Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Internal parasites infecting dogs in rural areas.

Abstract

Dogs which spend their lives in rural areas are primarily "sentinels" of animal herds. The dogs' close contact with humans and other animals obligates their caregivers to systematic deworming. The goal is to eliminate potential contamination with parasites which is mostly caused by direct contact or food and water contaminated with dogs' excretions. The aim of this study was to assess internal parasitic invasions on dogs from rural areas which spend most of their lives on farms. In total, 69 samples of fresh stools were collected for the analysis, including 26 from females and 43 from males. Coprological analysis of stool samples was accompanied with a survey where pet owners gave information on the number of visits to the veterinarian in suspicion of their dogs being infected with the parasites, the number of deworming treatments in the previous year and the dogs' behavior towards strangers. Also, the age, sex and body weight of dogs were recorded. Statistical analysis of the obtained results was performed using Statistica 12.5 with a medical set by Statsoft. In total, 29 (46,03%) out of 69 fecal samples contained developmental forms of parasites. Research has shown that animals most vulnerable to invasion were in the 6-10 years old age group, mostly males. In addition, the invasion of Toxocara canis roundworms occurred most frequently, as it was found in 12 (41.37%) animals (6 females and 6 males). The analysis of the questionnaires showed that the dog owners' knowledge of the risk of infection and parasites is unsatisfactory. This corresponded with a small number of deworming treatments. It is significant that nearly half of the owners never dewormed their dogs.