Special ‘smart’ collar could prevent dogs getting tapeworm | TeamDogs

Special ‘smart’ collar could prevent dogs getting tapeworm

It could overcome the difficulties of deworming in remote areas with scarce resources

Chloe Bowen

Posted 2 months ago ago

By Alice Devereux-Evans 

A special 'smart' collar has been invented that could prevent dogs getting tapeworm. Canines have a major role in spreading tapeworm (echinococcosis) to humans around the world, and can be infected with two types of tapeworm. 

In China, a survey showed that one type called cystic echinococcosis, a small tapeworm, is endemic in 368 counties. Dogs play a "significant" role in transmitting tapeworm in these areas and dosing dogs monthly with deworming treatments is difficult. 

The new smart collar has a deworming drug in it which reduces the dog’s risk of tapeworm. 

Professor Xio-Nong Zhou, of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control, and his colleagues developed the collar. It has praziquantel in it, the most effective deworming drug. 

The collar is waterproof, anti-collision, cold-proof and delivers a regular dose of the drug to the dogs. 

Eighteen smart deworming collars were field tested in the Seni district of China, and 523 dogs were tested in Henzuo city. Dogs used in the trial were randomly selected from all the registered dogs in each area. 

Pre-field trials revealed the 551 collars delivered the deworming drug to dogs 88 per cent of the time. This was despite the collars being attached to dogs for a year in remote harsh climates on the Tibetan Plateau. 

The collars were also 100 percent anti-collision, 100 percent cold proof and 99 percent waterproof. 

A whopping 95 percent of dog owners in Seni district and 88 percent in Henzuo city attached the collars to their pets. 

The 'Smart' collar invention in China (Image: Steve Chatterley)

Dogs in Seni district wearing the smart collar had an 18 percent chance of a positive tapeworm test. In Henzuo, dogs wearing the smart collar had a 34 percent risk of a positive tapeworm test. These were compared with a control group.   

Dr Zhou said: "In order to prevent the transmission of echinococcosis from dogs to humans and livestock completely, we developed a smart Internet of Things (IoT)-based deworming collar which can deliver PZQ baits for dogs automatically and regularly." 

He added: "Two pilot studies have showed that it is an excellent alternative to existing manual deworming methods, and the difficulties associated with performing deworming in remote areas with scarce resources can be overcome." 

The findings were published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 

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