Prevalence of intestinal helminth parasites in stray dogs in urban Harare and selected rural areas in Zimbabwe
A total of 246 faecal samples were collected between October 2015 to February 2016, 154 from stray dogs in Harare and 92 from rural dogs in Arcturas, Goromonzi and Christon Bank. The samples were examined by flotation and sedimentation methods and helminth eggs identified and EPG counted. Of the 246 samples, 157 (63.8%) were positive for helminths. Urban stray dogs (58.4%) had a significantly (p = 0.03) lower prevalence compared to rural dogs (72.8%). Nine species were identified and Ancylostoma species (55.7%), Dipylidium caninum (15.0%) and Toxocara canis (8.1%) had the highest prevalences. The other species were Toxascaris leonina (1.6%), Alaria species (1.6%), Spirocerca lupi (0.8%), Trichuris vulpis (0.8%), Capillaria species (0.4%) and Ascaris suum (0.4%) and were all found only from rural dogs. This is the first report documenting presence of Alaria species in Zimbabwe. Public education on control of zoonotic canine helminthosis is recommended.
Keywords: Intestinal helminths, urban stray dogs, rural dogs, Harare