Ixodid ticks, fleas, lice and mites infesting dogs in the Mnisi community, South Africa
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The prevalence of ectoparasite species infesting dogs in the Mnisi community, South Africa was investigated. Dogs were examined for the presence of ixodid ticks, fleas, lice and mites, in the months of April and May 2012. Of 115 dogs, 97,4% harboured one or more species of ectoparasites, of which 10 different species were identified. Dogs were mostly infested with ticks (87,8%) and fleas (42,6%); infestations of lice and mites were less prevalent (6,1% and 12,5%, respectively). Most abundant ectoparasite species included Rhipicephalus sanguineus (39,1%), Amblyomma hebreum (35,7%), Ctenocephalides spp. (28,7%) and Haemaphysalis elliptica (27.8%). Dogs that were reported to come in close contact with cattle were occasionally infested with adult Amblyomma hebreum and one dog harboured the cattle tick Ripicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, suggesting ectoparasite exchange between cattle and dogs.To investigate the relationship between the amount of ectoparasite species infesting and severity of skin lesions, 68 dogs received a skin lesion score. It was expected that an increased number of ectoparasites species present on a dog, would relate to more severe skin lesions. However, no obvious relationship could be found.