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Free roaming dogs in Central Nepal: demographics, health and public knowledge, attitudes and practices

Massei, G, Fooks, AR, Horton, DL, Callaby, R, Sharma, K, Dhakal, IP and Dahal, U (2016) Free roaming dogs in Central Nepal: demographics, health and public knowledge, attitudes and practices Zoonoses and Public Health.

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Abstract

In Nepal most dogs are free to roam and may transmit diseases to humans and animals. These dogs often suffer from malnutrition and lack basic health care. Minimal information is available about their demographics and about public attitudes concerning dogs and diseases. We carried out a study in Chitwan District (central Nepal), to collect baseline data on free-roaming owned dog demographics, assess knowledge, attitudes and practices of dog owners concerning dogs and rabies, evaluate rabies vaccination coverage and anthelmintic treatment of dogs, measure dogs’ response to rabies vaccination and assess dog health through body condition scores and parasites. We conducted household interviews with owners of free-roaming female dogs (n=60) and administered dogs with rabies vaccination and anthelmintics. Dog owners regularly fed free-roaming dogs but provided minimal health care; 42% of respondents did not claim ownership of the dog for which they provided care. We collected skin, faecal and blood samples for parasite identification and for measuring rabies virus-specific antibodies. Ninety-two percent of dog owners were aware of the routes of rabies virus transmission but only 35% described the correct post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) following a dog bite. Twenty-seven percent of the dogs had measurable rabies virus-specific antibody titres and 14% had received anthelmintics in the previous year. Following rabies vaccination, 97% of dogs maintained an adequate antibody titre for > 6 months. Most dogs appeared healthy, although haemoprotozoans, endoparasites and ectoparasites were identified in 12%, 73% and 40% of the dogs, respectively. Poor skin condition and parasite load were associated. Seventy-four percent of the females had litters in one year (mean litter size= 4.5). Births occurred between September and February; we estimated 60% mortality in puppies. We concluded that vaccination coverage, PEP awareness and anthelmintic treatment should be emphasized in educational programmes focussed on animal welfare, veterinary and public health.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Veterinary Medicine
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Massei, GUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fooks, ARUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Horton, DLUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Callaby, RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sharma, KUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dhakal, IPUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dahal, UUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 23 June 2016
Identification Number : 10.1111/zph.12280
Copyright Disclaimer : This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Free roaming dogs in Central Nepal: demographics, health and public knowledge, attitudes and practices, which has been published in final form at http://doi.org/10.1111/zph.12280. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 06 May 2016 14:32
Last Modified : 30 Nov 2016 14:40
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/810638

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