Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1643–1647 | Cite as

Causes of calf mortality in peri-urban area of Nairobi, Kenya

  • George K. GitauEmail author
  • Joshua W. Aleri
  • Paul G. Mbuthia
  • Charles M. Mulei
Original Research


The study reported data from 507 post-mortem records in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, Kenya. The records were from carcasses obtained from the peri-urban area of Nairobi during a 20-year period between 1990 and 2009. Approximately 80% (393/507) of the calf carcasses had their diagnosis made through post-mortem examination, while the rest (114/507) were inconclusive. Just less than half (48.3%) of the calf carcasses presented had their age specified by the owners compared to 51.7% whose age was not specified. For calf carcasses whose age was specified by the owners, those indicated as more than 3 months were one-and-a-half times as many as those below 3 months old. The proportion of female carcasses (53.8%, 273/507) presented for post-mortem were slightly higher than the male carcasses (46.2%, 234/507). Diseases or conditions of the respiratory system were the most common 17.7% (97/507) while gastrointestinal tract (GIT) was second and affected 16.1% (88/507) of the cases. Another small number, 3.3% (18/507), died from bloat giving the total cases associated with GIT as 19.4% (106/507). Severe calf malnutrition and septicaemia were the third most reported causes of calf mortality in similar proportions at 14.3% (78/507) and 14.4% (79/507), respectively. Other minor causes of calf mortality were tick-borne diseases 8.6% (47/507), helminthiasis and poisoning, 2.9% (16/507) and 1.8% (10/507), respectively.


Cause Calf mortality Peri-urban Nairobi Kenya 



The authors thank all members of staff of the Departments of Clinical Studies and Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, both present and past, who may have played a role in the diagnostic work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • George K. Gitau
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joshua W. Aleri
    • 1
  • Paul G. Mbuthia
    • 2
  • Charles M. Mulei
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya

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