Sarcoptes spp

From Cow
Adult Sarcoptes scabiei var bovis mite
Alopecia in a cow affected by Sarcoptes mange

Sarcoptes spp are a parasite of cattle which cause a skin disease known as Sarcoptic mange[1].

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

Species which have been reported as parasitic on cattle include:

  • Sarcoptes scabiei var bovis

Clinical signs include intense pruritus, alopecia and self-trauma. The whole body may be involved.

Diagnosis is made by deep skin scrapings, skin biopsy, or response to therapy[2]. Concurrent infections with Demodex spp has been reported[3]

Treatment relies primarily on insecticidal washes or topical drugs such as doramectin, ivermectin[4] or fipronil.

Sarcoptic mange is a zoonotic disease and caution must be exercised in limiting human contact with affected cattle[5].


  1. Domínguez-Peñafiel G et al (2011) Prevalence of ectoparasitic arthropods on wild animals and cattle in the Las Merindades area (Burgos, Spain). Parasite 18(3):251-60
  2. Omudu EA & Amuta EU (2007) Parasitology and urban livestock farming in nigeria: prevalence of ova in faecal and soil samples and animal ectoparasites in Makurdi. J S Afr Vet Assoc 78(1):40-45
  3. 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
  4. Rehbein S et al (2003) Productivity effects of bovine mange and control with ivermectin. Vet Parasitol 114(4):267-284
  5. Kuhn C et al (2008) Characterisation of recombinant immunoreactive antigens of the scab mite Sarcoptes scabiei. Vet Parasitol 153(3-4):329-337