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2007, Vol 2 No 1, Article 12


Efficacy of single dose of Ivermectin against


Psoroptic mange in rabbit


K. A. Shah1 & S. Qureshi2

1Laboratory Officer/ In-charge Animal House , Institute of Animal Health  & Biological Production, Zakura, Animal Husbandry Department-Kashmir, Srinagar, Kashmir, India

2Assistant Professor, Division of Veterinary Microbiology & Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry (SKUAST-K), Shuhama, Aulesteng, Srinagar, Kashmir, India



The study was conducted on New Zealand white rabbits reared under intensive system of housing suffering from mange where Psorptes cuniculi was detected as the etiological agent. A single dose of Ivermectin was found to be highly effective and safe in treating the psoroptic mange in these rabbits.



In India mange infestation caused by Sarcoptes and Psoroptes species is a common disease of rabbits. The disease is more prevalent during stress. Low ambient temperature and high moisture during the winter months favour development of mange mites ( Blood et al, 2002).

Sporadic incidences and outbreaks of mange in rabbits have been reported from India and abroad (Ribbeck, 1976;).



The study was conducted on New Zealand white rabbits reared under intensive system at Animal House, Institute of Animal Health & Biological Products, Zakura. Animals of both sexes aged between 6 months and 3 years revealed symptoms of acute dermatitis, encrustation, loss of hair in face and head region. Skin scrapings were collected and treated with 10% KOH solution. The scrapings were examined for mites following the standard identification technique (Soulsby, 1982).
Thirty five positive cases were randomly allotted to two groups A and B. Animals of group A (n=30) were administered Ivermectin @ 300g/kg body weight subcutaneously as a single dose treatment and animals of group B (n=5) were not given any treatment.
All animals were kept under identical managemental conditions and observed daily for clinical improvement. Skin scrapings were examined on 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th day post-treatment to determine parasitic load.


The affected rabbits had developed bald patches at the base of ear, face and the head with yellowish grey scab in some cases provoking violent scratching. Scrapings from these lesions showed presence of eggs, larvae and adult stages of Psoroptes cuniculi mites. Following treatment with Ivermectin, a significant and progressive decline in parasitic load was observed on 7th, 14th and 21st day and the lesions were found negative for mites and their immature stages on 28th day post treatment.

The animals in untreated control group B continued to suffer with acute infection, lesions extending to involve other body parts, revealing presence of active stages of parasites till the end of the experiment. The clinical findings observed in present study were in accordance with earlier reports of Malcolm and Philip (1979).

Ivermectin has been found highly effective at very low concentrations against ectoparasites in domestic animals. Our observations are in concurrence with earlier reports of Pathak and Chaurasia, (2002) and Ramprabhu et al, (2004).
During present study Psorptes cuniculi was detected, a common mange mite affecting both sexes of all age groups of rabbits raised under intensive system. A single dose of Ivermectin was found highly effective and safe in treating Psoroptic mange in rabbits.


The author is grateful to Joint Director, Institute of Animal Health & Biological Products, Zakura, for providing facilities and valuable guidance as well.



  1. Blood, D. C.; Radostits, O. M.; Henderson, J. A. (2002) Veterinary Medicine (8th Ed.) English Language Book Society/Bailliere Tindall p968-95

  2. Chandra, D and Ghosh, S. S. (1990) Indian Veterinary Journal 67:187-88.

  3. Malcolm-Hime, J and Philip, N. O. Donoghue (1979) A Handbook of Diseases of Laboratory Animals (Ist Ed.) Heineman Veterinary Books, London p170-72

  4. Pathak, A. K and Chaurassia, S. K. (2002) Indian Veterinary Medicine 26:175

  5. Ramprabhu, R.; Chellapandian, M; and Balacharan, S.(2004) Indian Veterinary Journal 81: 1051-52

  6. Ribbeck, R. (1976) Veterinary Bulletin 47:606

  7. Soulsby, E. J. L. (1982) Helminths, arthropods and protozoa of domesticated animals (7th Ed.) Bailliere Tindall, London p809








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