Background: Dogs play an important role in transmission of parasites and zoonotic diseases, especially in developing countries. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of internal parasites in stray and household dogs in Palestine.
Methods: Fecal samples were collected during the period between January to May 2019. A total of 150 fecal samples were collected and tested for parasites using sedimentation and flotation techniques. The targeted dogs were both household and stray dogs and were grouped according to gender and age.
Results: Although there was no significant difference in infestation between males and females, the prevalence rate of infestation in males was 63.1% compared to females 72.4%. Dogs of ages under one year had similar rate of infestation compared to older dogs with a rate of 67.3% and 67.4% respectively. Infestations were significantly higher (P<0.05) in stray dogs 81.4% compared to household dogs 48.4%. The highest infestation rate was with Toxocara canis 46.0% followed by Dipylidium caninum 23.0%, Echinococcus spp. 14.0% ,Isosopora canis 9.0%, Ancylostoma caninum 8.0%, Giarda spp. 5.0%, Strongyloides spp. 4.0%, Trichuris vulpis 3.0%, Cryptosporidium spp. 3.0%.
Conclusion: Local dogs in Palestine, especially stray dogs, are infested with different types of intestinal parasites that may cause many common and non-common diseases to humans. To prevent the spread of these parasites, future public health should be proposed and applied by authorities to achieve a healthy status of the residents in the country. Health awareness spread among people about the seriousness of the diseases transmitted by dogs must also be activated.
Keywords: Gastrointestinal parasites; stray dogs; household dogs; zoonoses; Palestine.