Diseases and causes of mortality in a camel (Camelus dromedarius) dairy farm in Saudi Arabia


By H. Agab.


The diseases and causes of mortality reported in this study were encountered throughout one year (July 2001 June 2002) in a dairy camel farm in Al-Qassim region central Saudi Arabia. The farm was specialized in the production and marketing of pasteurized camel milk. The camel population in the farm at the study period was composed of 2316 adult and weaned calves besides 126 suckling calves. As camels are usually raised under extensive range conditions the purpose of this study was to describe and discuss the diseases and causes of mortality that were encountered in intensively kept dromedary camels. Throughout the period of study 942 camels were affected with one or more disease condition giving a crude morbidity rate of 38.6%. The ten most common diseases encountered among the camels of the farm were mange (22.6%) mastitis (20.9%) camel dermatophilosis (18.7%) "Heyam" syndrome (Trypanosomiasis??) (14.5%) skin wounds and abscesses (4.2%) calf diarrhoea (4.1%) Diazinon toxicity (3.5%) snake bites (1.9%) respiratory complaints (1.8%) and papilloma virus infection (1.7%). Other diseases encountered included eye affections (1.2%) metritis (1%) uterine prolapse (1%) retained placenta (0.7%) bone fractures (0.6%) urea intoxication (0.5%) abortions (0.5%) and dystochia (0.4%). During the period of study 180 camels died giving a crude mortality rate of 7.4%. The most common causes of mortality recorded in the camel farm were "Heyam" syndrome (53.3%) Diazinon toxicity (15%) snake bites (10%) calf diarrhea (8.9%) undiagnosed cases (5%) bone fractures (3.3%) urea intoxication (2.8%) uterine prolapse (1.1%) and dystochias (0.6%).


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