Prevalence and awareness of zoonotic parasites of dogs on Curaçao
MetadataShow full item record
To study the perceived prevalence, awareness and client education of 7 selected emerging zoonoses on the island of Curaçao, 10 veterinarians and 10 general practitioners were interviewed. 300 inhabitants of Curaçao were asked to fill in a questionnaire about dog ownership and knowledge of zoonoses. The selection of the 7 included zoonoses was based on a literature study; Anaplasma spp, Ancylostoma spp., Dipylidium caninum, Dirofilaria immitis, Giardia lamblia, scabies, and Toxocara canis were thought to be of most interest on Curaçao. All of these were diagnosed frequently by the veterinarians. General practitioners diagnosed G.lambia and scabies in humans on a regular basis, whereas the other zoonoses were never thought of or never seen by most general practitioners. Both professions did not educate clients preventively about zoonoses, but informed patients, especially in scabies, if the zoonosis was diagnosed in dogs or humans. Of the 300 random inhabitants asked to fill in the questionnaires, 64.3% were dog owners. 62% of the non-dog owners knew of the existence of zoonoses, compared to 52% of the dog owners, but dog owners did know more different zoonoses. When asked what extra precaution they would take to lower the risk of zoonoses, most people answered to clean better, better hygiene, and 185 wanted more information. Education and awareness are powerful tools in reducing the prevalence and incidence of zoonotic parasitic infection in both dogs and their owners, and both veterinarians and general practitioners can play a more active role in this.