Meet Coco, North Hollywood’s Newest Alpaca

North Hollywood High has a new bundle of joy to invite to the school crowd, and her name is Coco


Coco was born on November 4th, 2022, and as of this February 4th she will be only 3 months old; her parents are Tornado (father) and Bonnie (mother). Sadly, even though she is quite an adorable bundle of joy, she is really ill.

Poor Coco was first diagnosed with White Muscle Disease (WMD) back in January, and many of the students in the agricultural area and Mr. Lepore were worried that she would not make it, considering the 50% survival rate for alpacas who have the disease. Later in the week, however, when Mr. Lepore took her to the vet again, the vet believed she didn’t have White Muscle Disease and that she most likely had eaten something that made her sick. 

While interviewing Mr. Lepore about the situation, he said, “From the toxicology report that came back from the vet, it seems like someone or something had fed her something wrong. Her iron levels are down and her liver is slightly swollen and compressed, which normally means the toxicity of something that they don’t like.” 

They aren’t quite sure what she ate; however, Mr. Lepore said “Could have been a Hot Cheeto, could have been a chip, could have been also a leaf that flew in there from the winds.” He isn’t quite sure how anything would have gotten in there and he doesn’t know who would have done it either, if anyone. “Sadly, Coco doesn’t want to stand, she wants to try and move, but she is not getting enough energy to do so which is why we know it’s a toxin (poison),”Mr. Lepore said. 

This leads the vet to think that it is specifically a man-made food product instead of a piece of plastic, a leaf, or some type of animal related product.  Her legs are giving out more than they would be if it were anything else, and her iron levels are much lower than what they would have been normally if it was something else.

“Coco will be on her medicines for a minimum of two weeks,” Mr. Lepore said, “It depends on how she reacts to taking the medication for the next couple of days, so we are hoping for just two weeks since she can take the medications for longer if needed.” She currently is on four medications: Prilosec, an antacid pill, milk thistle, to clear out her liver, Metronidazole, an anti-inflammatory for alpacas, and a red cell liquid, which is an iron liquid to bring blood cell levels and iron levels back up, according to Mr. Lepore.

Coco is now off most of her meds and is taking very few of them, however she now has been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer due to being taken off the meds too soon, but she is able to walk and eat better then she was before. Vets do believe now that time has passed that she did have White Muscle Disease but, Mr. Lepore was able to catch it in time before she died or before her levels got too out of hand for the vets to manage with medicine.  

Students are hoping that she will get better soon and that she will start to eat, since she is barely eating her oats and hay that they try to feed her. Students and faculty hope that Coco will get better and will start to be able to walk around the school agricultural area soon. Please send your best wishes to Coco. She needs as many as she can get in this time of need.