Toxocara canis is one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal parasites of dogs and other canids worldwide. The closeness shared between humans and their companion animals (dogs) exposes humans to high risk of T. canis eggs, which leads to Visceral Larva Migrans (VLM) and Ocular Larval Migrans (OLM). This cross-sectional study was design to determine the prevalence and intensity of Toxocara canis eggs on the hair of dogs in Saki town, Oyo State. Six hundred and twenty seven (627) hair samples were collected from three regions (neck, dorsum, and peri-anal regions) of two hundred and nine (209) dogs between July 2019 and January 2020. Socio-demographic data, associated risk factors and knowledge about the T. canis were obtained from dog owners using a structured questionnaire. T. canis eggs were recovered from the dog hair strands using previously standardized method. Hair samples from 84 dogs were infected with eggs of T. canis giving an overall prevalence of 40.2%. Generally, a significantly higher (p?0.05) prevalence of T. canis eggs was recorded among female dogs (47.4%) than male dogs (34.2%). Significantly higher(p?0.05) prevalence of T. canis eggs was recorded among the adult dogs (48.8%) than puppies (41.6%) and the juveniles (21.3%). Higher prevalence of infection was recorded among stray(67.4%) than kenneled (20.0%). A generally low knowledge of T. canis was observed in this study whereby none of the dog owners claimed to have knowledge about toxocariasis and canine zoonoses. A bivariate logistic regression analysis showed a significant association between the age, sex and mode of life of the dogs examined. The study concluded that dogs in the study area harbour T. canis eggs on their body especially the stray dogs and puppies hence direct contact with infected dogs could be a potential risk factor for the transmission of T. canis eggs to humans.
Keywords: Prevalence, Eggs, Toxocara canis, Nigeria, Dogs, Saki, Zoonoses, Intensity