Pathological findings in animals in Gaborone area

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surender pal sharma


A 7-year retrospective study was conducted to determine the role of different disease conditions causing mortalities in animals in Gaborone area. Necropsies were performed on 112 carcasses comprising of 15 cattle, 32 goats, 13 sheep, nine pigs, eight dogs, 24 poultry birds, seven guinea fowls and four rabbits received from Notwane Farm of Botswana College of Agriculture and some private farms around Sebele, Gaborone. Helminthosis alone or in combination with either coccidiosis or heartwater were diagnosed in 48% (29 out of 60) ruminants. Two cattle, five sheep and ten goats succumbed to death to helminthosis only. Mixed helminthic and coccidial infections killed six goat kids and two lambs. Helminthosis concurrent with heartwater caused deaths of one cow and three goats. Haemonchus was found to be the most widely distributed helminthic parasite in single as well as in the mixed parasitic infections in both cattle and small stock and 69% (20 of 29) animals died as a result of disease. Heartwater alone and in combination with helminthosis was the second most major cause of mortality and six cattle, five sheep and ten goats were infected. Coccidiosis, enterotoxaemia, and mixed Rotavirus and Cryptosporidium species caused deaths of two goats, one sheep and two young dairy calves, respectively. Other disease conditions diagnosed in bovines were metritis, pneumonia, hardware disease, and peritonitis. Colisepticaemia, streptococcal mastitis, heat stress, malnutrition/starvation, contagious ecthyma, and traumatic injuries were other conditions observed in sheep and goats. Necropsy and laboratory examination demonstrated pneumonic pasteurellosis, colibacillosis, warfarin (Rattex) poisoning, and septicaemia in pigs; transmissible venereal neoplasms, ancylostomosis, and canine distemper in dogs; chronic respiratory disease, egg peritonitis, pendulous crop, fatty liver syndrome, toxic fat syndrome, salmonellosis, vent picking, dehydration, and fowl pox in chickens; hypothermia, vent picking, and infectious coryza in guinea fowls and pasteurellosis and coccidiosis in rabbits. This study documents helminthosis and heartwater were most common inflicting heavy mortality in ruminants in South East district of Botswana. There is a clear need to establish a properly designed and easily accessible veterinary extension network that focuses on efficient quality animal health services to the relevant stakeholders and implementation of more effective animal disease control measures.

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Research Article
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surender pal sharma, Botswana College of Agriculture

Department of Animal Science and Production,