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Acta Vet Hung. 2015 Sep;63(3):352-7. doi: 10.1556/004.2015.033.

Treatment of naturally acquired demodectic mange with amitraz in two harbour seals (Phoca vitulina).

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Animal Health Center of Zoo Land, Daejeon O-World Theme Park , Jung-gu, Daejeon , Korea.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kyungpook National University , Daehakro, Buk-gu, Daegu 702-701 , Korea.


Two male harbour seals (Phoca vitulina; 33 and 35 years old, respectively), housed since 2002 at a zoo for exhibition purposes, developed severe, multifocal and diffuse skin lesions. Skin scrapings and microscopy for parasites as well as pure cultures for bacteria and dermatophytes were carried out to identify the aetiological agent. Skin scrapings showed that lesions appearing on the seals were caused by an infestation of Demodex mites, which is uncommon in marine mammals, and were not due to other causative agents (parasites, bacteria or dermatophytes). Treatment with amitraz (0.01%) once a week for three weeks and with ampicillin (10 mg/kg SID per os) for six days eliminated the mites and resolved the clinical signs of demodectic mange in the harbour seals. The purpose of this report is to describe the successful treatment of naturally acquired demodectic mange with amitraz in harbour seals.


Phoca vitulina; demodicosis; harbour seal; mite infestation; zoo


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