• Health is the state of the body in which all the organs and systems are normal and functioning normally.
  • Disease is any deviation from the normal health of the animal.

 Importance of Keeping Livestock Healthy:

  • Healthy animals give high income due to low treatment
  • The productive life span of a healthy animal is longer.
  • High production.
  • Healthy animals can multiply regularly.
  • Healthy animals give high quality products for example eggs.
  • Safety of consumers of livestock products.

Predisposing Factors to Livestock Diseases

  • These are conditions within or around the animal that make it easy for an animal to contract a disease.

 They include:

Animal factors such as;

  • species,
  • breed,
  • age,
  • sex
  • colour of the animal.

Environmental factors such as;

  • chilling,
  • being rained on,
  • exposure to hot sun
  • dampne

Management factors such as;

  • poor feeding,
  • housing,
  • handling
  • hygiene,
  • overcrowding .

 Signs of ILL-Health in Livestock

  • Abnormal behaviour for example separation from the rest of the herd and restle
  • Abnormal posture for example limping and lameness.
  • Alimentary canal disfunction such as blood stained faeces and abnormal defecation, diarrhoea and dysentery.
  • Urination: high frequency or too low and having strange colour.
  • Skin: rough with scaly skin, blisters on the skin and hair loss.

Causes of Diseases

Pathogenic causes ;

  • viruses,
  • rickettsia,
  • bacteria,
  • protozoa
  • fungi.

Physical causes;

  • fractures,
  • dislocation,
  • sprains .
  • Nutritional disorders for example milk fever.
  • Chemical causes for example poisoning by agrochemicals.

Categories of Diseases

  • Notifiable diseases ;
  • These are diseases which cause high economic losses.
  • Any case should be reported to the Chiefs, D.O.s, veterinary officers or the police.
  • Tick-borne diseases – Transmitted by ticks.
  • Breeding diseases – Transmitted through mating.
  • Nutritional diseases for example milk fever and bloat.
  • Parasitic diseases for example ascariosis.

General Methods of Disease Control

  • Quarantine.
  • Vaccination.
  • Control of vectors by use of acaricides and rotational grazing.
  • Disinfecting the equipment and buildings.
  • Use of preventive drugs.
  • Proper feeding of livestock.
  • Culling of the animals which are carriers/slaughtering the affected animals.
  • Use of artificial insemination to control breeding diseases.
  • Proper selection and breeding of animals.
  • Proper housing and hygiene,
  • Isolating sick animals.

 Appropriate Methods of Handling Livestock

    Animals are handled for the following reasons:

  • When inspecting the animal to ascertain any abnormality or signs of diseases.
  • When administering any form of treatment such as drenching, injection and mastitis control.
  • When spraying or hand dressing the animal with chemicals to control external parasites.
  • When milking the animal.
  • When performing some of the management practices such as dehorning, disbudding, castration, hoof trimming .

When carrying out these activities animals should be restrained in a crush.

Other methods of restraining animals include the use of;

  • halters,
  • ropes,
  • bull ring
  • lead stick.
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