The current paper reviews and critiques information about acaricides that have been used or could potentially be used to remove the mite s.scabiei from naturally reared free wombats. The means by which these conclusions are reached are contained in the body of the paper. 10 per cent Sulphur in oil, self applied by the wombat via a distribution device hung over burrows rates as the method which best meets the criteria set down in paper number one. The first report into Mange researched available literature, critiqued existing studies and looked at impediments to action. Its' main conclusions are contained in the summary given below.
1. Sarcoptic mange is caused by a mite that can be easily eradicated using a variety of acaricides. These acaricides exist naturally,eg; sulphur, lemon juice, eucalyptus/tea tree oil or are synthesised eg; ivermectin, selamectin, benzyl benzoate,and used in commercially registered products eg; revolution, ivomec or cydectin, amongst others.
2. The intensity of mite infestation correlates with the severity of clinical signs seen in infested animals.
3. If left, in general, sarcoptic mange progresses, mites increase incrementally and the affected wombat dies. We know this death is slow and painful and avoidable.
4. The death of an heavily infested wombat in its burrow, if shared with another wombat, is the most likely means by which an intense load of mites will be transferred to another wombat, sufficient, irrespective of previous contact to the mite and possibility of immunity, to cause sarcoptic mange in that animal.
5. Mites do not live long off their host and burrows, even if infested via the death of a wombat from sarcoptic mange , will be mite free within three weeks. Leaving wombats with sarcoptic mange to die is unethical and likely to lead to more wombats dying from mange.
6. Treating wombats with early stages of clinical signs will lead to complete resolution of mange and the wombat will be healthy and not more likely to become reinfested, probably less so.
From what we know, we recommend;
1. Action to eradicate mange in wombats should be taken.
2. Wombats with clinical signs of mange should be treated with an acaracide.
3. Wombats with severe mange should be targeted for treatment and need, in addition to acaricidal treatment, antibiotics to assist secondary infections and thus prevent their deaths. Treatment of these animals is particularly important not only to prevent their suffering but to ensure no other wombat becomes infested.
4. Carers of hand reared wombats turning these animals from captive to free should avoid burrows where a wombat has died from sarcoptic mite infestation for at least three weeks.
Carers of wombats with severe mange should avoid allowing that animal
to die and if it does should ensure no other wombat has contact with its
bedding, housing or burrow for a period of at least three weeks.
Courtesy R Holme
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