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Selamectin Spot-on:A Cure for Scabies in Rabbits

Keerthika Senthil1, Abiramy Prabavathy Arumugam2,*, Vijayalakshmi Padmanaban2, Devadevi Narayanan2, and Rajkumar Karuppaiah3

1 Undergraduate Student, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Puducherry-605009, India

2 Faculty, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Puducherry-605009, India

3 Faculty, Department of Veterinary Clinical Complex, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Puducherry-605009, India


Introduction:Mange in rabbits is a highly contagious zoonotic disease. The disease is caused mainly by Sarcoptes scabiei, Psoroptes cuniculi, Cheyletiella parasitovorax, and Notoedres cati.The most common forms of this disease in rabbits are body and ear mange. Mites infest animals through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated.Case report:An 8-month-old non-descript female rabbit weighing about 700g was presented to the Teaching Veterinary clinical complex, Mettupalayam, Puducherry, India,with a history of scratching, pruritus and dried crusty lesions on the margins of the ears, snout, around the eyes and legs and patchy hair loss for the past15 days.Rectal temperature was 38.4°C, heart rate was 210 bpm, respiratory rate was 40 breaths/minute, and the color of the conjunctival mucous membrane was pink. Other signs includedinappetence with normal voiding habitsand a thin body condition. The collected skin scraping from the affected areas wasexamined under the microscope with a 10x objective lens, confirmingthe presence of live motile Sarcoptesspp. Mite species could be determined through the morphological characteristics (adult mites are nearly circular with short legs,and the third and fourth pairs do not project beyond the margin of the body with terminal anus) under the microscopic examination of the skin scrapings. Therefore,6% selamectin was applied topically on a single spot at the base of the neck. Supportive therapy with multivitamin (vitamin A, D3, E, B12)drops was given orally at1 ml per day.Conclusion:The rabbit responded well to the treatments within 2weeks.

1. Introduction:

Scabies iscaused by the infestation of the burrowing mite Sarcoptes scabiei,which is one of the most severe and highly contagious ectoparasitic skin diseases in rabbits with zoonotic importance1. In rabbits, the disease is caused by the common mite Sarcoptes scabiei var cuniculi,and the life span of the adult mites in thehost’s skin is 3-4 weeks2. The clinical signs include intense pruritus, itching, pyodermatitis,and skin appears as diffuse erythema, thickening, wrinkling, crust formation, scale production, extensive hyperkeratosis and alopecia around the ear’s pinna, nose, lips, face, legs, abdomen, perianal region,and genitalia3,4. Selamectin is a semi-synthetic avermectin that acts on ectoparasites similar to Ivermectin but is used only topically. It binds with high affinity to GABA and Glutamate gated chloride ion channel receptors and blocks the neuronal signals, causingflaccid paralysis of parasites,leading to thedeath of the parasite5. This case report described thesuccessful treatment of a rabbit with scabies mange treated with a selamectin spot-on drop.

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