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A survey of pet ownership, awareness and public knowledge of pet zoonoses with particular reference to roundworms and hookworms in Harare, Zimbabwe

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Abstract

A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was carried out in Harare to assess pet ownership and public awareness with regard to pet zoonoses. The questionnaire was designed to obtain information on pet ownership, health and welfare of pets, pet owners’ knowledge and awareness of pet zoonoses with particular emphasis on hookworms and roundworms. The results demonstrated that the proportion of pet owners who knew helminths as zoonoses in dogs (21.3%) and cats (1.1%) was low compared to rabies (95.7%) with ancylostomosis (4.3%) and toxocariosis (2.1%) being the specific parasitic zoonoses known to occur in dogs and toxoplasmosis (2.1%) in cats. More than 50% of the pet owners indicated that veterinarians never discussed the potential hazards of zoonoses or discussed it only when asked and 33% indicated that veterinarians initiated discussion of the subject whenever zoonoses were diagnosed in pets. Over 90% of the pet owners indicated that veterinarians should discuss zoonoses with them. Further investigations are necessary to determine the current prevalence of intestinal nematode infections in dogs and cats in the various regions of the country.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the veterinary practices, SPCA and pet owners who participated in the study.

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Correspondence to Davies Mubika Pfukenyi.

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Pfukenyi, D.M., Chipunga, S.L., Dinginya, L. et al. A survey of pet ownership, awareness and public knowledge of pet zoonoses with particular reference to roundworms and hookworms in Harare, Zimbabwe. Trop Anim Health Prod 42, 247–252 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-009-9413-9

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Keywords

  • Hookworms
  • Pet ownership
  • Public awareness
  • Rabies
  • Roundworms
  • Zimbabwe
  • Zoonoses