A 34 days-old Spitz puppy was presented with complaint of itching and alopecia. Microscopic examination of the skin scrapping revealed massive infestations of Demodex spp. Remission of clinical signs including absence of pruritus was recorded following treatment of the puppy with herbal ectoparasitic control lotion, oral antibiotic and immune-modulator drug. The degree of mite infestation and its successful therapeutic management with topical application of herbal preparation is discussed in this case report.
Demodicosis is a skin disease of dogs, which is caused by the proliferation of parasitic mite, Demodex canis in hair follicles and sebaceous glands. It causes itching, discomfort and pain, whose severity depends on the extent and seriousness of the skin condition. The disease may involve extensive areas of skin and severe secondary bacterial infections, leading to systemic illness and can be fatal. Juvenile demodicosis affects puppies of less than ten months of age, wherein immune system plays an important role. It is suggested that the puppies having cell-mediated immunity dysfunction have higher incidence of demodicosis (Jeromin, 2006).
A 34 days-old Spitz puppy was presented to Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex, OUAT, Bhubaneswar with complaint of pruritus, alopecia, crusts and scales over abdomen and face region (Fig.1 and 2). The animal had reduced appetite and general weakness owing to severe infestation of mites.
|Fig. 1: Redness, scales and loss of hair over face||Fig. 2: Pustules and scales over abdominal region|
|Fig. 3: Skin Scrapping examination showing Demodexmite|
On clinical examination the puppy was found depressed with severe alopecia and secondary bacterial infection. The mucous membrane of the eye was pale and body weight was 5.5 kg. The vital statistics like rectal temperature, respiration rate and heart rate recorded was 101.6°F, 28/minute and 130 beats per minute respectively. Skin scrapings were collected separately from 4-5 different lesions and examined under low power magnification. The skin scrapping revealed massive infestations of Demodex spp. (Fig. 3).
Treatment and Discussion
The puppy was treated with herbal ectoparasitic control lotion (Zerokeet) topically in 1:2 dilutions, oral antibiotic Cefpodoxime (Cefpet) @10 mg/kg b. wt. once daily and immune-modulator drug like Immuno plus for 15 days. The collected skin scrapping after end of the treatment revealed negative for mites. There was remission of clinical signs including absence of pruritus (Fig.4).
|Fig. 4: Remission of clinical sign after treatment|
Canine demodicosis is a common, noncontagious, inflammatory parasitic dermatoses caused by mostly Demodex canis. The mite is considered to be a normal inhabitant of the canine skin and the disease is thought to be the consequences of immune-suppressive disorders, either genetic or acquired (Sarkar et al., 2004). Canine demodicosis is classified into localized (CLD) as small patches or generalized (CGD) where it all starts from a small area of body then progresses to affect other body sites. Generalized demodicosis may be severe and potentially life threatening disease (Verde, 2005).
Chemicals like chlorinated hydrocarbons, organophosphates, carbamates, formamidines, pyrethroids and macrocyclic lactones are considered as orthodox arsenals to counteract these ectoparasites and their adverse effects. Chemical toxicity, resistance problem, residual effect in animal food products and environmental pollution has also been incriminated with continuous and indiscriminate use of these chemicals (Rajput et al., 2006). Therefore, exploitation of eco-friendly, safe, effective and economical indigenous plant extracts may serve as valuable treatment regimen. Plants are the miraculous laboratories of nature as they provide various kinds of molecules (Fajimi and Taiwo, 2005).
The oral immune-modulator (Immune plus) containing colostrum, Vit. C, Zinc Sulphate, Vit. A and other essential vitamins were used orally for a period of 15 days @ 1.5 ml thrice daily. This might have helped to potentiate the immune system as colostrum contains immunoglobulin. However, there is no documented record of cure of demodecosis following immune plus administration. The better therapeutic outcome may be attributed to modulation of cell mediated immunity that plays an important role in determining the susceptibility of the puppies to demodecosis. Antibiotic was used in the present case to control secondary bacterial infections and to minimize toxicity and toxemia that was associated with rise in body temperature (Radostits et al., 2000).
It was concluded that generalized juvenile demodecosis can be successfully treated with oral immune-modulator, herbal ectoparasitic control lotion along with antibiotic to control secondary bacterial infections.