Epidemiological Studies on the Health and Welfare of the Ethiopian Donkey, With Particular Reference to Parasitic Disease

Getachew, Mulugeta Adako (1999) Epidemiological Studies on the Health and Welfare of the Ethiopian Donkey, With Particular Reference to Parasitic Disease. MVM(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

There is a perception that donkeys do not get ill. Previous experience in Ethiopia indicates that this is partly due to the fact that donkey owners do not recognise signs of disease and, even if the donkeys are sick, there is little chance that the donkey will be treated. Common injuries such as harness galls are not considered as a problem by donkey owners, mostly due to ignorance, lack of understanding and the ubiquitous nature of the problems. Information available on different aspects of donkeys health in Ethiopia is minimal in contrast to the important role they play in society and the country's economy. A survey conducted to determine the major health and management problems of working donkeys in Ethiopia is considered in this thesis. Chapter 1 is a general introduction and review of donkeys with respect to their origin, domestication, geographical spread, number, distribution and their importance. Health and management problems of working donkeys are also reviewed from available information. Chapter 2 is a general description of the materials and methods and includes description of the study areas and study animals, clinical examinations, data collection, management and analysis, post mortem worm recovery and other laboratory techniques. Chapter 3 reports the results of a survey of the principal health and management problems of working donkeys at four project sites in Ethiopia during the period 1995-1997. According to this study a number of health problems were identified. Helminthosis was found to be a health problem of considerable magnitude at all project sites. Of 2935 donkeys examined only one donkey was negative and the rest were found to harbour ova and/or larvae of large and small strongyles, ascarids, lung worm, pin worms, strongyloides, fluke, cestodes, stomach worm and bots. In total, 9493 donkeys of both sexes and ranging in age from two weeks to 30 years and over were examined and more than 40,000 clinical conditions were treated. Of these clinical conditions, wounds and sores due to poor harnesses and badly designed implements accounted for 43.7%, foot problems 14%, ectoparasites 13.5%, accidental wounds 6.6%, eye infections 5.4%, abscesses 3.0%, respiratory problems 2.7%, mud fever 2.6%, emaciation 2.6%, lameness 2.4%, urogenital problems 2.0%, tumours 0.9% and gastrointestinal problems 0.5%. A very common feature observed during this study was that the majority of donkeys were suffering from multiple health problems. Chapter 4 describes the results of the investigation of the prevalence and population composition of internal parasites of working donkeys at the four project sites. The study revealed a 99% prevalence of infection by gastrointestinal parasites, with a high infection rate. Over 54% of the donkeys had faecal worm egg counts of more than 1000 epg. A total of 42 different species of parasites consisting of 35 nematodes, 3 trematodes, I cestode and 3 arthropod larvae were identified. Seventeen species of cyathostominae (small strongyles) and 7 species of Strongylinae (large strongyles) were identified. Other parasites identified include Habronema muscae, Draschia megastoma, T. Axei, Strongyloides westeri, Anoplocephala perfoliata, Parascaris equorum, Fasciola hepatica, Fasciola gigantica, Gastrodiscus aegyptiacus, Dictyocaulus arnfieldi, Oxyuris equi, Probstmayria vivipara, Gasterophilus intestinalis, Gasterophilus nasalis, Rhinoestrus purpureus and Setaria equina. The results obtained revealed the presence of a range of parasitic species, which are representative of the important pathogenic parasites, found in equidae. Chapter 5 presents the results of a field trial on the efficacy and safety of the different ivermectin formulations (Eqvalan, MSD-Agvet and Ivomec, MSD-Agvet) administered by different routes to donkeys for the treatment of gastrointestinal and pulmonary helminths in Ethiopia. All formulations of ivermectin were found to be 100% effective against large and small strongyles, as well as T. axei, up to eight weeks post treatment regardless of the routes of administration. There was no statistically significant difference between treatment efficacies. Fatalities and other severe adverse reactions were not encountered in this study, although transient swelling at the injection sites in two donkeys and ventral oedema in one donkey were observed in the group receiving subcutaneous administration. In view of the demonstrated efficacy of injectable ivermectin solution when administered orally, the ease of administration and absence of adverse reactions in donkeys, it is suggested that the injectable formulation is suitable for oral administration where economic hardship may be a consideration. Further work on the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of the injectable form when used orally in donkeys is necessary. The establishment of appropriate dosage for donkeys is also important. Chapter 6 is a general discussion and conclusion with proposals for further detailed studies of the diseases and other aspects of working donkeys.

Item Type: Thesis (MVM(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Reid Stuart
Keywords: Veterinary science, Animal diseases
Date of Award: 1999
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1999-75949
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 17:13
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 17:13
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/75949

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