There is a general lack on Information regarding gastrointestinal and filarial helminth infections of dogs in Botswana. Based on a first survey, the dissertation focuses on the occurrence and prevalence of gastrointestinal and filarial helminth infections of domestic dogs in the metropolitan area of the capital Gaborone. Faecal and blood samples were obtained from 150 live dogs aged 1-19 years (56 females and 84 males). Ten different dog breeds featured in the survey, with the indigenous Tswana as the most dominant breed (74.67 %) followed by the crossbreeds (14.67 %).
The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth infections was 64 % (96/150) based on direct faecal flotation. The spectrum of gastrointestinal parasites detected included Ancylostoma spp. (64 %), Dipylidium caninum (4.66 %), Toxocara canis (1.33 %) and the coccidian Isospora spp (4 %). Dogs hosting a single gastrointestinal helminth species were more common (54.6 %) then those hosting 2 (6.67 %) or 3 species (0.67 %). Ancylostoma spp., T. canis and D. caninum have zoonotic implications. The overall prevalence of filarial helminth infections was 18 % (27/150) based on demonstration of microfilariae in blood by membrane filtration. Based on acid phosphatase staining, microfilariae of 3 filarial helminths were identified, namely Dirofilaria repens (14.67 %) followed by Acanthocheilonema reconditum (2.67 %) and Acanthocheilonema dracunculoides (0.67 %). Dirofilaria repens has zoonotic implications.