A Survey on the Ectoparasites and Haemoparasites of Grasscutter (Thryonomys Swinderianus) Reared under Captive Conditions

Okeke, J.J, Ikegbunam, N.M, Umeaniebue, A. C, Ezeonyejiaku D.C, Ezeadila, J.O


The survey of ectoparasites and haemoparasites of grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) was carried out using ten grasscutters housed in a two-tier cage hutch and fed with a compounded diet of forage and agricultural by-products. The examination of the grasscutters body for ectoparasites was done carefully by brushing the fur of each grasscutter into a clean white calico material and close monitoring of their skin. The parasites brushed out were collected from the white calico material for examination using a pair of blunt forceps. The parasites collected were identified in the laboratory. The ectoparasites identified were Ixodes aulacodi,, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Xenopsyllacheopis with Ixodes aulacodi being  the most prevalent (50% infection) and Xenopsylla cheopis being the least prevalent (20% infection). The haemoparasites were identified in the laboratory through parasitological diagnosis using Giemsa stained thin and thick films and Delafield’s haematoxylin stained thick film preparation. The blood samples were subjected to a saline wet mount as well as microhaemocrit concentration technique. The haemoparasites identified were Plasmodium and Trypanosoma species with equal prevalence of 10%. The result of this experiment was subjected to statistical analysis using chi-square test and this showed a significant difference (P > 0.05) in prevalence between male and female grasscutters.  It is hereby recommended that farmers should seek veterinary services to ensure good health of the animals, high productivity and to avoid cross infection to humans.

Keywords: Ectoparasite, Haemoparasites and Grasscutter

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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