Diagnosis-based treatment of helminths in captive and wild cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

  • December 1, 2012
  • by M. Mény, A. Schmidt-Küntzel, Marker L. L.


This study was designed to identify endoparasites in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) living in a seminatural captive environment in north-central Namibia. Results were used to assess the need for anthelmintic treatment and for the selection of an appropriate drug. The study assessed fecal parasite excretion qualitatively and quantitatively using a fecal flotation method during the winter of 2009. Four different species of parasites (two nematodes and two coccidias) were identified. Parasite excretion rates were found to be significantly lower than that of wild cheetahs living in the same area. Samples of the wild cheetahs were obtained at the time of anesthesia or were attributed to the wild individuals using genetic profiling. Captive cheetahs were dewormed with fenbendazole, whereas wild cheetahs were treated using ivermectin. Efficacy of these treatments was demonstrated at the end of the study.

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