Veterinary World

     Open access and peer reviewed journal  

ISSN (Online): 2231-0916


Home l Editorial board l Instructions for authors l Reviewer guideline l Open access policy l Archives l FAQ

Open Access

Copyright: The authors. This article is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

( which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

Research (Published online: 10-07-2015)

5.  Animal health care seeking behavior of pets or livestock owners and knowledge and awareness on zoonoses in a university community - Emmanuel J. Awosanya and H. O. Akande

Veterinary World, 8(7): 841-847



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2015.841-847


Emmanuel J. Awosanya: Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria;

H. O. Akande: Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan,

Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria;


Received: 09-02-2015, Revised: 05-06-2015, Accepted: 12-06-2015, Published online: 10-07-2015


Corresponding author: Emmanuel J. Awosanya, e-mail:

Citation: Awosanya EJ, Akande HO (2015) Animal health care seeking behavior of pets or livestock owners and knowledge and awareness on zoonoses in a university community, Veterinary World 8(7): 841-847.

Aim: We investigated the attitude of pets or livestock owning households in a university community to animal health care services and assessed the knowledge and awareness level of the residents on zoonoses.

Materials and Methods: Structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on demography, pet or livestock ownership, animal health care seeking behavior, awareness and knowledge of zoonoses from 246 households. We did descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis to determine the level of association in discrete variables between owners and non-owners of pets or livestock at a significant level of p<0.05.

Results: Of the 246 respondents, 80 (32.5%) were either pet or livestock owners. The animal health care seeking behavior of the 80 pets or livestock owners in terms of treatment and vaccination was 70%. Of the 56 (70%) who provided health care services for their animals, about 48 (85.7%) engaged the services of a veterinarian. Dog owning households (42) had the highest frequency of treating their pets against endoparasites (97.6%); ectoparasites (81%) and vaccination against diseases (73.8%). Of the 246 respondents, only 47 (19.1%) have heard of the term zoonoses. Of the considered zoonoses; their awareness of rabies (79.3%) was the highest, followed by Lassa fever (66.3%), the least was pasteurellosis with 18.7%. Having pets or livestock was significantly associated (p=0.04) with rabies awareness. However, there is no significant difference in the level of awareness of zoonoses; knowledge of zoonoses, knowledge of prevention of zoonoses and knowledge of risk of zoonoses between owners and non-owners of pets or livestock.

Conclusion: The animal health care seeking behavior of households with pets or livestock is good and should be encouraged. Public education should be created for other zoonoses aside from rabies, Lassa fever, and avian influenza.

Keywords: attitude, education, households, Nigeria, treatment, vaccination.

1. Anderson, W.P., Reid, C.M. and Jennings, G.L. (1992) Pet ownership and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Med. J. Aust., 157: 298-301.
2. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). (2001) Livestock keeping in urban areas. Available from: Retrieved on 20-03-2014.
3. Economides, S. (2007) The role of veterinary statutory bodies and associations in the promotion of the veterinary profession and upgrading of veterinary services. Conference Proceedings of the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health). p165-173.
4. Grant, S. and Olsen, C.W. (1999) Preventing zoonotic diseases in immunocompromised persons: The role of physicians and veterinarians. Emerg. Infect. Dis., 5(1): 159-163.
PMid:10081686 PMCid:PMC2627689
5. World Health Organization (WHO). (2015) Zoonoses. Available from: Retrieved on 07-01-2015.
6. Stull, J.W., Peregrine, A.S., Sargeant, J.M. and Weese, J.S. (2012) Household knowledge, attitudes and practices related to pet contact and associated zoonoses in Ontario, Canada. BMC Public Health, 12: 553. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-553.
7. Digoutte, J.P. (1999) Present Status of an arbovirus infection: Yellow fever, its natural history of hemorrhagic fever, rift valley fever. Bull. Soc. Pathol. Exot., 92(5): 343-348.
8. Anonymous. (2008) University of Ibadan Population. Available from: Retrieved on 01-10-2011.
9. Bennett, S., Woods, T., Liyanage, W.M. and Smith, D.L. (1991) A simplified general method for cluster-sample surveys of health in developing countries. World Health Stat. Q., 44: 98-106.
10. Awosanya, A.E.J. and Adebimpe, A.P. (2013) Factors associated with rabies awareness and attitude to dog bite in a university community. Bull. Anim. Health Prod. Afr., 61(4): 559-570.
11. Hergert, M. and Nel, L.H. (2013) Dog bite histories and responses to incidents in canine rabies – Enzootic KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis., 7(4): e2059. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002059.
12. Tesfaye, D., Fekede, D., Tigre, W., Regassa, A. and Fekadu, A. (2013) Perception of the public on the common zoonotic diseases in Jimma, southwestern Ethiopia. Int. J. Med. Med. Sci., 5(6): 279-285.
13. Adedeji, A.O., Eyarefe, O.D., Okonkwo, I.O., Ojezele, M.O., Amusan, T.A. and Abubakar, M.J. (2010) Why is there still rabies in Nigeria? A review of the current and future trends in the epidemiology, prevention, treatment, control and possible elimination of rabies. Br. J. Dairy Sci., 1(1): 10-25.
14. Tobin, E.A., Asogun, D.A., Isah, E.C., Ugege, O.G. and Ebhodaghe, P. (2013) Assessment of knowledge and attitude towards Lassa fever among primary care providers in an endemic suburban community of Edo state: Implications for control. J. Med. Med. Sci., 4(8): 331-318.
15. Public Health England (PHE). (2014) Viral haemorrhagic fevers: epidemiology, characteristics, diagnosis and management. Available from: Retrieved on 31-12-2014.
16. Ibhafidon, O.D., Olugasa, B.O., Meg, A.E., Ibhafidon, A. and Anyanwu, S.N. (2011) Creating awareness of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) among poultry workers in Nigeria: A strategy for enhancing economic development and health status of humans. J. Environ. Issues Agric. Dev. Ctries., 3(2): 93-100.
17. Pfukenyi, D., Chipunga, S., Dinginya, L. and Matenga, E. (2010) A survey of pet ownership, awareness and public knowledge of pet zoonoses with particular reference to roundworms and hookworms in Harare, Zimbabwe. Trop. Anim. Health Prod., 42(2): 247-252.
18. Fontaine, R.E. and Schantz, P.M. (1989) Pet ownership and knowledge of zoonotic diseases in De Kalb county, Georgia. Anthrozoos, 3(1): 45-49.
19. Achoja, F.O., Ike, P.C. and Akporhuarcho, P.O. (2010) Economics of veterinary services delivery among commercial poultry farmers in a market-driven economy: Evidence from Delta State, Nigeria. Int. J. Polut. Sci., 9(12): 1140-1145.
20. Beam, A.L., Thilmany, D.D., Garber, L.P., VanMetre, D.C., Pritchard, R.W., Kopral, C.A. and Olea-Popelka, F.J. (2013) Factors affecting use of veterinarians by small-scale food animal operations. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 243(9): 1334-1344.
21. Onono, J.O., Wieland, B. and Rushton, J. (2013) Factors influencing choice of veterinary service provider by pastoralist in Kenya. Trop. Anim. Health Prod., 45(6): 1439-45. doi 10.1007/s 11250-013-0382-7.