New Year, New Problem
A litter of three Labrador retriever mix puppies were rescued from a local shelter in Oklahoma. As part of the clinical exam a fecal analysis was performed. The following eggs and parasites were observed on fecal centrifugation with sugar Sheather’s solution (Images 1-3).
Image 1: Parasite eggs at 100x magnification. Arrow pointing to egg measuring 150 µM x 75 µM.
Image 2: 100x magnification.
Image 3: Arrows pointing to distinct feature of the parasite.
Sarcoptes scabiei, also called scabies mite in dogs. Sarcoptes are found in domestic animals and humans. They are transmitted by direct contact with an infested animal or contaminated fomites. Female mites burrow into the epidermis and deposit eggs. (Numerous Toxocara canis also observed on image.)
Sarcoptes cause pruritus, alopecia and thickening of the skin. Although initially found on areas with thick skin or hairless, they can affect large areas of the skin.
Skin scrapings are the diagnostic method, however mites can be difficult to recover. In some cases, mites are passed in the feces of the host after they ingest them while trying to relieve the intense pruritus.
Female mites measure an average of 400 µM while males are smaller around 250 µM. They both have suckers on the unsegmented stalks on first and second pairs (image 4, small arrows) and males also have suckers on the fourth pair. The third and fourth pair of legs are short and rarely project past the margin of the body.
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