Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Two studies on Dog Population in Makurdi, Nigeria

Omudu, E. A., Otache, E. O., & Adelusi, S. M. (2010). Studies on Dog Population in Makurdi, Nigeria (I): Demography and Survey of Pet Owners' Beliefs and Attitudes. Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, 2(1), 85-93.

A survey of dog population in some residential areas of Makurdi, Nigeria, was investigated using household census and street observation methods, while residents' dog-related attitudes and beliefs were investigated using a structured questionnaire. The average number of dogs per household was 1.43. Dog-human ratio in the study location was 1 dog to every 4 persons, in Wurukum residential area this was however less with the ratio of 1 dog to every 3 persons. There was no significant (X= 1.42, df = 1, P > 0.05) difference in the distribution of sexes of dogs. The difference between free roaming dogs and those restricted within residential compounds was also not statistically significant (X2 = 1.08, P > 0.05). A total of 198 (98.0%) respondents who owned dogs kept them as house guards and/or security alert; only 18.8% of dog owners kept them as pets. The variation in reasons for keeping dogs was significant (X2 = 12.1, P < 0.05). The majority of respondents who do not own dog (91.7%) said it was to avoid dog bites. A significant proportion of respondents (48.0%) who kept dog could not mention any dog disease or disease transmitted by dogs. The implications of these findings are very critical in the control of rabies and other dog-borne disease and mobilization of residents for more responsible dog ownership in Nigeria.

Omudu, E. A., Okpe, G., & Adelusi, S. M. (2010). Studies on Dog Population in Makurdi, Nigeria (II): A Survey of Ectoparasite Infestation and its Public Health Implications. Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, 2(1), 94-106.

This study investigated the current status of dog infestation by ectoparasites, compared infestation between stray and restricted dogs and investigated some beliefs and practices by dog owners in Makurdi. Ectoparasites were collected using the body brushing and hand-picking methods and identified by standard methods. Dog owners' attitude and perceptions were investigated using structured questionnaires. The prevalence of infestation with ectoparasites among male dogs was 31.5%, though this rate was higher when compared with female dogs that had infestation rate of 23.5%. The difference was not statistically significant (X2= 11.4, df = 1, P > 0.05). Male dogs accounted for 57.8% of the total ectoparasites collected during this study. Stray dogs accounted for 56% of total dogs examined during this study and 58.3% of the ectoparasites were recovered from them. The infestation rates between stray and restricted dogs was statistically significant (X2= 14, df =1, P<0.05). The relative abundance of Rhipicephalus species (53.5%) was statistically highest. Other species of ticks encountered were Boophilus (31.4%) and Amblyomma (8.4%). Lice and fleas recovered from the dogs during this study belong to Linognathus and Ctenocephalis species respectively. Of the dog-borne disease listed, rabies was the most frequently mentioned by 56% of respondents while only 5.2% mentioned tick infestation as potential health risk to dogs and humans. Bathing dogs with brush, soap and detergents (59.6%) was the most popular method of cleaning dogs in Makurdi. This study demonstrated that several dog owners in Makurdi do not have the adequate dog-care information that will protect the health of their pets and safe-guard human health. 

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