Infestation with fleas, ticks and lice in sheltered stray dogs in Turkey

Coskunserce G., ÇIRAK V. Y. , AYDIN L.

BERLINER UND MUNCHENER TIERARZTLICHE WOCHENSCHRIFT, vol.133, pp.59-64, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 133
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.2376/0005-9366-18068
  • Page Numbers: pp.59-64


Sheltering stray dogs is becoming a common practice by governmental veterinary administrations in Turkey in recent years, and veterinary surgeons have been facing various health issues of these animals including parasitic diseases. Three-hundred and fifty dogs from three municipal shelters in Bursa province were examined for flea, tick and louse infestations. The prevalence of infestation was evaluated relative to host age, gender, hair length and season. Of the examined dogs, 59.7% were found to be positive for ectoparasites. Seven species were identified including three species of fleas (Ctenocephalides canis, Ctenocephalides felis, Pulex irritans), three species of ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Rhipicephalus turanicus, Haemaphysalis erinacei) and one louse species (Trichodectes canis). Our study revealed the presence of H. erinacei in dogs for the first time in Turkey. The prevalence rates for fleas, ticks and T. canis were 51.1%, 12.0% and 4.9%, respectively. The most common parasite was C. canis (43.4%) followed by C. felis (27.4%) and R. sanguineus (9.7%). Neither gender nor hair length was determined as risk factors for prevalence of ectoparasite species, whereas dog's age (<1 year) was positively associated with the infestation rates of C. canis and T. canis. Season significantly affected the prevalence of R. sanguineus and flea infestations. In conclusion, this is the first study regarding the prevalence of canine ectoparasites in Bursa province, Turkey. Taking into consideration that canine ectoparasites frequently serve as natural vectors for important zoonoses veterinarians should attempt to reduce the infestation in dog populations.