Dogs cared for in a shelter are dewormed every three-four months, but they all become infected one-two months later by the soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Trichuris vulpis, and Ancylostoma caninum. For the purpose of reducing their risk of infection by decreasing the survival of helminths' infective stages in soil, chlamydospores of two parasiticide fungi, Mucor circinelloides (ovicide) and Duddingtonia flagrans (larvicide) were formulated as handmade edible gelatins and given three days per week for 17 months to 18 dogs (DRF, dogs receiving fungi); a second group was maintained without fungi (CD, control dogs). All individuals were dewormed at months 0, 3, 7, 10 and 13, and it was observed that the levels of helminths egg-output were reduced by 96-98% fourteen days after each treatment. Fecal egg counts of STHs were similar in both groups until the 6th-8th months, and then remained significantly lower in DRF than in CD (42-100% ascarids; 30-100% trichurids and ancylostomatids). According to the results, and considering that gelatin treats have always been fully accepted, it is concluded that this new formulation offers an efficient solution to decrease the risk of infection among dogs maintained in shelters, and is therefore recommended.
Keywords: dogs; edible; endoparasites; prevention; soil filamentous fungi.