However, yesterday he fell quite ill – there are so many illnesses here in the tropics that attack livestock and pets. So I began treatment. There are no vaccines here in Burundi except for Rabies. And there are no functioning vet labs.
As a result of civil war, most of the qualified veterinarians and animal scientists left the country and for those who remain, there has been little to no updating of animal health skills.
Hence, treatment is best done as a broad-based attack using several drugs, hoping to minimize or remove the animal’s illness – and-or minimize pain.
For Maxie, I used a drug for theileriosis, which is a debilitating tick-borne disease, together with a broad-spectrum antibiotic for possible infections, and Vetalgine - which a very good analgesic. I do all of the treatments of our stock and pets myself – and purchase medical supplies locally.
Colleagues in the animal health faculties of several South African universities, as well as in Kenya and Australia, understand the restrictions we’re operating under and provide advice, as necessary. Given the lack of training that should accompany restocking projects in Burundi, I conduct training for NGOs in basic health and medical care for goats (the largest group of livestock owned in the country).
.Presenting results for discussion
Well, so – back to Maxie… I don’t hold out too much hope for him, the next 24-48 hours will be critical. He does not want to drink water and if that continues I’ll have to give an IV… Life in the tropics… Gearing up from years of civil war and unrest is a never-ending and totally challenging task.
More information is available on the following site, which we’ve developed not only to assist livestock owners and trainers in developing countries, but also to provide information for the industrialized world, where understanding of livestock conditions in the tropics and non-industrialized countries is often lacking:
- A dilemma for Burundi’s war veterans: peace and poverty or return to arms? (guardian.co.uk)
- World Rabies Day – Sept. 28 – Strives to Make Rabies History; AVMA Releases World Rabies Day Message on Video (prnewswire.com)
- Environmental health risks of livestock farming (eurekalert.org)
- Correct halal goat production and processing offers bright prospects (tuklasinnatin.wordpress.com)
- The things you learn at goat school! (macleans.ca)