Prevalence of Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus Sanguineus) Infestation of Dogs in Lokoja Metropolis, Kogi State, North-central, Nigeria
Study on the prevalence of brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) infestation of dogs in Lokoja metropolis ,Kogi State, North-Central Nigeria , was undertaken between March and August,2011.The dogs were screened for the ticks and collection was done by using blunt forceps, fine-toothed comb and hand-picking. Stereomicroscopic was used for the identification of the ticks collected. Out of a total of 200 Local and Exotic breeds of dogs that were examined ,160(80.00%) dogs were found to be infested. With regard to breed, local dogs were more infested (55.00%) than the exotic breed (25.00%).The predilection sites that were more preferred are ears,496(50.6%), back 302(30.8%), interdigital spaces 96 (9.8%), neck 49 (5.00%), and abdomen 37 (3.8%) in a total of 980 ticks collected. The infestation rate was higher in adolescent dogs (86.3%) than the adult hosts (79.69%) and young dogs (73.02%) were the least infested animals. The relatively high prevalence of Rhipicephalus sanguineus in the present study suggested that dogs in Lokoja metropolis were of veterinary and public health significance , because they were potential source of vectors of zoonotic diseases. The ticks could be eliminated by altering their ecological or microhabitats with the adoption of burning of pasture, regular deticking, fumigation of kernel,
and administration appropriate prophylactic and therapeutic measures.
Keywords: Prevalence, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Dogs, Lokoja, Nigeria.