Mites - Ferrets

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Introduction

Ferrets can get infested particularly with two types of mites, Sarcoptes scabei and Otodectes cynotis.

Scabies

Scabies is caused by Sarcoptes scabei and it is known to affect ferrets.

Clinical Signs

Localised or generalised intense pruritus is typical of scabies infection across species. Alternatively the ferret may present with pruritic pododermatitis, the clinical signs of which are swollen feet, crusts and dystrophic claws - this is specific to the ferret.

Diagnosis

Either deep skin-scrapings (to the level of capillary ooze) followed by microscopic examination to identify the mite or response to trial therapy.

Treatment

Multiple Ivermectin injections usually resolve the infection.


Ear Mites

Ferrets can be infected with the Otodectes cynotis species.

Clinical Signs

The ferret my present asymptomatically or with brown cerumen in the ear canal. Variable levels of pruritus are reported.

Diagnosis

A smear should be made of the ear content and this examined microscopically to identify the mites.

Treatment

Acaricidal ear drops in the affected ferret and all in-contacts including other species such as cats and dogs as the infection can be passed between species.

Multiple Ivermectin injections wil also resolve the infection in the affected ferret.

References

Bond, Hendricks, Loeffler (2009) Veterinary Dermatology RVC Intergrated BVetMed Course, Royal Veterinary College

Merck & Co (2009) The Merck Veterinary Manual (Ninth Edition), Merial




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