Animal agriculture is an indispensable pre-requisite towards the sustainability of human development because of food provision, employment generation, etc. Apart from serving as source of food for humans, animal agriculture is also important in providing non – food materials such as hides, skin, wool and feathers which are in turn used as raw materials for manufacturing other valuable products. Ajayi, e al (1998) Livestock production is faced with a number of constrains, which on the long run results in low productivity and reduce profitability. Anon, (2006).
According to Biu E.O and Leeflang P (2006), among these constrains are diseases; Animal diseases constitute a major obstacle to economic development as well as poising health, risk to livestock productivity and profitability, inadequate consumption of protein of animal origin, poverty, unemployment, low contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product among others.
Parasitism is a primary cause of production losses which results in mortality, reduction in weight gain, low fertility, losses in most livestock – producing countries of the world. Fabiyi, (1987)
Gastrointestinal parasites have been noted as major constraint to ruminants’ productivity in terms of pathology and economic importance. Gates et al.,, and Wescott et al.,(2003). These parasites are found within the gastro intestinal tract (GIT) of the animal. Several worms such as cestodes, nematodes and trematodes at different location within the gastrointestinal tract are responsible for the disease.
The general clinical signs of gastrointestinal parasites as noted by Love and Hutchinson, (2003), Otto, (2005), and Otto et al (2000) includes; weakness of the body, abdominal pains, anorexia, emaciation, potbelly, diarrhea, enteritis, anaemia, constipation, loss of weight, jaundice, rough hair coat, alopecia, coughing, labour breathing, fever, infertility, abortion and sudden death.Oluwafemi , Anosa (2000) also noted that decreased growth, weight loss in young growing calves and late maturity of slaughter stocks `are the major clinical signs in calves.
The direct losses caused by these parasites are attributed to acute illness and death, premature slaughter and rejection of some parts during meat inspection. Indirect losses includes the diminution of potential such as decreased growth rate, anaemia, weight loss in young growing calves and late maturity of slaughter stock, Oluwafemi, and Anosa, (2000) .