Early detection of hardware disease thru ultrasonographycan mitigate mortality in ruminants

Hardware disease (traumatic reticulitis) can now be properly addressed by PCC veterinarians and farm managers because of their additional technical know-how in using ultrasound technology.

Dr. Nancy S. Abes, PCC’s Animal Health Coordinator, said hardware disease is the second leading cause of mortality, next to fascioliasis, among buffaloes and its early detection can mitigate occurrence of deaths among ruminants.

Hardware disease is caused by ingestion of metallic foreign bodies such as wire, rope, and nails. Among its ill effects are stunted growth and cessation of milk production.
Data from the National Impact Zone (NIZ) show that out of 260 mortalities among buffaloes from March 2010 to January 2013, 49 were caused by hardware disease.

In a three-day training on “Ultrasonographic and Macroscopic Evaluation of Disorders of the Reticulum and Linear in Buffaloes” conducted at the PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija last April 18-20, PCC’s animal health service providers were taught to carry out ultrasonography of abdominal, thoracic, and reproductive organs of small and large ruminants, and identify normal structures in the ultrasonograms.

They also learned to characterize the ultrasound features of disorders of reticulum and linear disorders and quantify the ultrasonogram echoes thru digital analysis.

Among other topics were on the fundamentals of ultrasound and ultrasonography, equipment and general guidelines for ultrasonography, ultrasonography of abdominal and reproductive organs, echocardiography, transabdominal and transrectal ultrasonography, and miscellaneous ultrasonographic procedure.

Hands-on and practical exercises in using the ultrasound equipment for ruminants, particularly goats and buffaloes, were performed.

Ultrasonography and ruminant surgery experts Dr. Jezie Acorda, Dr. Rio John Ducusin, and Dr. Arville Mar Gregorio Pajas, all from the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of the Philippines-Los Banos, Laguna were invited as resource persons in the training.

The participants were from the different PCC regional centers in the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, University of Southern Mindanao, Ubay Stock Farm, Central Luzon State University, National Impact Zone, Gene Pool, Animal Health Unit, and quarantine site.

“Ultrasonography has many applications in ruminants because aside from the detection of various diseases and disorders, it can also be used for the detection of pregnancy to improve reproduction of animals,” Dr. Acorda said.

He added that some of the important diseases that can be detected in ultrasonography include hepatic disorders, kidney disorders, gastro intestinal disorders, mastitis reproductive disorders and cardiac disorders.

“Na-enrich yung knowledge ko, na-refresh ‘yung kaalaman ko sa mga basic lectures na pwedeng magamit sa field. Mahalaga ‘yung training kasi yung mga hardware diseases pwede makita at gawan agad ng paraan. (Through the basic lectures which can be practically used in the field, my knowledge has been enriched and refreshed. The training is important for us to detect hardware diseases early on to employ necessary treatment),” Rogelio Antiquerra, farm manager of the PCC Gene Pool, said.