Disease control through fertility control: Secondary benefits of animal birth control in Indian street dogs

Andrew J. Yoak, John F. Reece, Stanley D. Gehrt, Ian M. Hamilton
2014 Preventive Veterinary Medicine  
We sought to (1) survey sexually intact street dogs for a wide range of diseases in three cities in Rajasthan, India and (2) evaluate links between the health of non-treated dogs and both the presence and duration of animal birth control (ABC) programs. ABC regimes sterilize and vaccinate stray dogs in an attempt to control their population and the spread of rabies. They are commonly suggested to improve the health of those dogs they serve, but here we provide evidence that these benefits also
more » ... hese benefits also extend to untreated dogs in the community. Viral and bacterial disease seroprevalences were assessed in 240 sexually intact street dogs from Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Sawai Madhopur cities in October and September 2011. Those individuals and 50 additional dogs were assessed for the presence of ticks, fleas, fight wounds, and given body condition scores. Dogs in cities with an ABC program had with significantly (p < 0.05) higher overall body condition scores, lower prevalence of open wounds likely caused by fighting, flea infestations, infectious canine hepatitis, Ehrlichia canis, Leptospira interrogans serovars, and canine distemper virus antibodies. However, those same dogs in cities with ABC programs had significantly higher prevalence of Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) infestations. Canine parvovirus and Brucella canis prevalences were not significantly different between cities. This study is the first to demonstrate the health benefits of ABC on non-vaccinated diseases and non-treated individuals.
doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2013.09.005 pmid:24239212 fatcat:2ezt2aqz4vdbdpszjcg4y477cm