Ixodid tick species attaching to dogs in Hungary

Gábor Földvári, Róbert Farkas
Veterinary Parasitology 2005 April 20, 129 (1): 125-31
A survey was carried out to investigate the occurrence of hard tick species (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting domestic dogs in Hungary. Forty veterinary clinics from a wide geographical area were asked to collect hard ticks from dogs and to complete a questionnaire. In total, 25 veterinary clinics submitted 900 ticks from 310 dogs. Intensity of infestation ranged from one to 78 per dog. The most preferred sites of tick attachment in decreasing order were head, neck and legs. The majority of ticks (91.7%) were adults, which were identified to species level, the others were nymphs. Six species were found: Dermacentor reticulatus (48.9%), Ixodes ricinus (43.2%), Ixodes canisuga (5.6%), Haemaphysalis concinna (2%) and there was one specimen of both Dermacentor marginatus and Ixodes hexagonus. Single species infestation with I. ricinus or D. reticulatus was found on 145 (46.8%) and 120 animals (38.7%), respectively. Mixed infestation caused by these two species was detected on 24 dogs (7.7%). I. canisuga and H. concinna were found on seven and five dogs, respectively. D. reticulatus and I. ricinus were collected almost throughout the year, except for a single month. The activity peaks were in spring and in autumn for both species. Based on clinical signs, canine babesiosis was diagnosed by the veterinarians in 66 (21.3%) tick infested dogs. These dogs were more frequently infested with D. reticulatus than the others. Our data contribute to the understanding of geographical and seasonal distribution of ixodid tick species infesting dogs in Hungary. The implication of these data, for the risk of canine tick borne diseases is discussed.

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