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Factors associated with gastrointestinal parasite infection in dogs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Balassiano, Bianca Chiganer Cramer, Campos, Mônica Rodrigues, de Menezes, Rita de Cássia Alves Alcantara, Pereira, Maria Julia Salim
Preventive veterinary medicine 2009 v.91 no.2-4 pp. 234-240
dogs, dog diseases, nematode infections, cryptosporidiosis, Cryptosporidium, Ancylostoma, gastrointestinal system, digestive system diseases, risk factors, clinical examination, interviews, cross-sectional studies, environmental factors, hygiene, educational status, veterinary clinics, disease control, Brazil
Factors associated with parasitism by helminths and protozoans in 500 dogs presented to three veterinary clinics in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro from November 2003 to September 2004 were evaluated. Dogs were submitted to physical examination and owners were interviewed about the animal's management. One fecal sample from each dog was examined by centrifugal flotation and sedimentation methods followed by the safranin-methylene blue staining technique. Positive results for gastrointestinal parasites were detected in 46.4% of the examined samples. Infection with protozoans (29.6%) was more frequent than with helminths (23.2%). Cryptosporidium sp. (26.2%) and Ancylostoma sp. (15.2%) were the most frequent parasites. Logistic regression analysis showed that age (p <0.001), access to soil (p <0.001), hygiene of the environment (p =0.001), illness (p =0.007), owner's level of education (p <0.006) and veterinary clinic (p =0.043) were associated with gastrointestinal parasite infections in dogs. Treatment and control are especially important for puppies. Adult dogs should be submitted to fecal examination before treatment, placing special emphasis on those that present one or more factors associated with infection.