Prevalence of Equine Diseases in the Northern Guinea Savannah of Zaria, Nigeria

Nicodemus M. USEH, Sunday B. OLADELE, Najume D.G. IBRAHIM, Andrew J. NOK, King A.N. ESIEVO
2005 Journal of Equine Science  
Indigenous Nigerian horses have been used for polo games, pleasure riding, racing, entertainment, ceremonies and research. Over the years, these uses have encouraged horse owners in Nigeria to import exotic horses to overcome the limitations of the local breeds available [7] . There is no document on the diseases of horses in Zaria, Nigeria. A study was therefore conducted by our team at the Ahmadu Bello University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (ABUVTH), Zaria, Nigeria to properly document the
more » ... seases of horses in the Northern Guinea Savannah of Zaria, Nigeria and clinic records over a 28-year period (1975-2003) were analyzed. A total of 2,308 horses (Nigerian, Argentine, Arabian, Sudanese and South African breeds) were presented to the ABUVTH during the period, either for treatment of ailments or routine examination. These were exercised once daily and fed hay and local bran (dusa) twice daily. Water was supplied to them adlibitum. The diseases of horses reported in this study were diagnosed based on clinical signs, postmortem findings and laboratory investigations [6, 8] . About 1,846 (80.0%) of the total horses presented were indigenous Nigerian breeds and 462 (20.0%) were exotic breeds. Of these horses, 2,192 (95.0%) were males and 116 (5.0%) were females. About 983 (42.6%) of them were sick with various disorders. The most common disease encountered in this study was helminthosis, accounting for 809 (82.3%) of all the diseases presented. The common helminths found include: Strongyles (Strongylus spp, Triodontophorus spp), flukes (Fasciola spp, Gastrodiscuss spp, Dicrocoelium spp and Paragonimus spp) and nematodes (Parascaris equorum, Oxyuris equi, Dictyocaulus arnfieldi, Setaria equina). Sick horses had lower packed cell volume (PCV) values ranging from 20-33%, than healthy horses (34-48%). This finding is consistent with established reports that gastrointestinal helminths, haemo-and ectoparasites cause anaemia and clinical disease in susceptible horses [2] [3] [4] [5] . The low PCV in sick horses with parasitic infestations (20-33%) as opposed to their healthy counterparts (34-48%) was therefore attributed to the effect of the parasites. Severely sick horses with extreme dehydration had higher than normal PCV values ranging between 49 and 53%. Tetanus (n=5 or 0.51%) and rabies (n=1 or 0.10%), which were also diagnosed in horses in Zaria, Nigeria,
doi:10.1294/jes.16.27 fatcat:si2htdebkvcatpn5g7zipztjoa