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A field trial of spinosad for the treatment and prevention of flea infestation in shepherd dogs living in close proximity to flea-infested sheep
- Saridomichelakis, Manolis N., Chatzis, Manolis K., Petanides, Theodoros, Papadopoulos, Elias
- Parasites & vectors 2015 v.8 no.1 pp. 324
- Ctenocephalides canis, Pulex irritans, adverse effects, arithmetics, body weight, dogs, farms, field experimentation, geometry, insect infestations, livestock and meat industry, parasitism, sheep, species identification, spinosad, Greece
- BACKGROUND: Three flea species, Pulex irritans, Ctenocephalides canis and C. felis parasitize shepherd dogs living on sheep farms in Greece. The aim of this randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial was to examine the efficacy of spinosad, when administered three times every 4 weeks, as the only intervention to treat and prevent flea infestations in shepherd dogs living on sheep farms. METHODS: Thirty dogs living on sheep farms and infested by at least 24 fleas were randomly allocated into equal groups. Group A dogs received spinosad (45–70 mg/kg body weight), every 4 weeks for three administrations, whereas Group B dogs were placebo-treated. Flea counting was performed at the beginning of the trial (day 0) and after 14, 28, 56 and 84 days. The first five fleas from each dog and 2–6 fleas collected from 5–11 sheep were used for species identification. RESULTS: The percentage of dogs with zero flea counts was significantly higher in group A than in group B at days 14, 28, 56 and 84 and flea counts were significantly lower in group A than in group B at days 14, 28, 56 and 84. In group A, flea counts were significantly lower at days 14, 28, 56 and 84 compared to day 0 whereas there were no changes in flea counts of group B dogs. The percent efficacy of spinosad for the treatment and prevention of flea infestation was higher than 98 % (arithmetic means) or higher than 99 % (geometric means) throughout the study. No adverse reactions were recorded. C. canis was the predominant flea species of dogs at day 0. In group A the relative abundance of C. felis increased at day14 whereas in group B the relative abundance of P. irritans increased at days 14, 28, 56 and 84. CONCLUSIONS: Spinosad is safe and effective for the treatment of C. canis and C. felis infestations and for the prevention of P. irritans, C. canis and C. felis infestations in shepherd dogs living in close proximity to sheep.