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Prevalence of cutaneous pathological conditions and factors associated with the presence of skin wounds in working equids in tropical regions of Veracruz, Mexico

Sánchez-Casanova, Rubí Elena, Masri-Daba, María, Alonso-Díaz, Miguel Ángel, Méndez-Bernal, Adriana, Hernández-Gil, Mariano, Fernando-Martínez, José Antonio
Tropical animal health and production 2014 v.46 no.3 pp. 555-561
abscess, asses, cell biology, clinical examination, dermatitis, elderly, horses, lacerations, mules, multivariate analysis, risk factors, skin lesions, tropics, villages, Mexico
A wide spectrum of welfare issues is encountered on working equids. The objectives of this study were: (i) to determine the prevalence of cutaneous lesions in working equids in tropical regions of the North-Central of Veracruz State, Mexico, (ii) to identify the most prevalent cutaneous pathological conditions in this population of working equids, and (iii) to identify risk factors associated to the presence of work-related skin wounds. A number of 467 working equids presented for treatment at Donkey Sanctuary Mobile Clinic Program - National Autonomous University of Mexico from seven different villages in the North-Central region of Veracruz State were evaluated. Animals with signs of cutaneous pathology underwent a physical examination and samples were obtained of exudates, hair, and tissue for cytology examination, fungal cultures, and dermo-histopathology examination. The overall prevalence of cutaneous pathological conditions in working equids was 20.6 %. The prevalence per species was 22.6 % for horses, 18.2 % for donkeys, and 14.3 % for mules. The most common cause of skin lesions was trauma (abrasions, lacerations, and abscesses) followed in frequency by parasitic dermatitis and sarcoids. No strong associations among species were observed (P > 0.20). Multivariate analysis showed that there was greater association between BCS and age with the presence of skin wounds (P < 0.05). Equids who's BCS was rated as “moderate” as well as adult animals showed significantly more skin wounds compared with the young and the elderly (P < 0.05). These findings can help to develop a better management practices to improve the welfare of equids in tropical regions of Veracruz, Mexico.