a1 Parasitology Research Laboratories, Department of Zoology, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
This study investigates the level of helminthic infestation in better-cared-for dogs in a middle-class community in suburban Kingston. A canine zoographic study was conducted, and fresh faecal deposits were collected and analysed for helminth life-cycle stages. The survey indicated that 73% (n=93) of households in the study area owned one dog or more (mean=1·4). Resident's attitudes towards canine management suggested that the dog population was, in general, restricted to the residential estate, and most owners claimed to have dewormed their dogs at least as young animals. Of 141 faecal specimens, 58% contained eggs or larvae of one or more of eight helminths: Uncinaria stenocephala (26%), Ancylostoma sp. (23%), Trichuris vulpis (9%), Toxocara canis (8%), Spirocerca lupi (6%), Strongyloides sp. (6%), Apophallus sp. (4%) and taeniids (1%). There was a high level of multiple infection in the host animals, with approximately one fifth of the infected samples containing three or more helminth types. Infection intensity was apparently low, but some dogs harboured heavy worm loads.
(Accepted July 06 1988)