Short Communication: Open Access Ectoparasitic infestations of cats and dogs in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria: brief communication for ‘One Health’ approach to control of potential zoonoses
Background: Cats and dogs are important companion animals that paradoxically pose risks of zoonotic infections to their owners. This study determined the ectoparasitic infestations of cats and dogs in a semi-rural setting of Ebonyi State, so as to establish the prevalence of the ectoparasites among the companion animals for creation of public health awareness relevant to prevention of zoonoses in the area.
Methods: One hundred dogs and 21 cats from Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, were examined for ectoparasitic infestations, using standard parasitological techniques. Systematic random sampling technique was employed in the study. Parasites were identified with standard identification guides. Data were analysed using aspects of Bush infection statistics and Chi-square. Statistical significance was established at p<0.05.
Results: Out of the 100 dogs examined, 80 (80%), 8 (8%), 6 (6%), 2 (2%) and 4 (4%) were infested with Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ctenocephalides canis, Ctenocephalides felis and Sarcoptes scabiei respectively. A significant association was observed between R. sanguineus and the dogs (X2=100.00; p=0.000). Six (28.6%) of the 21 cats examined were infested with C. felis, with significant statistical association (X2=21.000; p=0.000) and 2 (9.5%) were infested with Otodectes cynotis but no significant association (X2=5.526; p=0.063).
Conclusion: Based on the observed prevalence of ectoparasites among the animals, collaborative efforts of the medical and veterinary personnel are solicited in the spirit of ‘one health’ in order to protect the health of the pets and those of their owners.
Keywords: Ectoparasitism, Cats, Dogs, Ebonyi State, Zoonoses