Dogs’ health and demographics in wildlife-populated and tsetse-infested villages of Mambwe district, eastern Zambia.

Malimba Lisulo, Boniface Namangala, Cornelius Mweempwa, Maxwell Banda, Kim Picozzi, Sutherland K Maciver, Ewan T MacLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Good dog-keeping practices and access to veterinary care are essential for the well-being of dogs. As the main causes of morbidity and mortality in the rural canine population in Zambia are poorly understood, we followed a cohort of 162 indigenous dogs for six months in wildlife-populated and tsetse-infested villages of Mambwe district, eastern Zambia to gain deeper insights. Dogs lacked basic home and veterinary care, they were often starved and burdened with ticks, and some passed live adult worms in their stool. The frequent exposure of dogs to tsetse bites and consumption of fresh raw game meat and bones puts them at greater risk of acquiring African trypanosomiasis. Nearly 20% of dogs were lost to follow-up, with the main causes being poor health (58.1%), predation by wild carnivores (29%), and owner culling or euthanasia (12.9%). We observed that indigenous dogs' general well-being and survival were largely influenced by their environment, infectious diseases, injuries sustained during interaction with conspecifics and wildlife, and community attitudes and practices associated with dog ownership.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2023

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