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Alopecia in a captive koala. Tarra Johnson Biology Department Eastern CT State University . An undescribed Demodex sp. and Demodicosis in a captive Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 2000, 31(1):100-106.

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alopecia in a captive koala

Alopecia in a captive koala

Tarra Johnson

Biology Department

Eastern CT State University


An undescribed Demodex sp. and Demodicosis in a captive Koala(Phascolarctos cinereus)Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 2000, 31(1):100-106

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.

  • Described by the dictionary - n : loss of hair (especially on the head) or wool or feathers; in humans it can result from heredity or hormonal imbalance or certain diseases or drugs and treatments (chemotherapy for cancer)
  • Not all Alopecia is cancer related
demodex sp of mites
Demodex sp. of Mites
  • Very small, only 0.1- 0.4 mm.
  • Usually present in mammals with out problems.
  • High percentage of mites found in older people with out symptoms.
  • Often inflamed by bacterial infection and host factors
  • Distinctive shape fused head and thorax
demodex sp pictures
Demodex sp. Pictures

Human follicle mite

Caused by Demodex canis

alopecia near the eye
Alopecia near the eye
  • Easily accessible for bacteria
  • Deep skin scrapings confirm mites
  • Along with inflammation, redness and swelling
  • Hair follicle plump, short and sebaceous glands prominent appearing below the bulb of hair follicle
demodex in the koala s skin
Demodex in the Koala’s Skin
  • Commonly called follicle mites
  • Often found in the hair follicles and sebaceous gland of the face.
  • Other areas
  • Severe cases animal may have to be euthanized
  • 7 days of ophthalmic ointment containing neomycin and polymixin B, sulfacetamide sodium prednisolone.
  • After relapse Oral Ivermectin
  • For human cases various creams
  • Cortisone shots
  • Some people use Rogaine with Minoxidil
  • In some cases none of the treatment work
  • Periocular alopecia after 3 days
  • 6 months of treatment with same ointment
  • Ocular discharge resolved
  • Alopecia remianed the same for 7 months with out treatment
  • Alopecia became more extensive
  • Oral Ivermectin used with success
  • Other than Alopecia Koala remained healthy until death as a result of Leukemia
  • Abundance of mite population associated with failing T-lymphocyte function.
  • Mild cases may lead to an underlying disease.
  • Ivermectin is toxic and must given in small doses to build up to larger amounts