Animal Health & Disease Management

Birth and Reproduction complications (new)


There are various diseases and abnormalities that affect the reproductive system of domestic animals. These diseases commonly result in early embryonic deaths, abortions, mummification and infertility. 

Following the infectious disease, animals may end up with other related conditions such as Endrometitis and Pyometra. All these result in lost income to the farmer as the animals may be unable to give birth again.

Brucellosis and Q-fever are described under the Chapter Abortion and Stillbirth, are also highly contagious, and may transfer to people causing agonizing pain and sickness and very expensive medication, so paying close attention to the reproductive health of your animals is highly recommended. 

Non-infectious conditions and other abnormalities include: 

  • Anoestrus
  • Silent heat
  • Freemartinism
  • White heifer disease

When a herd of cows or sheep tend to have reduced number of calves, longer time before the female becomes pregnant, as well as when frequent abortions are observered or suspected, it is likely that a genital disease could be the problem. Farmers would in such cases be advised to invite a veterinarian to investigate the herd and take samples for analysis that can determine the cause of the problem. Reduced fertility in a herd means less profit and slower build up of herds. 

Genital infections are spread through sexual contact between male and female animals. Unsually infected males do not show signs, but they can spread the disease to the female.

Review Process

1. William Ayako, KARI Naivasha. Aug - Dec 2009.
2. Hugh Cran, Practicing Veterinarian Nakuru. March - Oct 2010.
3. Review workshop team. Nov 2 - 5, 2010.

  • For Infonet: Anne, Dr Hugh Cran
  • For KARI: Dr Mario Younan KARI/KASAL, William Ayako - Animal scientist, KARI Naivasha
  • For DVS: Dr Josphat Muema - Dvo Isiolo, Dr Charity Nguyo - Kabete Extention Division, Mr Patrick Muthui - Senior Livestock Health Assistant Isiolo, Ms Emmah Njeri Njoroge - Senior Livestock Health Assistant Machakos
  • Pastoralists: Dr Ezra Saitoti Kotonto - Private practioner, Abdi Gollo H.O.D. Segera Ranch
  • Farmers: Benson Chege Kuria and Francis Maina Gilgil and John Mutisya Machakos
  • Language and format: Carol Gachiengo

4. June 2013: Reorganisation and review of file by Infonet from former version of Reproductive Problems by Dr Mario Younan (DVM, PhD), Regional Technical Advisor for VSF-Germany, working in East Africa since 1995

Information Source Links

  • Barber, J., Wood, D.J. (1976) Livestock management for East Africa: Edwar Arnold (Publishers) Ltd 25 Hill Street London WIX 8LL. ISBN: 071310063X
  • Blood DC, Henderson JA, Radostits OM (1983): Veterinary medicine: A textbook of the diseases of cattle, sheep, pigs & horses, 6th Edition. Baillière and Tindall, 24-28 Oval Road, London NW1 7DX, UK. ISBN NO: 0-7020- 0988- 1
  • Force, B. (1999). Where there is no Vet. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands. ISBN 978-0333-58899-4.
  • Handbook on Animal Diseases in the Tropics 4th Edition Sewell & Brocklesby
  • Henning MW (1956): Animal Diseases in South Africa, 3rd Edition. Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Central News Agency Ltd., Pretoria, South Africa
  • Hunter, A. (1996). Animal health: General principles. Volume 1(Tropical Agriculturalist) - Macmillan Education Press. ISBN: 0333612027
  • Khan CM and Line S (2005): The Merck Veterinary Manual, 9th Edition, Merck & Co Inc Whitehouse Station NJ USA. ISBN 0-7020-1502-4
  • lowey, R.W. (1986). A Veterinary book for dairy farmers: Farming press limited Wharfedale road, Ipswich, Suffolk IPI 4LG
  • Merck Veterinary Manual 9th Edition

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