Wednesday May 28 2014

Soroti cattle, sheep, goats hit by liver flukes

By Simon Peter Emwamu

Animal farmers around swamps in Soroti and neighbouring districts are counting losses following incidences of liver flukes.

Dr Patrick Eyudu, the district veterinary officer, says rising water levels in swamps, as result of the rampant floods, provide a conducive atmosphere for the flukes produced by snails to multiply.

The prevalence of the parasites is being witnessed among herds that graze around Lake Bisina and Awoja swamps, where deaths in their hundreds have been registered. About 40 per cent of the animals are affected.

“It is easy to identify, if animals are not dewormed or treated for other diseases, they shows no response to injectable drugs and keep showing signs of weight loss,” Eyudu explains.

The multiplication rate of flukes stands at thousands of eggs in a single day, and entire grazing grounds are infested.

John Opolot, a veterinary doctor in Amuria District, points out that liver flukes have shown resistance to triclabendazol, a drug of choice. He adds that no flukicide has a persistent action to preventing re-infection but there is need to routinely deworm animals in both dry and wet season.

Liver flukes are transmitted among cattle, normally characterised by weight loss, dehydration, and anaemia but also prevalent in sheep and goats.