Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infections are the main impediments that restrict the welfare and productivity of small ruminant in the world. Effective management of GINs in grazing sheep relies heavily on the use of highly efficacious anthelmintic drugs. However, anthelmintic resistance is becoming a significant concern in the world, and this phenomenon severely threatens the potential utilisation of this control strategy. Therefore, this study was conducted 1) to evaluate the efficacy of commonly used anthelmintic on GINs in naturally infected sheep and 2) to assess the farmers' perception on anthelmintics utilisation practices in Dabat district, Northwest Ethiopia.
One hundred twenty nematode infected sheep were used in this study. Sheep were selected based on the egg count (≥150 eggs per gram of faeces). The animals were allocated randomly into four groups (30 animals per group). Group-I, II and III were treated with Albendazole, Tetramisole, and Ivermectin, respectively. The 4th group was left untreated (as control). Faecal samples were collected on day 0 (before treatment), on day 3, 7, 10 and 14 (post-treatment). The modified McMaster technique was used for quantifying the eggs. Faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) was applied to determine the efficacy of anthelmintic at day 14 (post-treatment). In addition, a questionnaire survey was conducted on 100 randomly selected sheep owners.
All anthelmintics tested revealed significant (P < 0.05) reduction in nematode egg excretion in the sheep post-treatment. Faecal egg count reduction (FECR) levels for Albendazole, Tetramisole, and Ivermectin were 97.2, 98.9 and 97.7%, respectively. Post-treatment egg counts and percentage reduction of egg counts were not significantly different (P > 0.05) among the treatment groups. The nematode genera identified before treatment were Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus, Cooperia, Trichuris, Teladorsagia, Bunostomum, and Strongyloides. Haemonchus and Trichostrongylus were detected after treatment with Albendazole and Ivermectin. The questionnaire survey revealed that Albendazole was the most commonly (90%) used anthelmintic to treat nematodes in sheep, followed by Tetramisole (36%) and Tetraclozan (Tetramisole-Oxyclozanide combination) (20%). Respondents expressed that anthelmintic selection was made based on veterinarian prescription (84%), colour (27%), efficacy (4%), price affordability (1%) and availability (1%).
This study demonstrated that the tested anthelmintics had an acceptable level of efficacy against GINs of sheep.