Gastrointestinal parasites of horses and their socio-economic impact in Jos Plateau – Nigeria
Keywords:age, body condition score, horse, parasites, sex, season
There are several socio-economic constraints facing horses in Jos, Nigeria among which gastrointestinal parasites (GIPs) play important role in negatively impacting the health, productivity and well-being of horses and these greatly limits the efficiency and work potential of affected horses. The objectives of this study are to estimate the impact of GIP infection in Horses around Jos metropolis and to advise stakeholders appropriately. Faecal samples were collected from 108 horses comprising of 25 male horses and 83 female horses over a period of six months from February to July 2021 covering three months in the dry season and three months in the rainy season. The samples were analyzed for GIPs using standard flotation, sedimentation and McMaster faecal egg counting techniques. The overall prevalence of GIPs in this study was 82.41% out of which 51.85% were positive for single infection and 30.56% were positive for mixed infection. The GIPs found in this study were Strongylus spp., Strongyloides westeri, Trichonema spp., Eimeria leukarti, Anoplocephala spp., Fasciola gigantica, Parascaris equorum, Gastrodiscus aegypticus, Triodontophorus spp., Oxyuris equi, Gasterophilus intestinalis and Dictyocaulus arnfieldi. The prevalence for EPG was zero (3.70%), low (46.30%), medium (24.07%) and high (9.26%). The prevalence of GIPs was found higher in males as compared to females; young ones as compared to adults and rainy season compared to dry season. The prevalence of GIPs was found higher in animals with poor body condition score (84.62%) followed by moderate (83.78%), ideal (76.92%) and fat (66.67%). Several factors such as poor nutrition, management practices, disease status and other physiologic factors may affect the immune status of horses making it easier for them to succumb to gastrointestinal parasitic infection. It is therefore recommended that appropriate, economic and efficient control measures be employed to reduce parasitism in all age groups, sex and body conditions and in all seasons of the year consequently improving the health of horses in Jos - Nigeria.
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