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How to control diarrhea in camel calves without using drugs

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Diarrhea in camel calves aged between one and three months in Kenya causes between 12 to 60 per cent deaths. Farmers can curb this by using traditional remedies that have been found to be effective such as rehydration (the process of restoring lost water to body tissues) using honey, table salt and water mixture and use of eggs.

Camels are versatile animal species that are reared in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya fulfilling livelihoods of pastoral communities.

According to the 2009 census results by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, there are 2.99m camels in the country.

Diarrhea therefore poses a major challenge to the camel population in Kenya and if not controlled can affect livelihoods of people living in ASAL areas who solely depend on camels for food and income.

Signs of diarrhea in calves are colored mucus, abdominal pains and loose watery stool.

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A woman herding camels in Kenya. Photo:

One of the traditional methods is use of honey, water and table salt. In this, take three spoonsful of honey and one and half table spoonsful of table salt and mix with three liters of water. Administer 300ml of the solution orally after every four hours until the diarrhea stops. The method helps in restoring lost water to body tissues and fluids. It also has curative effects.

Another way is use of raw eggs which have both preventive and curative effects on young calves that are having loose stools more than three times in a day. In this case, orally administer one egg to sick calves until the diarrhea stops.

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