Prevalence of ectoparasites of dogs and cats in Ijero and Moba LGAs, Ekiti State, Nigeria
The public health significance of ectoparasites of domestic animals and pets in developing countries is of growing importance as a result of zoonoses associated with the pathogens they transmit. Despite the serious threat that ectoparasites pose to animals and man, there is paucity of information on the fauna of ectoparasites of domestic animals in some states in Nigeria including Ekiti State. For this purpose, a cross sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of ectoparasites on dogs and cats in Ijurin and Ikosu. Information on the age, and gender were obtained by interviewing the owners. Animal’s skin was palpated and meticulously inspected, ticks and lice, that were found were transferred into labelled specimen bottles containing 70% ethanol. Fleas were fixed and cleared in 10% KOH, and examined under a light microscope. Data were analyzed using SPSS v.16.0 for Windows (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL, USA). Out of the 200 dogs and 200 cats that were examined 170 (85%) dogs and 191 (95.5%) cats were infected with two or more ectoparasites. In all, six ectoparasites species were identified comprising of two fleas (Ctenoceph alidesfelis, and C. canis), two mites (Sarcoptes scabiei, and Otodecte scynotis) and two ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Haemophys alisleachi). Infection prevalence was observed to be significantly higher in dogs and cats that were less than six months old and least in age two above p<0.05. Ectoparasite infestations prevalence observed among companion animals in this study is an indication that the animals lack adequate veterinary care and may be harboring zoonotic diseases of public health importance.
Keywords: Ectoparasites; zoonoses; pet animals