Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-6 (6)

Clipboard (0)
more »
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Could it be colic? Horse-owner decision making and practices in response to equine colic 
BMC Veterinary Research  2014;10(Suppl 1):S1.
Little is known about lay understanding and decision making in response to colic. Horse-owners/carers are key to identifying colic and initiating veterinary intervention. Understanding how owners think and act in relation to colic could assist veterinary surgeons in tailoring information about colic with the aim of improving colic outcomes.
A mixed methods approach was employed including qualitative in-depth interviews and a cross-sectional questionnaire. Qualitative data were analysed using Grounded theory to conceptualise processes involved in horse-owner management of colic. Following this, a cross-sectional survey was designed to test these concepts. Cluster analysis explored the role of the human-horse relationship upon colic management strategies.
Fifteen horse-owners with a range of colic experience participated in the interviews. A theoretical conceptual model was developed and described how horse-owners’ recognised, assessed and responded to colic. Three main management strategies were used including ‘wait and see’, ‘lay treatments’ and ‘seek veterinary assistance’. Actions in response to colic were moderated by owners’ experience of colic and interpretation of the severity of colic signs. A postal questionnaire gathered data from 673 horse-owners from the North-West of the UK. The majority (605, 89.9%) of respondents were female. Cluster analysis revealed 5 meaningful groups of horse-owners based upon assessment of questionnaire items on the human-horse relationship. These groups included 2 professional and 3 amateur owner typologies. There were differences in the responses to some questionnaire items among the identified groups.
This study describes lay understanding and management of colic among a population of horse-owners from the North-West of the UK. The information may serve as a basis upon which to tailor existing programmes designed to educate owners about colic management strategies, and may inform veterinarians’ interactions with horse-owners.
PMCID: PMC4122872  PMID: 25238026
equine colic; horse-owners; sociology; mixed methods research; epidemiology; grounded theory; qualitative data
2.  Participatory study of medicinal plants used in the control of gastrointestinal parasites in donkeys in Eastern Shewa and Arsi zones of Oromia region, Ethiopia 
Gastrointestinal nematode infections constitute a threat to the health and welfare of donkeys worldwide. Their primary means of control is via anthelmintic treatments; however, use of these drugs has constraints in developing countries, including cost, limited availability, access to cheaper generic forms of variable quality and potential anthelmintic resistance. As an alternative, bioactive plants have been proposed as an option to treat and control gastrointestinal helminths in donkeys. This study aimed to use participatory methodology to explore donkey owner knowledge, attitudes and beliefs relating to the use of plant-based treatments for gastrointestinal parasites of donkeys in Ethiopia.
In focus groups, 22/29 groups stated they knew of plants used for the treatment of gastrointestinal parasites in donkeys. All groups volunteered plants that were used in cattle and/or small ruminants. In total, 21 plants were named by participants. ‘Koso’ (Hagenia abyssinica) ‘Grawa’ (Vernonia amygdalina) and a mixed roots and leaves preparation were the most frequently named plant preparations. ‘Enkoko’ (Embelia shimperi) and ‘a mixture of roots and leaves’ were ranked highly for effectiveness in donkeys. However, ‘Grawa’ and ‘Koso’ were the highest ranked when taking into account both the rank position and the number of groups ranking the plant.
Thematic analysis of participants’ current attitudes and beliefs surrounding traditional plant-based remedies for gastrointestinal parasites revealed that anthelmintics obtained from clinics were generally favoured due to their ease of administration and perceived higher effectiveness. There was doubt surrounding the effectiveness of some plant-based treatments, but there were also perceived advantages including their low cost, ease of cultivation and availability. However, plant-based treatments were considered a “past trend” and people favoured “modern” medicine, particularly among the younger generation.
There was extensive knowledge of plant-based treatments for gastrointestinal parasites in livestock in Ethiopia. In donkeys, Koso (Hagenia abyssinica), Grawa (Vernonia amygdalina), Enkoko (Embelia shimperi) and ‘mixed roots and leaves’ were the most frequently named and/or highest ranked plants with reported efficacy against gastrointestinal parasites. Further in vitro and in vivo investigation of these plants is now required to determine viable alternatives for the treatment and control of gastrointestinal parasites in Ethiopia.
PMCID: PMC3847120  PMID: 24025403
Ethnoveterinary; Anthelmintic; Nematode; Participatory; Donkey; Equid; Ethiopia; Thematic analysis
3.  Trypanosomosis in The Gambia: prevalence in working horses and donkeys detected by whole genome amplification and PCR, and evidence for interactions between trypanosome species 
The Gambia has an increasing population of equidae largely used for agriculture and transportation. A review of cases at The Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT) indicated that a common reason for presentation is a poorly defined medical condition often attributed to trypanosomosis. There are few reports describing the prevalence or the range of clinical signs associated with infection with different species of trypanosomes in horses and donkeys, but given the importance of these animals, the role of trypanosomosis requires investigation.
In total 241 animals from the Central River Division in The Gambia (183 horses and 58 donkeys) were screened using Whole Genome Amplification (WGA) followed by trypanosome species identification using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The results indicated overall trypanosome prevalence of 91%; with an infection rate of 31% for Trypanosoma congolense Savannah, 87% for Trypanosoma vivax and 18% for Trypanosoma brucei sp. Multiple species were present in 43% of infections. Microscopy had a good specificity (100%) and positive predictive value (100%) for trypanosome detection, but the sensitivity (20%) and negative predictive value (10.5%) were low relative to PCR-based diagnosis.
Infection with T congolense showed the greatest negative effect on packed cell volume (PCV), while infection with T. brucei sp also had a significant, although lesser, negative effect on PCV. In addition, cases positive by microscopy were associated with significantly lower PCV. However, concurrent infection with T. vivax appeared to cause less effect on PCV, compared to animals infected with T. congolense alone.
The prevalence of Trypanosomosis was high in both horses and donkeys. Infection with T. congolense appeared to have the greatest clinical significance, while T. vivax infection may be of limited clinical significance in this population. Indeed, there is evidence of T. vivax co-infection ameliorating the pathology caused by T. congolense. WGA and PCR allowed a more comprehensive analysis of field infections with the detection of infections below the threshold of microscopy, and provided indications of interactions between parasite species that would otherwise remain undetected. The study raises important questions about the epidemiology of trypanosome infection in relation to disease that require a full scale longitudinal analysis.
PMCID: PMC2263031  PMID: 18289378
4.  Factors associated with dog ownership and contact with dogs in a UK community 
Dogs are popular pets in many countries. Identifying differences between those who own dogs or have contact with dogs, and those who do not, is useful to those interested in the human-animal bond, human health and for provision of veterinary services. This census-based, epidemiological study aimed to investigate factors associated with dog ownership and contact with dogs, in a semi-rural community of 1278 households in Cheshire, UK.
Twenty-four percent of households were identified as dog-owning and 52% owned a pet of some type. Multivariable logistic regression suggested that households were more likely to own a dog if they had more occupants (five or more); if they had an adult female household member; or if they owned a horse. The age structure of the households was also associated with dog ownership, with households containing older children (between six and 19 years of age) and young adults (between 20 and 29 years of age), more likely to own dogs. We also found that dog owning households were more likely to be multi-dog households than single-dog if they also owned a cat or a bird, or if the household contained a person of 20–29 years old. Dog owners reported increased contact with dogs, other than their own, compared to those that did not own dogs and this contact appeared to be mainly through walking.
Some household types are more likely to own a dog than others. This study supports the suggestion that dogs are more common in families who have older children (6–19 years), as has been generally observed in other countries. Dog owners are also more likely to have contact with dogs other than their own, compared with those not owning a dog.
PMCID: PMC1852100  PMID: 17407583
5.  Epidemiology of impaction colic in donkeys in the UK 
Colic (abdominal pain) is a clinical condition of serious concern affecting the welfare and survival of donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary in the UK. One of the most commonly reported causes is due to impacted ingesta in the large intestine ("impaction colic"). However little is known about the incidence of, or risk factors for, this condition. Here we describe the epidemiology of colic in donkeys, specifically impaction colic. We focus on temporal aspects of the disease and we identify environmental and management related risk factors for impaction colic in UK donkeys.
There were 807 colic episodes in the population of 4596 donkeys between January 1st 2000 and March 31st 2005. The majority (54.8%) of episodes were due to a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of impaction of the gastrointestinal tract. The mortality risk for all colics (51.1%) was higher than reported in other equids. The incidence rate of all colics (5.9 episodes per 100 donkeys per year) and of impaction colic (3.2 episodes) was similar to that in horses. A retrospective matched case-control study of all impaction colics from January 2003 (193) indicated that older donkeys, those fed extra rations and those that previously suffered colic were at increased risk of impaction. Lighter body weight, musculo-skeletal problems, farm and dental disease were also significantly associated with a diagnosis of impaction colic.
To our knowledge this is the first study to estimate the incidence rate of colic in a large population of donkeys in the UK. In contrast to other equids, impaction was the most commonly reported cause of colic. We identified several risk factors for impaction colic. Increasing age, extra rations and previous colic are known risk factors for colic in other equids. Results support the hypothesis that dental disease is associated with impaction colic. Musculo-skeletal problems may be associated with colic for various reasons including change in amount of exercise or time at pasture. Other associated factors (weight and farm) are the subject of further research. Identification of risk factors for impaction colic may highlight high risk donkeys and may allow intervention strategies to be introduced to reduce the incidence of the disease.
PMCID: PMC1800892  PMID: 17274808
6.  Is equine colic seasonal? Novel application of a model based approach 
Colic is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in domesticated horses yet many questions about this condition remain to be answered. One such question is: does season have an effect on the occurrence of colic? Time-series analysis provides a rigorous statistical approach to this question but until now, to our knowledge, it has not been used in this context. Traditional time-series modelling approaches have limited applicability in the case of relatively rare diseases, such as specific types of equine colic. In this paper we present a modelling approach that respects the discrete nature of the count data and, using a regression model with a correlated latent variable and one with a linear trend, we explored the seasonality of specific types of colic occurring at a UK referral hospital between January 1995–December 2004.
Six- and twelve-month cyclical patterns were identified for all colics, all medical colics, epiploic foramen entrapment (EFE), equine grass sickness (EGS), surgically treated and large colon displacement/torsion colic groups. A twelve-month cyclical pattern only was seen in the large colon impaction colic group. There was no evidence of any cyclical pattern in the pedunculated lipoma group. These results were consistent irrespective of whether we were using a model including latent correlation or trend. Problems were encountered in attempting to include both trend and latent serial dependence in models simultaneously; this is likely to be a consequence of a lack of power to separate these two effects in the presence of small counts, yet in reality the underlying physical effect is likely to be a combination of both.
The use of a regression model with either an autocorrelated latent variable or a linear trend has allowed us to establish formally a seasonal component to certain types of colic presented to a UK referral hospital over a 10 year period. These patterns appeared to coincide with either times of managemental change or periods when horses are more likely to be intensively managed. Further studies are required to identify the determinants of the observed seasonality. Importantly, this type of regression model has applications beyond the study of equine colic and it may be useful in the investigation of seasonal patterns in other, relatively rare, conditions in all species.
PMCID: PMC1570133  PMID: 16930473

Results 1-6 (6)