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Ticks and tick-borne diseases in canines--a prevalence study.

Introduction

Ticks are ubiquitous, blood sucking arthropod parasites affecting animals and humans. Ticks apart from causing blood loss also transmits various pathogens to animals. Tick-borne infections are diseases which are transmitted via bite of infected tick. Ticks are common ectoparasites of dogs in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Ticks and tick-borne diseases (TTBDs) are on rise due to global warming (Singh, 2010) and acaricide resistance. Climate change and increased movement of people and companion animals between countries raised concerns over potential impacts on distribution of ectoparasites, which highlights the need for accurate understanding of existing prevalence patterns (Smith, 2011). Thus present study was undertaken to determine overall, month wise and season wise prevalence of ticks and evaluate the risk factors associated with prevalence of ticks and tick borne diseases (TBDs).

Material and Methods

The study was conducted during April' 2012 to March' 2013 on dogs presented. Dogs with presence of ticks on body and showing clinical signs of TBDs were enrolled. Signalment, clinical signs, treatment and prophylaxis used were recorded. Diagnosis of haemoprotozoan infection by blood smear examination using Giemsa stain was also done.

Results and Discussion

A total of 3325 dogs were presented during the study period. Out of which 207 dogs were infested with ticks showing overall prevalence of 6.23%. There is paucity of data regarding ticks prevalence in dogs from India. Hasan et al. (2012) reported 11.42% prevalence of ticks in dogs of Punjab, Pakistan whereas it was 19.5% in Nigeria (Ugochukwu and Nnadozie, 1985) and 27.4% in Bangladesh (Islam, 2006).

The highest prevalence of ticks was found in month of September (14.98%) whereas lowest was in month of January (0.96 %) (Table-1). This finding was in concordance with the reports of Patel et al. (2012) where they found that prevalence of ticks in cattle of Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh was highest in September (75%) while lowest was in January (46.07%). On seasonal investigation, highest tick infestation was found in monsoon season (53.14%) followed by summer (38.06%) while lowest in winter (8.7%). Similar trends were also reported for ixodid ticks on cattle (Patel et al., 2012).

The highest prevalence was noticed in younger dogs of 6 months to 1 year age (20.3%) followed by 2-4 years old dogs (18.4%) whereas lowest was recorded in 8 years and above (7.7%) age group (Table-2). Male dogs outnumbered females with a prevalence of 60.4 per cent.

Ticks prevalence was noticed in almost all breeds reported viz. Pomeranian (27.1%) with highest prevalence followed by Labrador (22.2%), GSD (17.4%) and Mongrel (17.4%). Other various breed infested by ticks were presented in Table 3. The ticks collected from dogs were identified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus commonly called as the 'brown dog tick' (Fig. 1).

Based on examination of Giemsa's stained blood smear fifty four dogs (26.08%) were found positive for haemoprotozoan and rickettsial pathogen transmitted by ticks. Thirty three dogs (61.2%) were found positive for Ehrlichia canis (Fig.2), followed by 13 dogs (24.1%) for Babesiosis (8 dogs for Babesia canis and 5 dogs for B. gibsoni), 6 dogs (11.1%) had mixed infection of Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis whereas single case of Anaplasma phagocytophilum (1.8%) and Hepatozoon canis (1.8%) (Fig. 3) each were also identified. Abd Rani et al. (2011) reported that atleast 6 species of canine tick-borne pathogens were present namely Hepatozoon canis, Ehrlichia canis, Mycoplasma haemocanis, Anaplasma platys, Babesia vogeli and Babesia gibsoni.

Treatment

Treatment of ticks infested dogs was under taken with different types of ecto and ectoendo-parasiticide drugs along with supportive therapy. Severe cases were treated with Carbaryl (Notix talc (a)), pyrethroids (Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin) as external application. In some dogs ivermectin (Neomec (b)) @ 0.2 mg/kg subcutaneously was used once in a week for 3 weeks. Supportive therapy with multivitamin preparations (Tribivet (b)), hematinics (Feritas (b) inj, Haem-up (c) syrup) were advocated. All the treated dogs responded well to therapy with few cases had recurrence of tick infestation. Such dog's owners were advised for spraying of ectoparasiticide in premises of dogs especially in cracks and crevices yielded favourable response. Treatments of dogs infected with tick-borne pathogens were presented in Table 4.

All the treated dogs responded well to therapy adopted except relapses in few dogs which has been treated till the smear was found negative for tick borne pathogen.

Thus in present study the prevalence of ticks was common in dogs with highest prevalence in younger dogs. Around one fourth of tick infested dogs were affected by tick borne infections with Ehrlichiosis being highest. Use of ectoparasiticide and standard therapy adopted were effective in treating tick and tick borne diseases in dogs.

References

Abd Rani, P.A.M., Irwin, P.J., Coleman, G.T., Gatne, M. and Traub, R.J. (2011). A survey of canine tick-borne diseases in India. Parasites and Vectors 4:141.

Hasan, M.U., Abubakar, M., Muhammad, G., Khan, M.N. and Hussain, M. (2012). Prevalence of tick infestation (Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum) in dogs in Punjab, Pakistan. Vet. Ital. 48: 95-98.

Islam, M.K., Alim, M.A., Tsuji, N.M. and Mondal, M.H. (2006). An investigation into the distribution, host preference and population density of Ixodid ticks affecting domestic animals in Bangladesh. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 38: 485-90.

Patel, G., Shanker, D., Jaiswal, A.K., Sudan, V. and Verma, S.K. (2012). Prevalence and seasonal variation in ixodid ticks on cattle of Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh. J. Parasit. Dis. 12: 154-58.

Singh, N.K., Jyoti, Haque, M. and Rath, S.S. (2010). Studies on acaricide resistance in Rhipicephalus microplus against synthetic pyrethroids. J. Vet. Parasitol. 24: 207-08.

Smith, F.D., Ballantyne, R., Morgan, E.R. and Wall, R. (2011). Prevalence, distribution and risk associated with tick infestation of dogs in Great Britain. Med. Vet. Entomol. 25: 377-84.

Ugochukwu, E.I. and Nnadozie, C.C. (1985). Ectoparasitic infestation of dogs in Bendel state, Nigeria. Int. J. Zoonoses 12: 308-12.

H. Vijayakumar (1), A. Latchumikanthan (2), Amol Gurav (2), R.R. Mahapatra (2) and D.B. Mondal (3)

Division of Medicine Indian Veterinary Research Institute Izatnagar Bareilly--243122 (Uttar Pradesh)

(1.) Post Graduate Scholar and Corresponding author E-mail: vijayvet1985@gmail.com.

(2.) Post Graduate Scholar

(3.) Principal Scientist

(a)--Brand of Cargill Animal Health, Bengaluru

(b)--Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad

(c)--Brand of Cadilla Pharma, Ahmedabad

Table 1: Month and season wise prevalence
of ticks in canines

Months      No. of dogs   Percent   Season wise
             infested               prevalence
                                    (per cent)

March           15         7.25       Summer
April           21         10.15    79 (38.16)
May             17         8.21
June            26         12.56

July            19         9.18       Monsoon
August          30         14.49    110 (53.14)
September       31         14.98
October         30         14.49

November         4         1.93       Winter
December         5         2.42      18 (8.70)
January          2         0.96
February         7         3.38

Total           207         100      207 (100)

Table 2: Age wise prevalence of ticks in canines

Age group infested   Dogs   Percent

0-6 months            33     15.9
6 m-1 yr              42     20.3
1-2 yrs               32     15.5
2-4 yrs               38     18.4
4-6 yrs               21     10.2
6-8yrs                25     12.0
8 yrs & above         16      7.7

Total                207      100

Table 3: Breed wise prevalence of ticks in
canines

Breed             Dogs infested   Percent

Pomeranian             56          27.10
Labrador               46          22.20
German Shepherd        36          17.40
Mongrel                36          17.40
Pug                     9          4.30
Spitz                   7          3.40
Doberman                5          2.40
Beagle                  2          0.96
Great dane              2          0.96
Rottweiler              2          0.96
Boxer                   1          0.50
Bull dog                1          0.50
Dalmatian               1          0.50
Daschund                1          0.50
Lhasa apso              1          0.50
St. Bernard             1          0.50
Total                  207          100

Table 4: Drugs used against tick borne
pathogens

Infection          Drugs used

Ehrlichiosis       Oxytetracycline 10-20 mg/kg IV q 24
                     hours for 3 days (or) Doxycycline
                     10 mg/kg orally q 24 hours for 28
                     days
Babesiosis         Diminazene aceturate 3.5-5 mg/kg
                     deep IM
Ehrlichiosis and   Diminazene aceturate 3.5-5 mg/kg
  Babesiosis         deep IM (or) Oxytetracycline 10-20
                     mg/kg IV q 24 hours for 3 days (or)
                     Doxycycline 10 mg/kg orally q 24
                     hours for 28 days
Anaplasmosis       Doxycycline 5 mg/kg orally q 12
                     hours for 2 weeks
Hepatozoon canis   Diminazene aceturate 3.5-5 mg/kg
                     deep IM Oxytetracycline 10-20 mg/kg
                     IV q 24 hours for 3 days
B. gibsoni         Clindamycin 12.5 mg/kg orally q 12
                     hours for 10 days
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Research Article
Author:Vijayakumar, H.; Latchumikanthan, A.; Gurav, Amol; Mahapatra, R.R.; Mondal, D.B.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2013
Words:1416
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