Ethno-Veterinary Medicine in Nigeria

Ethno-veterinary medicine in Nigeria is discussed in this article with guides and examples. We hope you find this informative and helpful.

Ethno-Veterinary Medicine in Nigeria

Ethno-Veterinary Medicine 

Ethno-Veterinary Medicine in Nigeria
Ethno-Veterinary Medicine – Photo Source:

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Ethno-veterinary medicine is the use of plants and other household remedies to cure various diseases in animals. This is particularly common among rural dwellers who cannot afford the rather exorbitant cost of hiring a veterinary doctor to diagnose, prescribe and treat their livestock.

Ethno-veterinary medical practices are similar to traditional medicine in that, the knowledge of medicinal herbs was gathered over years of experience and it is customary to hand it down from the older generation to the younger generation.

This article will enlighten you on ethnoveterinary practices in Nigeria and also answer the question as to why many veterinary hospitals are dusty old buildings standing in the middle of a busy city that barely ever gives it attention.

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May I begin by establishing the fact that livestock farmers and pet owners face the reality of sick and diseased animals from time to time?

For the former, a sick animal is a looming financial loss (which could be really huge depending on the animal, e.g. if a poultry farmer losses 4 sick birds, it is nothing compared to the loss of a cow).

For the latter, losing a pet is nearly as painful as the loss of a family member. So both livestock farmers and pet lovers always seek remedies for their animals’ ailments.

According to the Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences, ethnoveterinary is used by most farmers, especially those in rural areas because of its low cost, effectiveness, cultural appropriateness, and ease with which these medications can be prepared and administered to their ailing animals.

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As livestock owners look out for poisonous plants and ensure their animals never graze pastures near them, they have also spent years knowing the medicinal plants around them and how to administer them to their animals in cases where the need arises.

The nomadic Fulani herders are known to use these ethnoveterinary practices because they are often on the move and animals can get very sick when they are many miles away from a veterinary doctor.

Examples of Ethno-veterinary medicine

Examples of ethnoveterinary plants are Mahogany tree barks (for treatment of bacterial infections and dysentery), locust beans seeds (for the treatment of foot and mouth disease), Bitter leaves (treatment of bacterial infection), Neem seed oil (used for remedying poisoning), mango roots (for treatment of ringworm and scabies), etc.

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Essentially, most people take to self-help when it comes to curing their ailing animals and this is why veterinarians seem side-lined and veterinary hospitals seem like abandoned buildings in Nigeria.

Most people take to ethnoveterinary practices because it is cheaper and their procedures are mostly simple but highly effective.

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