Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa

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Causes of mortality in dogs in and around Effurun/Warri Municipality of Delta State, Nigeria

FK Shima, JIT Mosugu, TT Apaa


This retrospective study examined death causes in hospitalized dogs in Effurun Warri region from 2002 to 2013. Over the past 12 years, out of 1,302 dogs presented with different medical conditions, 241(18.0%) were euthanized or died with a diagnostic claim for the cause of death. Proportional mortality was reported for the different categorizations. The ten most frequent causes of mortality recorded were ascites 25(10.4%), canine babesiosis 23(9.5%), cardiovascular diseases 12(5.0%), gastroenteritis 31(12.9%), canine parvoviral enteritis 47(19.5%), pneumonia 5(2.1%), snakebites envenomation 8(3.3%), toxicosis 36(14.9%) and trauma 20(8.3%) while mortalities from euthanasia and unexplained deaths accounted for 15(6.2%) and 10(4.1%), respectively. Breeds with the highest mortality rates were Alsatians 124(48.7%), Mongrels (mixed breeds) 40(16.9%), Rottweiler 21(10.8%), Indigenous dog breed 15(6.2%) and Doberman 14(5.8%). Age was significant for death causes (P<0.0001) with adult dogs having the highest mortalities 95(39.4%) followed by puppies 76(31.5%). Furthermore, more males 140(58.1%) had died compared to female dogs 101(41.9%). The result of this study revealed that preventable diseases and inadequate pet care were the primary causes of deaths in dogs in the study. This serves as a pointer to the relevance of improved management and veterinary attention to pets. Finally, the patterns of deaths in relation to gender, age and the temporal distribution for discrete causes calls for an in-depth study.

Keywords: Death, Causes, Proportional mortality rate, Dog, Nigeria

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