ANIMAL WELFARE OF LUXOR - AWOL

AWOL - preventative care

The impact of three of the most common conditions we encounter at AWOL can be lessened with preventative care and education of the owners.

Mange

Mange is caused by a mite which spreads very easily when an animal is in poor condition, has poor nutrition or lives in an overcrowded environment. Usually the first signs of a mite infestation are areas of baldness that appear on the back of the donkeys front legs but if not treated quickly it can spread all over the body.

Cases of mange are normally at a much higher level in Autumn and Winter months when the mites are active all day. At other times of year due to the high daytime temperatures the mites are most active at night when after copulation the female mite burrows into the skin and lays her eggs on the edges of the wounds she has created. These eggs hatch in 3 to 4 days. This causes extreme itching which means that the donkey doesn't get much sleep so that it is tired in the morning when the owner wants it to be ready to work. If the donkey doesn't work the owner cannot make an income and therefore cannot feed his family so however tired the donkey is it has to work. We leave it to your imagination as to how a tired donkey is made to work. As the donkey is rundown and well below par it is very likely to suffer from intestinal worms which a healthy donkey keeps on top of so you can see that unless AWOL is there this situation is an ever downward spiral for donkey and owner alike. Mange affects many animals but in the area where AWOL works we see it mainly on donkeys, dogs and the occasional horse. Infection is spread by direct contact between affected animals but mange is also spread indirectly from mites that have attached themselves to various items such as the animal's tack, the clothes of the owner or something as simple as an infected animal rubbing itself on a wall or tree leaving mites that attach themselves to the next animal that comes along.

Treatment varies depending on the severity of the case. With treatment AWOL always gives advice so as to minimise the chance of re-infection. Owners need healthy animals so most are eager to learn. Light infestations can be treated by regular washing with either Sulphur soap or the slightly more expensive Polytar soap, both of which we supply free of charge.

For anything more that light infestations the drug of choice is Ivermectine by IM injection as not only does it treat 3 out of the 4 types of mange but also intestinal worms. The dose required depends on the weight of the animal and the cost of one treatment for a donkey costs AWOL around £4 to £5.

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Ticks

Ticks suck the blood from their host animal. They cause irritation, itching and severe damage to the skin. They hide themselves in areas of the body where the animal can’t reach to clean them off. They cause severe anaemia, weakness and emaciation and can also cause tick paralysis in animals and human alike. They transmit lots of disease for example Equine encephala mellitus, Rickettsial disease, Q-fever of man, spotted fever heart water of sheep, spirochetes of cattle, relapsing fever tularaemia in man and rabbits. They also transmit all species of parasitic blood diseases.

For killing ticks on animals that AWOL deals with we remove all that we can see and dip them in Vaseline to prevent engorged females from laying their eggs followed by a Dectomax (Ivermectine) injection.

Steps to stop re-infestation include clearing the ground of litter and controlled burning to destruct eggs, larvae and nymphs as well as spraying the walls, trees and cracks with an insecticide as such as diazinon, butox or amitraz.

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Summer Sores

Cutaneous Habronemiasis is its proper name but is rather a mouthful so it is referred to more commonly as Summer Sores. It gets this name because it is a condition that is seen during warm weather that coincides with periods of high fly activity.

House and stable flies infected with the Habronema worm larvae deposit it in fresh wounds and moist areas of horses and donkeys such as the mucous membrane of which the corners of eyes are a favourite. The lave then move down and block the lacrimal (tear) duct which runs from the eye to the nose.

The most obvious indications are ulcerated or raised skin lesions that progressively enlarge and bleed easily. The summer sores that we come across most frequently here in Luxor are an ulcerated or raised granuloma (a tumour caused by infection) usually in the top third of the duct from the eye to the nose. The condition is highly seasonal with individual Cutaneous Habronemiasis is its proper name but is rather a mouthful so it is referred to more commonly as Summer Sores. It gets this name because it is a condition that is seen during warm weather that coincides with periods of high fly activity.

House and stable flies infected with the Habronema worm larvae deposit it in fresh wounds and moist areas of horses and donkeys such as the mucous membrane of which the corners of eyes are a favourite. The lave then move down and block the lacrimal (tear) duct which runs from the eye to the nose.

The most obvious indications are ulcerated or raised skin lesions that progressively enlarge and bleed easily. The summer sores that we come across most frequently here in Luxor are an ulcerated or raised granuloma (a tumour caused by infection) usually in the top third of the duct from the eye to the nose. The condition is highly seasonal with individual animals being affected and re-infected whilst many appear to be totally resistant.

Initially we treat the animal by flushing the lacrimal (tear) duct which is not as easy as it sounds with strong animals like donkeys and horses. We have to insert a very fine tube into the nasal passage end of the tear duct which can be quite difficult to locate. Once fully cleared treatment with a drug such as Ivermectin given at three to six week intervals is our standard course of treatment to kill any remaining larvae and produce rapid resolution of lesions.

When caught early summer sores are very easy to treat but if they are left untreated  it can result in ulceration and a more protracted and expensive treatment. The easiest way to help prevent summer sores is by fitting fly veils which stop the infected flies from landing around the animal’s eyes.

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