Introduction - In addition to lameness and mastitis, the presence of abscesses is one of the most common health problems in small ruminants. Abscesses can have a negative impact on famers' income. The presence of external abscesses has been suggested has a possible animal-based indicator for on-farm welfare assessment, but further studies are required in order to confirm the relationship of this indicator with animal welfare. Aim - The aim of this research was to verify whether the presence of external abscesses in dairy goats is associated with behavioural changes and general poor health conditions, to support its inclusion in on-farm welfare assessment protocols. Materials and methods - We assessed the presence of abscesses in 35 lactating Saanen goats. Animals were submitted to veterinary inspection to record the number and location of external abscess, Body Condition Score, rectal temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and conjunctival mucosae colour. Rumen and lung auscultation were also performed and blood samples were collected for analysis of haematocrit, haemoglobin concentration, leukocyte count, and total protein concentration. Behavioural observations (scan sampling every 2 minutes for 3 h/d for 3 d; total observation time = 9 h) were carried out on 8 goats with abscesses and 8 goats without abscesses. Results and discussion - Goats with abscesses (n = 12) showed a poorer body condition (expressed by BCS; P = 0.05) and a higher heart rate (P< 0.05), white blood cell count (P< 0.01) and total protein concentration (P< 0.001); one goat with abscesses had ruminal atony. Goats with abscesses also showed a significantly lower overall proportion of time spent feeding (P< 0.001) and a higher overall proportion of time spent chewing (P< 0.001). Conclusions - Our results suggest that the presence of external abscesses may be associated to an altered health condition of the animals and to behavioural changes, and can therefore be used as an animal-based indicator in welfare assessment protocols for dairy goats, although further research is required to confirm these preliminary results.

Evidence of poor welfare in goats with external abscesses / S. Mattiello, M. Battini, E. Mantova, L. Noè, L. Grosso, S. Barbieri. - In: LARGE ANIMALS REVIEW. - ISSN 1124-4593. - 24:3(2018 Jun 01), pp. 113-118.

Evidence of poor welfare in goats with external abscesses

S. Mattiello
Primo
;
M. Battini
Secondo
;
E. Mantova;L. Grosso;S. Barbieri
Ultimo
2018

Abstract

Introduction - In addition to lameness and mastitis, the presence of abscesses is one of the most common health problems in small ruminants. Abscesses can have a negative impact on famers' income. The presence of external abscesses has been suggested has a possible animal-based indicator for on-farm welfare assessment, but further studies are required in order to confirm the relationship of this indicator with animal welfare. Aim - The aim of this research was to verify whether the presence of external abscesses in dairy goats is associated with behavioural changes and general poor health conditions, to support its inclusion in on-farm welfare assessment protocols. Materials and methods - We assessed the presence of abscesses in 35 lactating Saanen goats. Animals were submitted to veterinary inspection to record the number and location of external abscess, Body Condition Score, rectal temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and conjunctival mucosae colour. Rumen and lung auscultation were also performed and blood samples were collected for analysis of haematocrit, haemoglobin concentration, leukocyte count, and total protein concentration. Behavioural observations (scan sampling every 2 minutes for 3 h/d for 3 d; total observation time = 9 h) were carried out on 8 goats with abscesses and 8 goats without abscesses. Results and discussion - Goats with abscesses (n = 12) showed a poorer body condition (expressed by BCS; P = 0.05) and a higher heart rate (P< 0.05), white blood cell count (P< 0.01) and total protein concentration (P< 0.001); one goat with abscesses had ruminal atony. Goats with abscesses also showed a significantly lower overall proportion of time spent feeding (P< 0.001) and a higher overall proportion of time spent chewing (P< 0.001). Conclusions - Our results suggest that the presence of external abscesses may be associated to an altered health condition of the animals and to behavioural changes, and can therefore be used as an animal-based indicator in welfare assessment protocols for dairy goats, although further research is required to confirm these preliminary results.
dairy goats; abscesses; animal welfare; behaviour; health
Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale
Development, integration and dissemination of animal-based welfare indicators, including pain, in commercially important husbandry species, with special emphasis on small ruminants, equidae & turkeys (Welfare indicators)
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2018_Mattiello et al., LAR.pdf

accesso riservato

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 751.38 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
751.38 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/582731
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact