SURVEY animal diseases in Lao PDR

useful information from dead chicken carcass
Work Record (Experts)
Name :       Dr. Satis Pholpark
Position :    Veterinary officer level 8
Period :      16 – 22 October 2005
Dispatched to : JICA office, Bangkok.
Section :
Counterpart(s) :
 Mr. Phanxy Kulavang    Epidemiology section,  NAHC,Vientien.
 Dr. Bountom Khounsy   Chief of  regional veterinary diagnostic unit, Luangprabang.
Description of your work :
         Arriving date (16-10-2005) : Stayed at Vientien.
         First working day(17-10-2005):I left to Luangprabang(LB) province  by plane with Dr. Yoshi Kashiwasaki and Mr. Phanxy Kulavang  NAHC staff. After lunch we visited Forcom office and had a discussion with Forcom expert Dr. Iwasa and Dr. Nagata regarding the working plan about animal health activities in the next 3 days.After the meeting we went to visit Luangprabang regional veterinary diagnostic laboratory and provided them some Giemsa stain, antigen Rose Bengal for serological test  for Brucellosis and 1 PM- scissor for postmortem examination of poultry carcass and had a disussion about recently diseases outbreak in this region with the chief of the lab, Dr. Bountom Khounsy .Then we started the first trip to visit Hat Houy village,Pakseng district(about 40 Km. From Luangprabang province ).The period of this visit is starting the cold season and the harvesting time in the village.We interviewed the farmer and the village veterinary assistant about the health status of animals in the village.The animal population in this village were as followed:96 buffaloes, 1 cattle ,87 goats,179 pigs and 1293 poultry. The buffaloes were vaccinated against HS on 29-9-2005 concided with pigs were vaccinated against SF on the same day.About the diseases situation in this village,there were report of  goat disease in the nearby village.Some of them got sicked in September with clinical signs similar to“Scrapie or scabby mouth” which occurred in goat any agegroup and most of them recovered by their own within 1 month period. The farmer also complained about the disease occurred in duck which still carried on in the village. Their clinical signs were depression, leg weakness, watery diarrhea with a lot of fluid coming out from the mouth before death.These ducks could not consume any feed except water. The duration from starting the clinical sign until animal died was only 2 -3 days.We suspected of normal bacterial infection (E. coli) but sofar we didn’t get any carcass from sicked animals for final diagnosis. Anyhow we recommended the farmer to put some antibiotics(eg. Norfloxacin) in drinking water to treat those duck with similar clinical signs till we find out the real cause of these disease.We had also collecting blood and fecal samples from 6 buffaoes, 1 cattle and 3 goats in these village for diseases investigation purpose.Most of these sampling animals were deworming and injected with tonic drug(injectavit).In these village we saw a lot of chronic thin buffaloes with ectoparasite(lice).So we recommended them to use Ivomectin drug which has efficacy to treat both internal worms and ectoparasites by single  injection.
          Second working day(18-10-2005) :To day was holiday in Luangprabang province.
         Third working day(19-10-2005) : We left to Sayaburi (SYB)province  early in the morning .On the way to SYB we visited Pong-dong village. The animal population in this village were as followed:119 buffaloes, 109 cattle ,87 goats,260 pigs and 5200 poultry. The buffaloes were vaccinated against HS on 18-6-2005 and pigs from the FORCOM project were vaccinated against SF on July,2005. The diseases situation in this village,there were again report of  goat disease in Pong-dong village in September
with the same clinical signs similar to“Scrapie or scabby mouth” as in Hat Houy village .The farmer used the medicine from boiling the bark of some medicine plant to rub the infected wound lesion and those infected goat were all recovered.This visit there were no report of any kind of infectious diseases namely: FMD, SF, HS and ND occurred in this village. We also took the blood and fecal samples from 2 buffaoes, 1 cattle,2 pigs ,4 goats and 3 chicken in these village for diseases investigation purpose.Most of these sampling animals were again deworming and injected with tonic drug(injectavit) the same as in Hat Houy village.We also demonstrated how to make ear tag in pig to the FORCOM staff for the future identification of project animals.We noticed that some pigs from the project got mange and thin.Probably pig feed and feeding  are the primary cause of dermatitis.So the farmer have to improve the feed formula, routine deworming and apply Neguvon for treatment of mange and other ectoparasite(lice).After we arrived in SYB ,we have about 1 hour discussion about the schedule for tomorrow activity  and the possibility cause of diseases outbreak in chicken from the project that was newly introduced to the farmer in  Namon village between 30July-29August 2005.
         Forth working day(20-10-2005) : We went to visit Namon village.Today we started to interview the farmer in 3 different group related  to their animal raising species as follows; cattle group, chicken group and pig group.The cattle raising farmer group, these group composed of 8 members, they take care 12 adult and 2 young cattle from the project. We could not visit or took any blood samples from them because they kept these animals quite far away from the village.Anyhow we provided them anthelmintic drug (Valbazen:albendazole) to treat these animal.There were report that some of these cattle got ear wound from the metal ear tags irritation ,so we left Negasul for them to treat those  sicked animal(drug to prevent infection and treatment for myiasis).The second group was the chicken raising farmer.These group composed of 9 members.Each member received 41 to 43 adult chicken with totally380 chickens from the FORCOM project  between 30July-29August 2005.There were 5 different batch  of chicken from different origin that submitted to farmers.Only1 day after the last batch arrived in the village, the chicken from the last batch(29-8-2005)  started to died with clinical signs similar to ND .Then the disease spread out to others  farmer chicken. Totally 141 chicken died from 380 animals(mortality rate = 37.1%).Now the rest of these animals were self recoverd.When we asked them about the vaccination against ND whether they had done it or not ,the farmer volunteer and the FORCOM staff incharge of this village reported that some of these chicken  were vaccinated before they arrived here and the rest were vaccinated a few days after they arrived in this village.We took the blood samples from 12 alived chicken from 6 different farmer members  for further diagnosis with 1  newly dead chicken carcass for postmortem. The third group was the pig raising farmer.These group composed of 11 members.Each member received 2 adult female pigs (except 1 farmer received 2 adult male pigs)with totally 22 pigs( each body weight  is about 50-60 kilogram) from the FORCOM project  between 1 – 25 June 2005.These pigs were all vaccinated against SF(swine fever) when they arrived here.During the past time, only 3 of them died as described:two female pigs died from dystokia  and 1 female pig died from legs weakness.Some of these pigs and their young piglets received tonic injection and deworming drug.This visit there were no report of  diseases outbreak in duck, turkeys and cattle.
           After lunch we went to visit  the last village Natak .This village is the new village that FORCOM project was selected to join this program as well.We asked the village farmer about the animal population and the recently diseases outbreak.The farmer reported there were outbreaks of HS and FMD in buffalo,ND in native chickens ,SF in pigs and  some bacterial diseases in duck this year (These tentative diagnosis was assumed regarded to the history of clinical signs).The animal population in this village was under investigated.We also collected blood samples from 1 duck, 5 chickens and 2 buffaloes and treated these 2 buffaloes with tonic drug and anthelmintic drug(Ivomectin). After we came back to SYB province,we made a postmortem of one native chicken from Namon village.We found a lot of adult round worm Ascaridia galli in small intestine and Heterakis gallinae in caecum.The lesion of ND was not so distinctive but we saw a lot of small round foci in the liver.This lesion is a typical lesion for Histomoniasis caused by protozoa(Histomonas meleagridis )which commonly occurred in turkeys.So we collected all the specimen fixed with 10% formalin buffer for further diagnosis.But the most impressive lesion  of fulled  round worms in small intestine which is the common site for immune production in poultry could lead to immune suppression status of ND vaccine.So after these chicken were vaccinated against ND vaccine ,the immunity response that they produced may not enough to protect ND outbreak.As well as the farmer reported that there were no difference between the one with vaccination or without vaccination.They all died after ND outbreak.So the deworming program(the deworming interval should be applied every 2 month period) for these chicken should be implemented to the village farmer too besides the vaccination to prevent round worm infection in these chicken and probably caused the deworming one grow faster than the one without deworming.After the postmortem,we had a final discussion with the FORCOM staff about the animal health situation in each village and also the prevention program for each animal species.We  introduced the Basic Animal Health Services(BAHS)which had been established  in Khon-Kaen Lab.This project will select some nescessary animal drugs available at the village level.So the farmer can easily buy it to treat their own animal any time they needed.But the FORCOM project has to decide to select some specific drug regarded to their diseases situation in the village.
           Fifth working day(21-10-2005) : We left  Sayaburi province to Luangprabang early in the morning. After we arrived at Luangprabang province ,we went to the regional diagnostic lab to separate the serum from blood samples and also determination for  Hct(hematocrit) value and looked for motile blood parasites from EDTA- blood(Woo’s method).We had also demonstrated how to run the Brucellosis test(Rose Bengal test)in different animal sera namely buffalo,cattle,pig and goat to Dr. Buatoam. The result of this test showed that all of the sera that we collected from 4 different villages were negative for Brucello sis.We left faecal samples to this regional lab to examine for internal parasites.Then we visited Forcom office in Luangprabang  again and left all the animal drugs ,specimen collection equipment and drug instruction for their future use. We left  one CD power point  in Thai version that can teach FORCOM staff in the field to understand the cause of  the diseases in cattle and buffaloes with their treatment and control.Then we left Luangprabang at 2.30 PM to Vientien on the same day .In the late afternoon, we went to visit NAHC and left some specimen for the laboratory staff to do.
          Departure date( 22-10-2005 ) : Left Vientien to Khonkaen , Thailand.
Any equipment necessary to the laboratory
          Regional diagnostic lab in Luangprabang have to be revised especialy in bacteriology section so they can culture bacteria from organs of death animals such as HS and other bacterial diseases.But they need supported budget for the operation cost(electricity) and some maintenance cost.So they can give service to the extension livestock field staff when they submitted specimens to confirm the diagnosis. This lab is nearly fully equipped as EU-project supported  them many years before.
Any reagent or disposal necessary to the laboratory.
            They need specimens container and collections in complete set (Monovet for blood collection,glass slide to make blood smear, EDTA bottle for blood parasites diagnosis and zip-locked plastic bag for faecal  collection).If they can provide them to the extension  field staff beforehand, they can collect and handle the specimens from death animals and submit it  back to the lab in proper condition.
Any remark you have noticed during your work.
           1.The extension FORCOM  field staff have gained more experience to collect the specimens better than the last visit in June 2005.
           2.The farmer  have a good contact and good corporation in specimen collection.This might be  from the drug that we brought to service   their animals in the village.
           3.Deworming drugs such as albendazole , levamisole or ivermectin for treatment of roundworm and GI-nematode infection and triclabendozole for treatment of liver fluke(Fasciolosis) should be available at the village level with deworming program for their animals.For example buffalo calves should be deworm for the first time at 3 weeks old and the second time at 6 weeks old. This program can prevent buffalo calves died from round worm infection.For liver fluke control,the  strategic treatment (deworming) as we  have done in the north-east Thailand,buffaloes and cattle should be treated twice a year.The first round should be around March - April  and the second round between September – October.For GI-infection (normally they do no harm in buffaloes),but in cattle they should be deworm twice a year at the beginningof rainy season and the end of rainy season.In goat, hook worm(Haemonchus contortus) infection in abomasum is the most dangerous species,so they should be treated with deworming drug group the same as in GI-nematode every 3 months combined with the pasture rotation system.For eye worm problems in buffaloes,they can use diluted levamisol(1 ml.conc.part+5 ml.Normal saline) spray directly to the eyes once daily for 3 days.The eye worms will died and release itself from the eyes.
             4.The vaccination program that we recommended  for different animal species are as follows:(Please verify with the recommendation by local vaccine production unit LAO PDR.)
Table 1. Vaccination program and time for application in different animal species.
Anim. species
Vaccine type
First inject.
Next inject.
Next inject.
3 days old
3 weeks olds
3 months old
45 days old
2-3 mts old
  SF(non vac.sow)
 30 days old
2-3 mts old
6 months old
Every 6 mts.
6 months old
Every 6 mts.
What kind of cooperative work is possible in future.
            To  establish a basic animal health services at village level in Luangprabang (Forcom pilot project) and building up networks between extension livestock field staff , the laboratory and Dept. of Livestock and Fisheries in LAO PDR to control animal diseases and the benefit of these corporation will facilitate the  farmer to increase their own animal production and population from their own indigenous breed.
          1.Those animal diseases diagnosis that I ‘ve mentioned in this report are base on clinical signs  and history of outbreak rather than the results from laboratory diagnosis.
           2.Please find out and gather the old traditional medication recipe that the farmer  used to treat their animals in the past(herbs etcs.) .It  will be useful to replace some drugs in case of  high drugs cost and some of them are not available at the village level.
            3.As long as no new animal breed and species introduced to the village, the control of animal movement  and the  way how to handle and get rid of the infected carcass in the village are useful and important to control the diseases outbreak besides vaccination program.

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