keywords: Screening, ova, endohelminths, domesticated, dogs, Owerri, Nigeria
Dogs are hosts of zoonotic helminths in countries that are socio-economically disadvantaged including Nigeria. Therefore, a randomized survey of gastrointestinal helminthic infections of domesticated dogs in metropolitan Owerri of Imo State, Nigeria, was undertaken to evaluate the current status of helminthiasis in domesticated dogs in Owerri using the direct smear method to parasitologically identify the helminthes in faecal dog samples. An infection rate of 63.3% was obtained from the faecal samples of one hundred and eighty (180) dogs. The highest occurring helminth egg was of Ancylostoma caninum (35.1%) while the least helminth egg recovered was of Toxocara canis (1.75%). An equivalent prevalence value of 5.26% was recorded for Taenia multiceps, Toxascaris leonina and Echinococcus granulosus. Although mixed infections with more than one helminth species was noted, the main objective was to isolate and record the occurrence of each parasite per dog. Community health control measures should be mounted in households with dog companions since these helminths are of significance in zoonoses of hydatidosis, visceral and ocular larval migrans, covert helminthiasis or neurohelminthiasis especially in children who mostly belong to the infection risk group.