Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Veterinary Medical Sciences - Pathobiological Sciences

First Advisor

James E. Miller


In 1998 a cross-sectional study on goat health and management was conducted in eastern and western Uganda. This study involved 1518 goats which were distributed in 145 herds in 5 districts, namely Kumi, Masaka, Mbarara, Soroti and Ssembabule. Cluster sampling was used to select farms across the two regions. A questionnaire on goat health, management and constraints to production was administered to 145 goat owners. Blood and nasal swabs were collected from a random sample of goats. For each goat a physical examination was performed to detect presence of clinical conditions. Serological assays for contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and brucellosis were performed. Bacterial cultures were done to isolate the genera of bacteria in goats with clinical respiratory conditions (CRC). Another aspect of this study involved collection of gastrointestinal tracts from the abattoir to determine the prevalent nematode worm types and corresponding burdens as assessed through worm and fecal egg counts. Brucella melitensis was detected in 9.8% (141/1446) of the goats and these were distributed in 43.4% of the farms. Abortions were reported in 52% of the herds. A simulation model for transmission dynamics and control options for brucellosis in goats was developed and is described. Considering individual goats, CCPP, PPR, mange, orf, hoof conditions, abscesses, CRC, and infestation with ticks were detected in 29.7% (246/827), 0.5% (8/1466), 0.7% (10/1506), 3.2% (47/1475), 15.7% (237/1509), 2.2% (33/1508), 17.5% (262/1493) and 28.7% (1423/1509) of the goats, respectively. The corresponding distributions of CCPP, PPR, mange, orf, hoof conditions, and CRC at herd level were 55.1% (38/69), 2.1% (3/142), 4.1% (6/145), 10.3% (15/145), 51% (74/145) and 29.7% (43/145), respectively. Putative risk factors for diseases detected were identified through multivariable logistic regression models. These results have revealed a need for active disease surveillance in goats in Uganda and a need for educating farmers on biosecurity and modern goat management practices. This study was done in only two regions of the country and is prone to biases associated with cross-sectional designs, thus more studies, preferably longitudinal, are needed to further investigate diseases and production constraints of farmers along with possible intervention measures.