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Dog-associated husbandry practices favouring the spread of zoonotic pathogens with reference to helminth and arthropod parasites in Yaounde, Cameroon

N jong, Stanly Fon Tebug, Joseph Achille Yepka, Wilfred Angie Abia

Abstract


Dogs are the most common animal species kept around households and are also known to be source of diseases of importance to human health. The aim of this study was to determine some characteristics of dog population and husbandry practices that favour the spread of zoonotic parasites in Yaounde, Cameroon. Three hundred and twenty-two households owning at least one dog were recruited into the study. Information on dog and household characteristics as well as potential risk factors for the transmission of dog-related zoonotic parasites was collected using self-administered questionnaires. Over three-quarters of the households (76%) owned one dog each while 62% (200/322) kept dogs strictly for security reasons. Eighty four per cent (270/322) of the dogs owned were of local breed type and dominated by male dogs (64%). Twenty five per cent (80/320) of households left their dogs permanently free while 84% (240/320) declared negligence in disposing dog’s faeces. Dogs in 35.5% (114/320) of the households rarely or have never been consulted by a veterinarian. Although 242 (75%) respondents were aware of zoonotic diseases, only 51 (21%) of these knew parasites from dogs may infect human beings. The provision of a defecation site for dogs and access to living quarters were associated with household head’s level of education and care taker category, respectively. The current dog husbandry practices in Yaounde are likely to favour the spread of dog-related zoonotic diseases. Further investigations to determine the prevalence of zoonotic parasites, educational intervention as well as routine veterinary care are necessary to reduce the risk exposures to zoonotic parasites from dogs.

 


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