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Sokoto J. Vet. Sci.. 2019; 17(3): 35-43

Gastrointestinal parasites of horses (Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758) and the risk factors associated with equine coccidiosis in Kwara and Niger States, North Central Nigeria.

Shola David Ola Fadunsin, Olufemi Babatunde Daodu, Karimat Hussain, Issau Aremu Ganiyu, Musa Rabiu, Idiat Modupe Sanda, Adakole Silvanus Adah, Arimie Deborah Adah, Julius Olaniyi Aiyedun.


About two-third of the parasitic infections in animals are believed to occur in the gastrointestinal tract. Coccidiosis is an important disease of horses and it is responsible for a great economic setback worldwide. This study was designed to determine the species diversity and prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites of horses, and the risk factors associated with Eimeria infections in horses in Kwara and Niger States, North Central Nigeria. Faecal samples were collected from one hundred and five (105) horses in Kwara and Niger States. Simple floatation and formalin-ethyl acetate concentration techniques were used as diagnostic techniques. An overall prevalence of 62.86% (66/105) was recorded. Eleven gastrointestinal parasites comprising of 7 nematodes, 2 trematodes, 1 protozoan and 1 cestode were detected. Strongylus spp. (33.33%; 35/105) and Eimeria spp. (28.57%; 30/105) were the most prevalent. Forty six (43.81%) of the sampled population had multiple gastrointestinal parasites infection. Body condition score, presence/ absence of diarrhoea and horse ownership were significantly association with the occurrence of Eimeria infection. This appears to be the first report on gastrointestinal parasites of horses in Kwara and Niger States of Nigeria. The high prevalence reported in this study calls for horse owners to improve on the Veterinary medical attention given to their horses as gastrointestinal parasitism is a major cause of economic loss in equine husbandry. The curtailing of gastrointestinal parasitism will improve production, reproduction and performance of horses in the study area.

Key words: Eimeria spp.; Gastrointestinal parasites; Horses; North Central Nigeria; Risk factors

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