Demodex spp

From Cow
Adult Demodex mite
Modules in a cow affected by demodectic mange

Demodex spp are a parasitic mite of cattle which cause a skin disease known as demodectic mange or nodular demodicosis[1].

Demodectic mange is a contagious disease spread by direct contact or via fomites.

Species which have been reported as parasitic on cattle include:

Clinical signs include the presence of nodules as well as areas of alopecia in the front part of the body. Demodicosis is not usually associated with pruritus. Nodular cattle demodicosis is characterised by the permanent genesis of new and disappearance of older nodules.

Diagnosis is made by deep skin scrapings, skin biopsy, or response to therapy. Concurrent infections with Sarcoptes spp has been reported[4]

Treatment relies primarily on insecticidal washes or topical drugs such as doramectin, ivermectin[5] or fipronil.


  1. Matthes HF et al (1994) Investigations of pathogenesis of cattle demodicosis: sites of predilection, habitat and dynamics of demodectic nodules. Vet Parasitol 53(3-4):283-291
  2. Matthes HF & Bukva V (1993) Features of bovine demodecosis (Demodex bovis Stiles, 1892) in Mongolia: preliminary observations. Folia Parasitol (Praha) 40(2):154-155
  3. Bukva V et al (1986) Demodex tauri sp. n. (Acari: Demodicidae), a new parasite of cattle. Folia Parasitol (Praha) 33(4):363-369
  4. Hamid ME et al (2006) Unusual manifestation of a concurrent demodectic and sarcoptic mange in a Zebu-Friesian cross-bred heifer. J S Afr Vet Assoc 77(2):90-91
  5. Rehbein S et al (2003) Productivity effects of bovine mange and control with ivermectin. Vet Parasitol 114(4):267-284