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J Wildl Dis. 1991 Jan;27(1):105-9.

Prevalence and geographical distribution of the ear canker mite (Otodectes cynotis) among arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) in Iceland.

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Institute of Experimental Pathology, Keldur, Reykjavik, Iceland.


Three hundred forty five adult arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) from all counties in Iceland were examined for excess cerumen and ear canker mites (Otodectes cynotis). Only 13 foxes (4%) from a single county in northwestern Iceland were infested, where the prevalence of otodectiasis was 38%. Whether or not this parasite is new to the arctic fox in Iceland is unknown. If it is recently introduced, possible sources of infestation are farmed silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes), domestic dogs, domestic or feral cats, and arctic foxes from Greenland. It appears that the rate of transmission between adult foxes is low; a more common route of transmission is probably from the mother to her offspring or between vixens breeding in the same dens in subsequent years by contamination of the dens. No correlation was found between the prevalence of mites in foxes and Samson character.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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