Ever gone to get a new puppy and it suddenly died? Or realised that your puppy is continually vomiting with diarrhoea? It could be suffering from the disease known as Canine Parvoviral Infection. This disease has become a major distress to breeders and pet owners. 

As the name suggests, Parvo is a viral infection. It is one of the most stable viruses in the environment. It is heat stable and can resist cold temperatures as well. The virus is also resistant to several disinfectants available and can therefore survive for several months in a contaminated environment. The canine parvovirus targets animals from the Canidae family such as wolves, dogs and coyotes. Among dogs, puppies and unvaccinated adults are most susceptible.  

Transmission can be direct through contact with an infected dog or indirect through contact with objects contaminated usually with faeces of an infected dog. The virus has a preference for rapidly developing cells so it mostly targets the bone marrow and the walls of the small intestines. It  damages the intestinal lining leading to bloody diarrhoea. Damage to the intestines allow other bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause other secondary infections.

Signs of the disease include vomiting, pungent smelling diarrhoea (bloody), loss of appetite, general weakness (lethargy). Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and history. Confirmation of the disease is through laboratory tests such as PCR, ELISA and Electron Microscopy.

Survival from infection is unpredictable and death is usually due to dehydration or septic shock. There is no particular or specific treatment regime to this disease. Usually, dogs recover after giving supportive care such as replacing lost fluids and treating secondary bacterial infection. It is recommended to feed your pet with bland diets during that period until recovery. Alert your vet when your pet starts showing signs of the disease. 

Vaccinate your pet between 5-6 weeks of age. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendation for parvovirus vaccination to protect your pet. 

Thompson Ekua Esuon

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DIARRHOEA IN NEWLY BORN RUMINANTS CAUSED BY E.coli 1280 720 Kingsley Emmanuel Bentum

Diarrhoea in newly born ruminants caused by Escherichia coli (E.coli) remains as one of the common conditions of newborns which sometimes leads to death.

E. coli, is a bacterium which naturally resides in the intestines of living organisms and aid in digestion. There are however some strains of E. coli (Enterotoxigenic E. coli and Enteropathogenic E. coli) that cause severe infection especially in the early lives (normally within the first week) of calves and lambs. The infection is sometimes complicated with other pathogens such as Clostridium perfringens and Rota virus.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli release enterotoxins which disrupts the osmotic balance of the gut cells, leading to excess fluid secretion into the lumen of the gut, resulting in diarrhoea.  

Enteropathogenic E. coli affect the intestinal lining, leading to ulcers and erosions of the intestinal walls. Some of these strains of E. coli release toxins (verotoxin) which enhance the erosions of the intestinal mucosa leading to hemorrhages.

Clinical Signs

Diarrhoea (very clear watery stool or bloody)

– Dehydration

– Death

– Lethargy

– Fever

Treatment and Prevention

– Practice good hygiene especially in delivery pens

– Ensure young animals get colostrum especially during the first week of life. Kids (baby goats)  are however resistant to this infection.

Affected animals are usually given supportive therapy with antibiotics after sensitivity testing has been carried out.

Coccidiosis in pigs – an under diagnosed cause of porcine diarrhoea

Coccidiosis in pigs – an under diagnosed cause of porcine diarrhoea 720 567 Sefa


Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease affecting the digestive system of pigs. Although all growth stages of pigs can be affected by this disease, piglets are most susceptible to this condition. the protozoa Eimeria spp, Isospora spp and Cryptosporidia spp causes Coccidiosis in pigs and can produce oocyst which is shed through the faeces of an infected pig. 

The shed oocyst is the primary source of infection. Once in a conducive environment, the oocyst undergoes development to be infective when ingested by an animal. In the intestines of an infected animal, further development and multiplication of the parasite occurs resulting in the production of several oocysts which are subsequently shed again in the faeces, contaminating the environment. This process of reproduction of the parasite in the walls of the intestines destroy and erode the intestinal lining, preventing proper nutrient and fluid absorption. This leads to diarrhoea, loss of weight, and death.  In housing facilities where proper sanitary and biosecurity protocols are not adhered to, the parasite spreads rapidly. Warm and moist environments also facilitate the multiplication of the parasite, especially in farrowing pens and litter crates


– Foul smelling diarrhoea. Consistency and colour may vary from yellow to grey, green or bloody, depending on severity of the damage to the intestinal lining.

– Dehydration as a result of severe loss of fluids

– Undersized or underweight piglets

– Mortalities (this occurs especially with secondary infections caused by bacteria or viruses)


Establishing an effective hygiene program for your farm is key in preventing this disease.

– Use disinfectants (Ammonium compound/Bleach/oo-cide) to thoroughly clean the housing facility

– Keep the pen as dry as possible and litter in the pens should be changed frequently.

– Farrowing pens should be thoroughly disinfected and aired before sow farrows

– Cleaning of pens should be done daily. The order should be from uninfected pens to infected pens. Also, pens of younger animals should be cleaned first before moving to pens of older animals.  

– farmers must keep Creep Feed in feeders which can easily be used by piglets and not on the floor

– farmers should properly disposed off fecal waste from farm and not close to farm.