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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 1715924, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1715924
Research Article

Prevalence of Helminths in Dogs and Owners’ Awareness of Zoonotic Diseases in Mampong, Ashanti, Ghana

1Department of Science Education, University of Education, Winneba, P.O. Box M40, Mampong, Ashanti, Ghana
2Department of Environmental Health and Sanitation Education, University of Education, Winneba, P.O. Box M40, Mampong, Ashanti, Ghana

Received 9 October 2015; Accepted 6 January 2016

Academic Editor: Bernard Marchand

Copyright © 2016 Papa Kofi Amissah-Reynolds et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Dogs are popular pets that live closely with humans. However, this cohabitation allows for the transmission of zoonotic parasites to humans. In Ghana, very little is known about zoonotic parasites in dogs. We examined excrements of 154 dogs for intestinal helminthes using saturated sodium chloride as a floatation medium and further interviewed 100 dog owners regarding knowledge on zoonosis and pet management practices. Thirteen parasite species were identified, with an overall prevalence of 52.6%. Nematodes were more common than cestodes, with Toxocara canis being the most prevalent helminth (18.8%). Age (; ) and location (; ) of dogs were significant risk factors of helminthic infections, while mode of housing, function, and gender of dogs were not. Knowledge on zoonosis and pet management practices were poor, including irregular deworming and feeding of animals off the bare ground. Dogs may play an active role in the transmission of zoonotic diseases in the area, given the cohabitation of infected dogs with humans; irregular deworming pattern of dogs; and rampant excretion of helminth-infested dog excreta into the environment.