The Health Problems, Gastrointestinal and Blood Parasites Commonly Associated With Donkeys in the Upper East Region of Ghana
The report on the disease conditions in donkeys in most West African countries is scanty in literature. This study was conducted to identify the health related problems including gastrointestinal and blood parasites of donkeys at the Bolgatanga livestock market in the Upper East region of Ghana from July to December, 2012. 190 donkeys comprising 86 females and 104 males were clinically examined while faecal and blood samples were aseptically taken from 60 donkeys. Faecal samples were processed using the floatation technique and examined using light microscopy for eggs of parasites while thin blood smears were stained in Giemsa and examined for the blood parasites. PCV was measured using a micro-hematocrit reader. Young donkeys weighed 87.0 ± 20.0 kg, while adults weighed 150 ± 30.0 kg. Out of a total of 190 donkeys examined, 73.0 (38.4%) were found to be clinically healthy while the common animal health problems identified included: Wound (18.6%), Emaciation (15.9%), Conjunctivitis (14.20%), Mange (11.5%), Respiratory disease (9.70%), Ascites (7.10%), Sarcoid (6.20%), Tetanus (4.40%), Skin nodules (3.50%), Diarrhoea (3.50%), Lameness (3.50%), Hoof problems (0.95%) and Dental disease (0.95%). Infection rate was 37.2% comprising single infections with strongyle (6.7%), Eimeria Spp (10.3%) while mixed infections of both parasites occurred in 20.2% cases. Trypanosome spp (3.33%) was the only blood parasite observed. This study reported for the first time, the major animal health problems commonly observed in donkeys in Ghana. It also revealed the need for a national policy on the control of some of the identified blood and gastrointestinal parasites of importance in donkeys in Ghana.
Keywords: blood, disease conditions, donkey, gastrointestinal, parasite, prevalence