Vector-Borne Diseases in Dogs in Baltic and Nordic Countries: A Questionnaire Study
Canine vector-borne parasitic diseases are spreading north in Europe.
We surveyed how large a proportion of veterinarians in Baltic and Nordic countries saw cases of canine babesiosis and infections with Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens in dogs in 2016.
An online questionnaire was open 01.01.–31.01.2017. Data were analyzed using OpenEpi and Stata.
Altogether 123 veterinarians completed the questionnaire. More than half of veterinarians from Baltic countries and 10% from Nordic countries had seen canine babesiosis. Over 20% of the cases in Baltic countries and almost 80% in Nordic countries reportedly had a history of travel or import. Almost 25% of veterinarians in Baltic countries and over 10% in Nordic countries had seen a dog with D. immitis. A single case in Baltic countries but 80% of the cases in Nordic countries reportedly had a history of travel or import. Almost 25% of veterinarians in Baltic countries but few in Nordic countries had seen a dog with D. repens. None of the cases in Baltic countries reportedly had history of travel or import, while most in Nordic countries did. While 48% of veterinarians knew that canine babesiosis is not a zoonosis, 26% knew that D. immitis is zoonotic and 34% knew that D. repens is zoonotic.
The results indicate that there were local cases of the three vector-borne parasitic infections in Baltic countries, while most cases seen in Nordic countries appeared imported. Substantial proportion of colleagues did not know whether the parasites are zoonotic.