Ectoparasitic species from Canis familiaris (Linne) in Buenos Aires province, Argentina

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:D. González-Acuña, Castro, Ddel Carmen, Gonzalez, S.
Journal:Veterinary Parasitology
Pagination:123 - 129
Date Published:2004

Several arthropods that live as ectoparasites on domestic dogs can cause severe dermatitis or act as vectors of pathogenic agents, resulting in serious diseases not only in dogs, but also in humans. We studied ectoparasites found on Canis familiaris sampled in five areas in Buenos Aires province, Argentina. The prevalence of fleas, ticks and lice was analyzed, as well as their seasonal variations through the different sites studied. The kind of infestation found in each host was determined and the intensity of natural infestation was estimated. The study was carried out from October 2001 to July 2002, with 116 dogs that lived in rural areas and did not receive control treatments. In order to remove the ectoparasites, the dogs' skin was rubbed with a piece of cotton soaked in ether. All dogs had at least one species of ectoparasites. A total number of 5193 ectoparasites were found corresponding to four species, 15.7% Ctenocephalides canis, 73% Rhipicephalus sanguineus, 1.8 Linognathus setosus and 9.4% Heterodoxus spiniger. R. sanguineus was the most abundant species, and C. canis was the only flea species found. This may be due to the dogs being exclusively rural animals. Within the zones sampled, Magdalena showed the greatest prevalence, maybe as a consequence of having the highest relative humidity in relation to the other areas. Triple infestation (ticks-fleas-lice) was observed in 56.9% of the dogs; 39.6% presented double infestation, most being ticks-fleas, and only 3.4% showed simple infestation (lice). Female hosts were the most affected. Even though there were records of ectoparasites throughout all the year, a higher intensity was observed during the spring months, most likely as a result of the increase in temperature after the winter months.

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