Gastrointestinal Parasites of Urban Dogs in Perth, Western Australia
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A study was conducted to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in a sample of urban dogs in Perth and the knowledge of their owners about the control and zoonotic transmission of these parasites. Faecal samples (421), collected from dogs originating from five sources, were examined by microscopy and questionnaires administered to dog owners and managers/owners of pet shops. The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasitism was higher in pet shop puppies (51%), than in dogs from refuges (37%), breeding kennels (32.7%), veterinary clinics (15.6%) and exercise areas (5.3%). Protozoa, in particular Giardia, were detected more frequently (22.1%) than helminth parasites. After adjusting for other factors with multiple logistic regression, puppies less than 6 months of age, dogs living in households with more than one dog, and dogs from refuges were significantly more likely to be parasitized. The prevalence of Giardia was found to be directly associated with the number of doses of anthelmintics given in a year, increasing 1.2 times for each dose administered. The majority of owners were aware of the potential risk to human health from canine helminths, however only one third were aware of the means of transmission to humans. It is concluded that veterinarians can play an important role in increasing the level of awareness of canine zoonotic parasites.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences|
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