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Food that can break the camel's stomach.

Summary: Malnutrition and pica can kill camels, the Dubai Municipality cautioned farmers, after vets rescued a beast of burden that had gorged on pieces of metal and ropes.

Malnutrition and pica can kill camels, the Dubai Municipality cautioned farmers, after vets rescued a beast of burden that had gorged on pieces of metal and ropes.

A medical team at the veterinary section of the municipality's Public Health Services Department performed a two-hour surgery to save the life of the precious animal that was about to die after its rumen was filled with the abnormal material, causing its digestive system to collapse. The animal was brought to the municipality after it developed severe pain in the stomach.

"The camel was suffering from acute pain in the stomach after it had some substances that do not digest easily," said Dr Murad Basheer Mustafa, who heads the therapeutic sub-unit supervising the surgery. He said the animal was forced to eat abnormal things, like plastic, ropes and metals because of excessive hunger and malnutrition. This kind of eating disorder or craving for non-nutritive items is called pica.

The camel was brought from a pen in the Al-Tayy area. "After the diagnosis we administered medicines and stimulants to accelerate digestion. When we realized the medicines were not working we prepared to carry out surgery immediately to clean the stomach and ensure that further risk was avoided," said Dr Mustafa.

The team found metallic items, parts of rope and undigested food in the animal's stomach. Apparently, the metal pieces were used for tying hey stacks. The doctor said the surgery prevented the metal pieces from perforating the heart of the animal.

"After two days' rest, the camel has started eating and drinking as before," he said.

Mohammed Yusuf Al-Hammadi, the acting head of veterinary services section, said such cases arise due to the negligence of the owners as well as mismanagement by farmers in the areas where livestock is herded.

"We should be more alert in preventing incidents like this, and have to be more careful about the surroundings in farms and agricultural areas." The official urged all livestock owners to register in the preventive programme of the veterinary section to ensure the safety and health of their animals.

"This programme includes the vaccinations required as well as health packages. When animals are deprived of minerals, electrolytes or vitamins they tend to eat abnormal stuff which can lead to trouble. The preventive programme is designed to tackle this aspect too," said Al-Hammadi.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 18, 2013
Words:434
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