Current status of pets and equine disease diagnostic services in Kampala periurban area
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Pets are animals that man domesticated several years back for the purposes of companionship. There are approximately 60 million dogs and 70 million cats as pets in US, this is similar in Europe. In Uganda, poverty and human population are related to dog ownership, which were estimated to be 729486 owned dogs. Equine are historically one of the most vital domesticated animals to humans. Equine play important roles all over the world in different social and economic situation, and their population is increasing in all parts of the world. In Uganda, horses are kept in central region while donkeys are majorly found in northeastern region. They are kept for meat, transportation, traction, dowry and prestige. Both pets and equine suffer from diseases that affect their welfare and productivity but little research have been done about them hence creating a knowledge gap. The study aimed at assessing the current status of pets and equine disease diagnostic services in and around Kampala. Questionnaires were used to interview the 17 small animal practitioners, 7 clinic representatives, 30 pet owners and breeders and 5 equine owners/manager. The result showed that the pets and equine disease diagnostic services in Kampala and the surrounding is still needs improvement. Pets had active clinics and practitioners while equine had no clinics and practitioners. All Small Animal Clinics (100%, n=7) sought hematology and microscopy as a diagnostic tests of choice, 71.4 (n=5) submitted samples for serum biochemical tests, 85.7%(n=6) requested for urinalysis, 42.9%(n=3) submitted samples for culture, 71.3%(n=5) requested for serology and 14.3%(n=1) requested for Polymerase Chain Reaction. For the imaging test, X-ray services was used by majority of the clinics985.7%, n=6), followed by ultrasonography (28.7%, n=2). Only one animal laboratory was available, most small animal clinics were taking samples to the human laboratory E.g. Ebenezer, Sinux. Therefore, more laboratories should be set up, with fast, affordable and more effective diagnostic equipment so as to improve on the diagnostic services. Veterinarians should be practically trained on equine medicine so that they can think of setting up Equine clinics.