Common Ectoparasites of the Camels in Pakistan and their Control

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Agriculture Department plays a vital role in the economy of Pakistan as the backbone. The share of Agriculture in the GDP of Pakistan is 11.6-14.6%. In total areas of Pakistan, livestock is 58.8%. In relation to previous years, the percentage and proportionality of livestock is found more this time, which is playing a chief role in the prosperity of Pakistan. Camels have a significant role in this progress of Pakistan and approximately 20% of Pakistan’s people income source is dependent upon camels. Camels serve in importation and breeding processing. Its meat is very much beneficial. The weight of camel ranges from 300-700 kg. Camel can produce milk up to 10 kg/day. According to Food and Agriculture Department, there are 19 million camels found in the world, out of which 1.2 million camels of Asia’s total population are found in desert areas of Pakistan. The population of camels in accordance to the provinces is as follows. In Balochistan 36-43%, in Sindh 22-74%, in Kpk 3-7.3%, in Punjab 33-51%.

There are two types of camels, one is single humped and other are double humped. The population of single humped camels is 17 million while double humped camels are 2 million in number. Camel is an even toed ungulate and its hump has fat storage in it. Milk of camel is very much beneficial.1. Fat proteins are present in large amount. 2. It provides immunity by boosting the immune system. 3. Lactose is found in very less amount. 4. Iron is present in big amount. 5. In relation to cow’s milk, Potassium, Ferric, Cobalt, Magnesium, and Zinc are found in large quantities in Camel’s milk. The benefits of camel’s meat are: Reduce the obesity, Ceases the blood clotting in blood vessels, Prevents from cancer.

Following are some diseases which have drastic effects over a camel. In camels, ticks stickiness to their bodies is a very common phenomenon. Ticks suck blood from animal’s body, which leads to blood loss in animal’s body and as a result animal weakens. Animal feels anxiety and shows anorexia. Those camels which have long hairs on their body, ticks invade inside those hairs and stick to the body. Usually, in winter season their number exceeds. In long hair camels, the presence of ticks is seen when their number exceeds and itching process starts. Ticks show their development in 4 stages. Eggs form a larva, then larvae transform into a nymph. And adult forms after nymph stage. Stepping from one stage to the other, tick gets nutrients from animal’s body. Female ticks relatively suck more blood than a male tick. And female lays eggs. When they get the optimum temperature and air, so they transform from egg to larvae, then finally adult from the nymph. Furious attacks of ticks in a camel may cause the death of the animal. Flies often damages the animal as the foreign insects. When these flies harbor the host’s body, then they lay eggs. Most of the times, eggs are laid near eyes and nose areas, from which larvae form. These larvae form burrows and tunnels inside through creeping which cause anxiety for the animal. Mostly, flies sit over wound places over the body and lay eggs. These eggs transform into larvae and these larvae get nutrients from the host’s body. And eventually, animal show anorexia. Animal gets a fever and due to over attack of these flies, animals may die. Ulcers form in the affected regions of animal’s body. Blood starts seeping from the wound area. Inflammation starts where larvae are formed. Animal’s body starts weakening and the amount of blood starts lowering down. Usually, pores or holes are formed on animal’s skin due to flies attack. As a result, immunity diminishes and the animal dies. Stickness of lice on animals is a common disease. These lice suck blood after attaching to animal’s body. Lice are 2 types. One type damages skin by making it nourishment and other sucks blood. When these suck blood, pores are formed on the animal’s skin and itching starts. Hairs start falling down from affected areas, thus skin weakens and the animal becomes idle. Weight loss and in extreme cases death occurs. The irritational itching disease is one of the fatal diseases. Generally, itching occurs due to sarcoptic scabii. Often these are found in neck and legs region. This disease occurs due to poor hygiene and lack of nutritional availability. This disease transfers from one camel to other. The sarcoptic scabii penetrates the skin of affected camel, due to which animal feels itching over the body. The regions from where mites burrow inside camel’s body, emergencies or bulging process starts. Inflammation occurs and skin ruptures. As a result, hairs start falling. Due to much more blood loss inside animal’s body, death occurs. Fleas are the insects which don’t have wings. These mostly attack in the winter season. Their attack is drastic over the fore-regions of camel’s body. Fleas lay nearly 20 eggs. These eggs stick to the skin region of the animal. After attaining optimum temperature, eggs transform into larvae. Pupae forms from larvae after further development. At the proper time, they become adult and attack over the camel’s body. This disease rapidly transmits from one camel to another. Inflammation starts at the infected area. Hairs start falling and blood loss occurs from the animal’s body.


For an effective treatment consult a veterinarian.

For internal parasites: a) Oxfendazole drench 100-200 ml, b) Endo plus 100 ml, c) Nil worm drench    100 ml. For external parasites: a) Sub-cutaneous injection of ivermectin. (Dose depend upon the size and body weight of animal). b) Cypermethrin spray.

It is necessary that after every 3 months deworming in camels should be done in order to avoid internal parasites. For deworming, a shot of ivermectin (subcutaneously) should be applied after every 3 months in order to avoid external parasites. For internal parasites, oxfendazole drench should be given orally after every 3 months. The surrounding areas of camel should be kept hygiene. All waste materials should be drained away. The animal shouldn’t be kept in the trash areas. The places where animals are kept should have uncracked walls so that insects (especially flies) are inhibited to enter inside. In order to get control over the disease carrying insects, hygiene process should be totally adopted. Drinking water provided to the camels should be clean. If in any spatial area, disease outbreak is seen, then healthy animals should be isolated from the diseased animals, so that heavy economic losses are avoided.

This article is jointly authored by Saba Mehnaz, Dr. Muhammad Sohail Sajid-Department of Parasitology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.


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