Prevalence of bovine subclinical mastitis in Kaato and Bunabtsale sub-counties a case study of Manafwa district
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Subclinical mastitis (SCM) is one of the major factors affecting the productivity of dairy cattle all over the world. This study was conducted to establish the prevalence and determine the risk factors predisposing dairy cattle to subclinical mastitis in selected households in two sub counties of Kaato and Bunabstale in Manafwa District. A total of 190 dairy milking cattle from 190 households were screened for SCM using California Mastitis Test (CMT) by obtaining quarter milk samples. Additional quantitative data on the risk factors that predispose cows to SCM was obtained using a questionnaire whereby a total of 190 questionnaires were administered to the farmers and observation of the milking practices and environment. The overall prevalence for subclinical mastitis was n=113/190 (59.5%). Kaato Sub County had a higher prevalence n=60/95 (63.2%) than Bunabtsale Sub County n=53/95 (55.8%). The dominant production system and clinical sign of infected udder was intensive system and swollen udder, respectively. This study shows that SCM is highly prevalent in the study area which is a major threat to dairy’s production performance. Regular screenings by CMT, proper hygiene, improvement of the management system and farmer awareness is required to control the disease.