CARRIED BY TICKS
AND THEIR TREATMENT IN KENYA
Animal health is a major constraint to livestock production in many countries
including Kenya. Modern veterinary inputs and services are often not readily available.
They are either too difficult to obtain or expensive for poor, marginal farmers and
pastoralists. Under these conditions, traditional animal health care practices, also
called “ethnoveterinary medicine”, provide a readily available, low cost alternative.
This briefs looks at ways to combat animal diseases carried by ticks and covers;
Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis (Redwater), East Coast Fever, Heartwater and
Trypanosomosis (nagana, surra).
Ticks are important external parasites of all livestock
species, including chickens. They suck blood, causing
anaemia, weight loss and even death. They also carry
various serious diseases. Physical damage to the hide
reduces its market value. People can become infested
when handling animals.
Large numbers of ticks on the animal's skin,
especially around the ears, base of
the tail and neck, and between the legs and the
Anaemia (pale colour on the gums and under the
Weakness, weight loss.
Animal scratches and shows discomfort.
Red patches and sometimes wounds
where the ticks attach.
Watery eyes when ticks attach on the eyes.
Sagging ears when there are many ticks.
Also known as
Nguukuma (Embu), shilmi
(Gabbra), nguha (Gikuyu), mbili
(Kamba), kerbesiet (Kipsigis),
tsingwa (Lumarachi), okuodo
(Luo), ilmasherr (Maasai),
endohio, inamaara, tsinamaara
(Maragoli), iguumba (Meru),
chillim, turdach (Rendille),
manjeri, lmansher, ltunturi
(Samburu), shilin, yakhal (Somali
Ethiopia and Kenya), kupe
(Swahili), ngimadang (Turkana)
Ticks attach themselves to the skin and suck
blood. Their bites are itchy. Various species of
ticks carry the following important diseases:
East coast fever.
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