Dog population and ecology in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) main campus and Bomo village, Kaduna state, Nigeria
The availability of reliable estimates of dog populations is crucial in developing a control strategy for canine rabies in developing countries. The frequent roaming of dogs around Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) campus coinciding with reported cases of rabies outbreaks informed this study. The aim was to determine dog population size in ABU and Bomo, a village 500 meters away from Area C residential area of ABU main campus. From December, 2013-March, 2014, a questionnaires study was carried out in selected 510 households including urban (210 in ABU) and rural (300 in Bomo village) areas of Kaduna state. The questionnaire solicited information about dog’s usage, age, sex, anti-rabies vaccination status, differences in population density, frequency distribution and factors contributing to straying of owned dogs. Our findings showed that urban households (79 in ABU) owned dogs more than rural households (22 in Bomo village) which was significant (P<0.05, χ2). There was no significant difference between the numbers of dog with up to date anti-rabies vaccination recorded in urban (41%) than in rural areas (9.1%). Male to female ratio was higher in rural (5.8:1) than in urban areas (2.9:1). Dogs were used for security purpose in both urban (82.3%) and rural areas (95.5%). Adult dogs dominated both urban (68.8%) and rural (65.9%) dog populations (P<0.05, χ2). The dog-to-human ratio was higher in urban (1:7.6) than in rural areas (1:219.5). Similarly, the dogs’ abundance in the urban areas was five times higher than that of the rural areas. The low anti-rabies vaccination status of dogs, abundance of male and older dogs over female and younger ones, low restriction rate of dog movements constitute a great public health risk to human populations in terms of dog bites and rabies outbreaks.
Keywords: Dog, Ecology, Nigeria, Rabies, Vaccination