02 AM on February 1, 2010

How about printing a high quality photo of an x ray onto an appropriately shaped transparency?
posted by By The Grace of God at 10:20 AM on February 1, 2010

You guys have given me some great avenues to go down. I might settle for a high quality photo of an x-ray but I'll email and call around to some vets first off. Thanks so much for answers so far.
posted by jessamyn at 11:18 AM on February 1, 2010

Veterinary Radiology is a sub-specialty. The American College of Veterinary Radiology's website offers a directory so you can find a practitioner near you.
posted by carmicha at 12:25 PM on February 1, 2010

I would recommend a photo, as real x-rays tend to degrade in the light (kept one of my broken middle finger for a few years, hee!).
posted by Billegible at 1:38 PM on February 1, 2010

I just have to say this: how cool is it that there's a place on the 'Net where someone can say that they need llama X-rays of all things – and they actually get answers?! :)
posted by MikeHarris at 2:09 PM on February 1, 2010 [4 favorites]

I asked a wildlife vet, who said: "Your best bet in Canada would certainly be the Ontario Vet College at Guelph. Failing that, there's also Western College of Vet Med in Saskatoon- try their large animal clinic."
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:24 PM on February 1, 2010

Following pseudostrabismus' suggestion of contacting the Ontario Vet College at Guelph, I can tell you that some of my thesis committee members are vets at the college (I study zoonoses) and they have what you are looking for. OVC has a vet teaching hospital with a large animal clinic (where llamas would be treated) and a diagnostic services (x-ray) section. There is also the OVC Learning Commons (Library) which has recently moved from being vet-student oriented to being part of the University of Guelph's main library.

Like I said, I have access to OVC through my research. Contact me if you'd like some help!
posted by carabiner at 10:05 PM on February 2, 2010

I wrote a bunch of emails to people all of which got seemingly ignored. I just got the "hey update your question" note from mathowie so I'd like to mention that I still do not have an x-ray in hand. If anyone has "big guns" options here that they were holding off on, I'd appreciate an attempt. I was aware when I started this that it was a longshot, but hope springs eternal.
posted by jessamyn at 12:13 PM on March 3, 2010

I'm still waiting to hear back from Don. *fingers crossed*
posted by terrapin at 2:08 PM on March 13, 2010

No llama but maybe these people can let you know how they got their x-rays.
posted by dobbs at 7:13 AM on June 21, 2010

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