The "mite"mare before Christmas
A 2-year-old African Pygmy Hedgehog, was presented with history of mucoid diarrhea for the past 24 hours. A centrifugal fecal flotation was performed and several of the following mites were observed.
Image 1 & 2: Mites found on fecal flotation
Image 3: Arrow pointing to trilobate laminate projection
Caparinia tripilis are Psoroptid mites that infest hedgehogs as well as other mammals. The mites feed on skin cells and epidermal debris. Two species are known to infest hedgehogs, C. tripilis and C. erinacei, with the first one being more pathogenic and forming clusters on its host. Caparinia tripilis has a posterior end of the abdomen with trilobate laminate projection on either side and contain a long seta (Image 3) while C. erinacei has two bilobate laminate projections.
The mites burrow into the skin of ears, head, and sides of the legs causing irritation, pruritus, and self-trauma that can lead to infection. On this case, the mucoid diarrhea was not caused by the mite infestation.
Have feedback on the cases or a special case you would like to share? Please email us. We will appropriately credit all submittors for any cases and photos provided.