Assessment of Gastrointestinal Tract Parasites of Equines in Asella Town, Ethiopia
A cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2011 up to March 2012 in Asella district, Ethiopia to estimate the prevalence of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) parasite and to identify the association of infection with species, sex, age and body condition of equines. The GIT parasites were examined by using quantitative and qualitative faecal analysis methods. Overall prevalence of the parasites was 53.5% (48.5-58.5). There was a significant (p<0.05) variation in frequency of infection between horses (73.93%), donkey (37.1%) and mule (28.9%). Out of the 214 faecal samples examined by McMaster Egg counting technique, 85.5, 10.28 and 4.2% were heavily, moderately and mildly infected, respectively. Strongyle type eggs were prevalent with a frequency of 50.9% in horse, 41.07% in donkey and 45.45% in mule. Trichonema spp. (2.9%) and Anoplocephala spp. (3.8%) in horses; Fasciola spp. (3.6%) and Triodontophorus spp. (3.6%) in donkeys; and first stage larvae of Dictyocaulus in mules were the least prevalent parasites. Gastrointestinal tract parasite prevalence was influenced by species (p<0.05), whereas sex, age and body condition did not show statistically significant association (p>0.05) with infection. Mean egg count was not affected by these risk factors. In conclusion, the study revealed that the occurrence of gastrointestinal tract parasite in equines in Asella town is a common phenomenon. As a result, awareness creation to the animal owners and proper deworming and prevention mechanisms should be implemented to reduce the burden of the infection.