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Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
Year: 2014  |  Volume: 9  |  Issue: 10  |  Page No.: 653 - 663

Prevalence and Haemato-Biochemical Studies of Toxocara canis Infestation in Dogs and Risk Perception of Zooneses by Dog Owners in Mathura, India

M. Kumar, B. Sharma, A. Kumar, H.P. Lal, V. Kumar and M.K. Tripathi    

Abstract: Toxocara canis is a very important gastrointestinal nematode affecting canines with considerable public health importance. This study was conducted to find out the prevalence and corresponding haemato-biochemical changes in dogs infested with T. canis and to determine its zoonotic implication to dog owners. A total of 121 dogs were screened from October 2008 to May 2009 by direct smear and Mc-master technique, to determine correlation between overall prevalence of T. canis infestation with respect to sex, age, breed, size and season-wise infestation. Haemato-biochemical profile was performed in 24 infested dogs, randomly selected to evaluate changes in Hb, PCV, TEC, TLC, DLC count, serum protein, serum glucose and serum enzymes. The overall prevalence was found to be 28.93%. The prevalence was not influenced by sex but non-descript breeds had significantly higher rates. Pups were more infested than adults and the disease was more prevalent in winters. Dogs having active infection with T. canis infestation showed anemia, leucocytosis and significant eosinophilia (p<0.05). A significant decrease (p<0.05) was observed in serum protein and glucose whereas highly significant increase (p<0.01) was found for both serum enzymes (SGOT and SGPT). Very few dog owners (4.13%) were aware about potential public health significance of the parasite. Survey revealed that unaware owners who belonged to lower/middle/upper middle class, did not maintain hygiene and scheduled deworming and always remain at high zoonotic risk. Being zoonotic, the parasite poses a significant danger to humans mainly children who remain in their vicinity. Thus immediate action needs to be taken to control this parasite and to increase awareness among the dog-owners about the zoonoses being spread by the companion animals.

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