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Awareness of zoonotic diseases and parasite control practices: a survey of dog and cat owners in Qatar

  • Alho, Ana Margarida1
  • Lima, Clara2
  • Colella, Vito3
  • Madeira de Carvalho, Luís1
  • Otranto, Domenico3
  • Cardoso, Luís4
  • 1 Universidade de Lisboa, CIISA, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Lisbon, Portugal , Lisbon (Portugal)
  • 2 Hospital Parkview Pet Center - Veterinary Clinic, Doha, Qatar , Doha (Qatar)
  • 3 Università degli Studi di Bari, Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Bari, Italy , Bari (Italy)
  • 4 University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), Department of Veterinary Sciences, School of Agrarian and Veterinary Sciences, Vila Real, Portugal , Vila Real (Portugal)
Published Article
Parasites & Vectors
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Mar 20, 2018
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-2720-0
Springer Nature


BackgroundQatar is one of the wealthiest and fastest growing economies in the world, experiencing a rapid increase in human and pet populations. Given the paucity of data on prophylactic measures against endo- and ectoparasites of pets in Qatar, as well as on the owners’ awareness of zoonotic diseases, a questionnaire was conducted.MethodsFrom July to November 2017, 150 multiple-choice questionnaires were administered to dog and/or cat owners who attended two veterinary clinics in Doha.ResultsOnly 54% (81/150) owners were aware of transmittable diseases between animals and humans. “Zoonosis/zoonotic disease(s)” was unknown for 88% (132/150) of the respondents and almost a quarter had no idea of transmission pathways associated with parasitic diseases. Thirteen owners (8.7%) reported to have suffered from zoonotic diseases (10 had dermatophytosis, 2 cat-scratch disease and 1 an unknown tick-borne disease) and 24.7% had dewormed themselves. Approximately 83% had their pets yearly vaccinated and 51% identified endo- and ectoparasites on their pets. Only 10% had their animal faeces tested for intestinal parasites as requested by a veterinarian. As for internal parasite control, only 19.3% dewormed their pets with the recommended treatment regimen (minimum quarterly); 52.7% (79/150) dewormed every 4 months to 1 year; 10% (15/150) without periodicity and 8% (12/150) had never done it. For external parasite control, only 16% (24/150) treated their pets with ectoparasiticides on a monthly basis; 44.7% (67/150) every 2 months to 1 year; 6.7% (10/150) without periodicity and 24.7% (37/150) had never done it. Approximately two thirds (63.3%) of pets were allowed to sleep in the owner’s bed and 60% to lick their owner’s face. Almost all pets were fed with dry/canned food, but 4.7% were fed with raw meat. Approximately 79.5% of dog owners collect their pet’s faeces from public areas.ConclusionsThese results highlight the need to raise pet owners’ awareness towards prophylactic measures to minimize the potential impact of zoonotic diseases on the health of both animals and humans in Qatar.

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