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Willgert, Elina, 2010. Impact of veterinary assistance on the health of working horses in Nicaragua. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management (until 231231)



Working horses in developing countries are mostly used for transportation. They are often owned by people with limited economical resources and lack of knowledge about how to take care of the horses and due to this the horses often suffer from problems such as dehydration, poor body condition, lesions and parasitic infections. The aim of this master thesis was to investigate if free veterinary care improved the health and hydration status of working horses in Nicaragua and it was performed as a part of a project called “Free veterinary assistance for working horses and training of their owners as veterinary promoters in the Pacific coast of Nicaragua”. Five parameters were used to investigate whether free care improved the health of working horses in six towns along the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. The parameters used were body condition, dehydration, hematocrit, plasma protein and parasite eggs per gram of faeces (EPG). The towns were visited three times at monthly intervals. For the purpose of the visits, a mobile clinic was set up and working horses were examined. A total of 441 horses were examined; of these 47 were attended all three times, 130 were attended twice and 311 only once. Body condition and dehydration of the horses were scored subjectively using scales of 1-5 and 0-10 respectively. For dehydration a skin tent test was used. Blood and faecal samples were collected and thereafter analyzed at the University of Commercial Sciences (UCC) in Managua. Of all examined horses 44% were classified as thin or very thin and 41% were dehydrated. At the first examination of the horses the mean hematocrit value was 23 ± 2%, the plasma protein 72 ± 2 g/l and the EPG 782 ± 393. Of the five parameters only the plasma protein showed a significant decrease over the study period which could indicate for an improved hydration status.

Main title:Impact of veterinary assistance on the health of working horses in Nicaragua
Authors:Willgert, Elina
Supervisor:Jansson, Anna and Osterman Lind, Eva
Examiner:Lindberg, Jan Erik
Series:Examensarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens utfodring och vård
Volume/Sequential designation:321
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:1010A Agriculture Programme (admitted before July 1, 2007) 270 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management (until 231231)
Keywords:Working horses, welfare, Nicaragua
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Deposited On:21 Oct 2010 13:25
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:16

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