THE OCCURRENCE OF GASTRIC LESIONS IN SLAUGHTERED PIGS AT THE KUMASI ABATTOIR, GHANA
AbstractInformation on the occurrence of gastric lesions in pigs in Ghana is lacking in literature. This study was designed as a preliminary investigation to determine the occurrence and pattern of gastric lesion in pigs in Ghana. Ante-mortem animal assessment and post-slaughter stomach evaluation were conducted on 75 pigs out of a total of 694 slaughtered between October, 2014 and March, 2015 at the Kumasi abattoir. The gross lesions observed on the gastric mucosa were graded using standard technique. Stomach contents were assessed and tissue sections were used for histopathology evaluation. The data obtained were cross tabulated and analyzed using Chi-square and One-way ANOVA. Significance was determined at p < 0.05.The prevalence of gastric lesions in the sampled population was 25.3% while the non-glandular stomach (pars oesophagea) and glandular had a prevalence of 17.3% and 21.3% respectively. The predominant lesions observed were epithelial changes in the pars oesophagea and ulcers in glandular region of the stomach. Epithelial changes were restricted to the non-glandular region and it affected 8 (42.1%) of the stomachs with lesions. Erosions and ulceration were observed in the pars oesophagea and glandular stomach while mucosa damage was restricted to the glandular stomach. Lesions were observed in the two breeds studied and the stomach contents of the pigs were mostly finely grounded compounded feed, millet/maize chaff or cassava based feed. Histopathological evaluation of gastric mucosa tissues revealed erosion, multifocal ulcerations with occasional presence of silver staining micro-organisms. There was no significant association between breed, age, sex and occurrence of gastric lesions in pigs. Stomach content volume and feed type were identified as risk factors. Evidence of stomach infection with spirochetes was also observed. Our findings reveal the occurrence of gastric lesions in pigs in Ghana and its associated risk factors. It is therefore recommended that stake-holders should adopt on-farm and abattoir periodic monitoring of the condition as well as improved animal welfare and hygiene practices both on farm and in transit.