Necrotic enteritis and its management in 13-week old commercial pullets in Katsina, Nigeria
Necrotic enteritis is rarely reported because it is often misdiagnosed as coccidiosis due to similarity in clinical and pathological features. A field outbreak of necrotic enteritis in a flock of 13 weeks old 4,500 commercial pullets was investigated, the onset of the disease, morbidity and mortality rates were recorded. Post mortem examinations were conducted and gross lesions were documented. Tissues were collected and fixed in 10 % neutral buffered formalin and processed for histopathological examinations. Clinical signs observed were ruffled feathers, weakness, somnolence, loss of weight and diarrhoea; while the gross lesions observed were emaciated carcasses, lean abdominal fat, enlarged, pale and haemorrhagic liver; enlarged, mottled and congested spleen; mucus and diphtheritic membrane on the jejunal mucosa and enlarged kidneys. The histopathological findings of the intestine were diffused necrotic epithelial cells with marked mononuclear cells infiltration in the mucosa with severe oedema fluid. The necrotic enteritis was diagnosed based on clinical signs, pathology as well as isolation and identification of Clostridium perfringes. Triplesulfa® (sulfadimidine sodium, sulfadiazine sodium and sulfamerazine sodium); Tridox® L.A (20% Oxytetracycline long acting) and Enterocillin® (Amoxycillintrihydrate and Colistin sulphate) were ineffective, while copper sulphate at 1g/5L of drinking water was found to be effective for the treatment of the disease. The haematological values indicated lymphocytosis due to damage of the tissue caused by C. perfringes and the toxins produced.
Keywords: Necrotic enteritis, Commercial pullets, Copper sulphate, Clostridium perfringens