An Undescribed Demodex Sp, And Demodicosis In A Captive Koala (Phascolarctos Cinereus)
Linda J. Vogelnest, B.V.Sc, M.A.C.V.Sc, Larry Vogelnest, B.V.Sc, M.V.S., and Ralf S. Mueller, F.A.C.V.SC, Dip. A.C.V.D.
A 12-yr-old male koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) in a zoo collection developed bilateral, noninflammatory, periocular alopecia. Deep periocular skin scrapings yielded multiple adult, nymphal, and larval mites of a previously undescribed Demodex species. Skin biopsies from affected areas revealed multiple mites in superficial keratin and within hair follicles, associated with a mild intramural lymphocytic folliculitis. Treatment with daily oral ivermectin was safe and effective. Although Demodex sp. are previously reported from skin scrapings in another koala with periocular alopecia, this is the first confirmed case of koala demodicosis.