Postpartum clinical diseases of dairy cows managed on smallholder production system in Gasabo district, Rwanda
Author(s): JB Twagirayezu, V Musanayire, L Murerwa, JN Hakizimana and P Nyabinwa
Abstract: The objective of the present retrospective cross-sectional study was to estimate the prevalence of postpartum clinical diseases (PPCDs) of dairy cows reared under existing management conditions of smallholder zero-grazing farming in Gasabo district, Rwanda. The data of PPCDs were collected retrospectively from 250 cows which calved for the period from 01 November 2019 to 29 February 2020. PPCDs were diagnosed from the hour of calving until 40 days postpartum by animal health service providers and/or farmers. Uterine diseases (UD) included clinical endometritis, retained placenta, and uterine prolapse. Non-uterine diseases (NUD) included clinical ketosis, clinical mastitis, left displaced abomasum, and milk fever. Calving problems (CP) included dystocia, stillbirth, and twin calving. Overall, 21.6% [95% confidence interval (CI): 16.9-27.1] of the cows were diagnosed with UD, 28.4% (95% CI: 23.2-34.3) with NUD, and 70.4% (95% CI: 64.7-75.7) with CP. For individual PPCD, dystocia (66.4%, 95% CI = 60.3-71.9), clinical mastitis (27.6%, 95% CI = 22.4-33.5), and retained placenta (19.2%, 95% CI = 14.8-24.5) were the most frequently observed in the sampled cows. These results provide evidence of the high prevalence of PPCDs in zero-grazed cows on smallholder farms in the study area. This is indicative of a general herd health issue, warranting that extension service needs to increase capacity building among farmers about control and prevention of PPCDs in their dairy cows.