Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Ehrlichia canis and current tick control methods on Curaçao.
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Tick infestation can result in physical damage and transmission of pathogens like Ehrlichia canis. The prevalence of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks and E. canis was determined among 200 dogs receiving veterinary care. They were found to be respectively 65% and 23%. Ehrlichiosis prevalence appeared 7,2% higher in purebred dogs. The mean number of ticks found on dogs was 6,6 and all adult ticks were identified as the R. sanguineus species. To prevent ticks applying products on the dog as well as in the environment is useful. Shampoo, Preventic® collars and Frontline® products were identified as most effective products while the use of powder, Paramite® or no tick control products at all resulted in high numbers of ticks. Applying pest control in both house and garden proved most affective to decrease tick numbers. Customer satisfaction varied from 50-100% and was particularly high with Preventic®, Paramite® and ovitrol. No correlation between customer satisfaction and the number of ticks on the dog was found. Owner knowledge about ticks, tick-borne diseases and tick prevention is little so in order to deal with tick related problems extensive client education by veterinarians and pharmacological companies is recommended. 11% of the dogs have been taken abroad from which 50% to the Netherlands. Future research to the vectorial capacity of the collected ticks at Utrecht University will allow determining possible consequences of importing dogs from Curaçao.