Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 361–374 | Cite as

The Use of Trypanocides and Antibiotics by Maasai Pastoralists

  • S. Roderick
  • P. Stevenson
  • C. Mwendia
  • G. Okech

Abstract

Information was collected on the use of veterinary drugs by Maasai pastoralists in an area of Kenya where tsetse flies and trypanosomosis occur. Three herds of cattle were followed for between 4 and 5 years and records were kept of every veterinary drug treatment given by the livestock owners. Almost all treatments were either with the trypanocides homidium or diminazene, or with oxytetracycline by intramuscular injection. The rate of trypanocide use varied between 0.66 and 1.56 treatments per animal per year, while oxytetracycline use was between 0.20 and 1.00 treatments per animal per year. Farmers were injecting these drugs in the absence of veterinary supervision, obtaining their supplies mainly from local village shops or informal traders. Underdosing with trypanocides appeared to be uncommon and the indications were that farmers generally gave the drugs at dosage rates above the recommended standard dose. Accurate information on the dose rates of oxytetracycline could not be obtained, but it was noted that in most cases farmers gave a single injection rather than a course of treatment. In a proportion of cases, trypanocides and antibiotics were mixed together before injection. The farmers administered the drugs when disease was recognized and were rarely using trypanocides as prophylactics. Although necessity forces the livestock owners to obtain and use these drugs without veterinary supervision, there are concerns with regard to the possibility of drug misuse and the development of drug resistance.

cattle chemotherapy diminazene homidium Kenya oxytetracycline transhumance treatment 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Roderick
    • 1
  • P. Stevenson
    • 1
  • C. Mwendia
    • 2
  • G. Okech
    • 2
  1. 1.Veterinary Economics and Epidemiology Research Unit, Department of AgricultureUniversity of Reading, Earley GateReadingUK
  2. 2.Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research InstituteKikuyuKenya

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