Longitudinal study for anthelmintic efficacy against intestinal helminths in naturally exposed Lithuanian village dogs: critical analysis of feasibility and limitations
The efficacy of anthelmintic treatment at 1, 3, and 6 month intervals was evaluated in a prospective controlled field study with naturally exposed Lithuanian village dogs by monthly coproscopy during 1 year. A placebo-treated control group (C) (n = 202) and groups treated with two broad-spectrum anthelmintics, febantel/pyrantel-embonate/praziquantel (Drontal® Plus, Bayer) (D1, D3, D6; n = 113–117) and emodepside/praziquantel (Profender®, Bayer) (P1, P3, P6; n = 114–119), were included. At the beginning of the study, eggs of Toxocara canis (4.02%) and T. cati (0.44%) identified morphometrically and/or molecularly and eggs of taeniid- (0.78%) and Capillaria-like eggs (5.03%) were present in the feces without significant differences in prevalence between groups. Significant decreases in excretion of T. canis eggs was found 1 month after the treatment with Drontal® Plus in February (D1) and with Profender® in October (P1), November (P1), December (P3), February (P1), and March (P1, P3), as compared to controls in the same months. The incidence of egg excretion per dog at least once a year was significantly lower in group P1 for T. canis (4.24%; p < 0.01) and in groups D1, P1 for taeniid eggs (0%; p < 0.01 and p < 0.001), when compared to controls (16.96 and 6.70%, respectively). A critical analyses of factors possibly responsible for intestinal passage of canine helminth eggs revealed that chained dogs excreted T. canis eggs more frequently 1 month after treatment compared to dogs in pens, particularly from November to March (p = 0.01). The incidence of single detection of T. cati eggs was significantly increased in chained dogs (12.46%) as compared to fenced dogs (1.08%; p = 0.0001).
KeywordsToxocara Anthelminthic treatment Field studies Coprophagia
We acknowledge Edita Tamošiūnienė, Vilija Laurinavičiūtė, Giedrė Valauskaitė, Artūras Poderis, Indrė Ramanauskaitė, and Francesca Gori for valuable technical assistance during the study.
The study was supported by Bayer Animal Health GmbH, Leverkusen, Germany.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Roland Schaper is an employee of Bayer Animal Health GmbH. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
All applicable international and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. The study was conducted in compliance with Lithuanian animal welfare regulations (No. B1-866, 2012; No. XI-2271, 2012).
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