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A STUDY ON ABUNDANCE OF TICKS ON DOGS

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A STUDY ON ABUNDANCE OF TICKS ON DOGS

 

Abstract

Aim: An investigation on ticks and haemoparasites of dogs that belonged to Enugu(Enugu State) was conducted.

Materials and Methods: Survey of ticks and haemo-parasites on 400 stray dogs was conducted in Maiduguri from December 2009 to November 2011, using a stratified random sampling technique from different locations of the town. The town was divided into 10 districts out of which a total of 40 dogs were sampled at random from each district.

Results: Four genera of ticks were identified on the infested dogs 384 (96.0), all of which belonged to the family Ixodidae (hard ticks). The genus Boophilus was predominant with a prevalence of 88.0%, Rhipicephalus 10.8%, Hyalomma 0.9% and Amblyomma 0.3% at (p ? 0.05). Dogs within the age-group of 6-12 months were the most infested, while those within the agegroup of 24 –120 months were the least infested. Sex appeared to have a less significant influence (p > 0.05) on the prevalence of ticks among the dog population as females were more infested than the males. The perineum and the ear were the most commonly infested areas, with 328 (85.4%) and 252 (65.4%) respectively, while the scrotal and abdominal regions were the least infested areas 12 (3.1%) each. The month of August showed the highest mean tick burden of 462.5±3.2 ranging from 450475, while the month of February showed the least number of ticks with a mean of 244.5±3.8 ranging from 239-250. Dogs found to be infected with Babesia canis are all harboring ticks of the genus Rhipicephalus. Female dogs were more infected (66.7%) with Babesia canis than their male counterparts (33.3%) (p ? 0.05) and dogs within the age group of 1-6 months were more infected.

Conclusion: Prevalence of ticks on dogs in this study area is relatively high and the occurrence of Babesia species is vector dependent, with ticks of the genus Rhipicephalus sanguineous being the most common vector in transmission of the parasite. Seasons also play a vital role in the prevalence of ticks and their associated haemoparasites.

 

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