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Gastrointestinal Parasites of Non-descript Goats (capra hircus) in Semi-Arid Zone of Southern India

Jayakumar Devadharshini1* , Cattavarayane Mathivathani2 , and Siddhartha Sankar Das2 1 Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Kurumbapet, Puducherry, India 2 Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Kurumbapet, Puducherry, India * Corresponding author: Jayakumar Devadharshini, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research Email:


The current study was conducted to know the occurrence of gastrointestinal parasitism in two semi-intensive goat farms owned by small-scale farmers of Puducherry, a semi-arid zone of Southern India. The primary aim of this study was to identify the gastrointestinal parasites in non-descript goats of selected farms in Puducherry, a semi-arid zone of Southern India. The samples included 18 goats from Thirukkanur farm, and 7 goats from Kombakkam farm. The goats had a history of recurrent diarrhea, improper vaccination, and deworming status. There was no information on treatment history. Fresh fecal samples (n = 25) were collected per rectum from the non-descript goats belonging to different age groups and sex. The collected fresh fecal samples were processed by qualitative fecal examination, such as direct smear examination, sedimentation, and flotation techniques. Of 25 fecal samples, 23 (92%) samples were found positive. Upon microscopic examination, different gastrointestinal parasites in the non-descript goats of the targeted area include Strongyles (68%), Amphistomes (48%), Strongyloides spp. (36%), Moniezia spp. (8%), and Trichuris spp. (4%). A higher incidence of gastrointestinal parasites was found in the non-descript goats of the study location. Among these, nematodes constitute about (Strongyles, Strongyloides spp., Trichuris spp.) 80%, trematode (Amphistomes) 12%, and cestode (Moniezia spp.) 8% were found to be predominant. It is reported that among all the gastrointestinal parasites, the nematode strongyle infection is higher in non-descript goats.


Goats are multi-functional animals and play a significant role in the economy and nutrition of landless, small, and marginal farmers in India1. Goats are very important livestock in India, mainly because of their short generation intervals and higher rates of prolificacy, where the goats and their products can be easily marketed2. Many goats are reared in arid areas, and most of them are hardy indigenous breeds, adapted to grazing in degraded environments3. As of 2019, the total Livestock population of India is 535.78 million, and goats constitute about the population of 148.88 million4. Goats have the widest ecological range among all species of farm animals and have been poor people’s most reliable livelihood resources5. The goats can sustain themselves on sparse vegetation and extreme climatic condition2. The nondescript population includes cross-bred populations, a mixture of different breeds or populations that have not yet been studied or described6. Gastroenteritis caused by parasites continues to pose a serious health threat and limitation to the productivity of small ruminants7. The prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths is related to agro-climatic conditions like quantity and quality of pasture, temperature, humidity, and grazing behavior of the host8. Gastrointestinal (GI) parasitism in animals is one the major problems in India, causing emaciation, anemia, edema, weakness, diarrhea, and death in affected animals9. The seasonal prevalence of parasitic GI infection is high in monsoon, moderate in summer and low in winter10. The present study was conducted to know the occurrence of GI parasites in the suspected farms.

2. Materials and Methods 2.1. Ethical approval The study was conducted based on the ethical guidelines governed by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, India.

2.2. Study area The study was carried out in the Union Territory of Puducherry, India, in June 2022. The geographical location of Puducherry is situated between 11°42’and 12°30’ north latitude and between 76o 36’ and 79o 53’ east longitude with an area of 294 square kilometers. Puducherry has a semi-arid type of climate with an average elevation of 3 meters from sea level with a mean annual temperature of around 30o C and 70- 85 % relative humidity11. It receives rainfall mainly through the North-East monsoon from November to January and from July to September. Puducherry experiences a hot and humid climate for the maximum part of the year, with temperatures varying between 26°C and 38°C. The summer season extends from March to July, and the temperature is within the range of 24.50-38°C12. The fecal samples were collected from nondescript goats of two different goat owners who had 18 and 7 goats from Thirukkanur and Kombakkam areas, respectively. The samples were collected based on a request for fecal examination from the animal owners to know the reason for recurrent diarrhea in the farms. The animals were serially numbered from 1 to 25 for easy documentation, as no identification tags were available. The age and sex of the animal are presented in Table 1.

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