Prevalence of gastrointestinal helminthes eggs of public health importance in house-hold dogs presented to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State
Dogs have a close association with humans providing companionship, security and a source of dietary protein. However, dogs are also potential carriers of zoonotic pathogens. To determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths eggs in faeces of house-hold dogs presented to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, ninety-eight (98) faecal samples were collected and processed by formol-ether concentration technique and examined for helminths eggs. The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths eggs in dogs presented was 22.4% (22/98). The Gastrointestinal helminths eggs observed from the study comprises of Ancylostoma caninum (4.1%), Strongyloides stercoralis (2.0%), Toxocara canis (8.2%) and Dipylidium caninum (8.2%). Higher prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths eggs was observed in male dogs (31.0%) than in female dogs (10.0%). Also, higher prevalence was observed in dogs less than six (6) months of age (23.1%) than in dogs of at least six (6) months (22.2%). The prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths eggs was 26.7% and 23.1% for local and exotic breeds of dogs respectively. Higher prevalence was observed in dogs with diarrhoeic faeces (25.0%) and in dogs non-confined (33.3%). This study has shown the presence of zoonotic gastrointestinal helminths eggs in dogs presented to the VTH ABU, Zaria which is of public health significance. Therefore, clinicians, pet owners, animal handlers and laboratory technicians need to be aware of the risk of contracting an infection in the course of handling dogs or their faecal samples.
Keywords: Dogs, eggs, faeces, formol-ether, Gastrointestinal helminths, zoonotic helminths