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Ectoparasites - Demodex

Demodex bovis: Demodectic or follicular mite.

General Description: These unique, elongated mites are about 0.25mm long with four pairs of short, stout legs, and a long abdomen transversely striated on top and bottom.

Life Cycle: Life cycle not clearly understood. Suspected to be similar to typical mite life cycle.

Location: Skin of neck, legs, shoulders, breast, and dewlap.

Geographical Distribution: Worldwide prevalence, but of lower incidence than the common mange mites.

Significance: Damage to the skin reduces production of leather from carcasses, but it is not prevalent enough to be considered a major parasite of cattle.

Effect on Host: Demodectic mites enter hair follicles and sebaceous glands of the skin, causing chronic inflammation, thickening of skin and hair loss. Bacteria, often Stephylococci, enter frequently and stimulate abscess or nodule formation.

Diagnostic Information: Cheesy material in nodules contains many mites that can be seen microscopically. Longstanding nodules of skin are characteristic of infestation with this mite.

Control: No known methods are very successful. Systemic and topical applications of chemical compounds have given some relief.


Demodex – adult

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