Mange Mites of Hamsters

Etiology:  Demodex criceti and Demodex aurati are the mange mites of hamsters.

Incidence:  Mange mites are common.

Transmission:  Transmission occurs by direct contact.

Distribution:

Demodex criceti inhabits pilosebaceous epidermal pits.

Demodex aurati inhabits the hair follicles.

Both species are commonly found infesting the same animal.

Clinical Signs:  Often there are no clinical signs. Rough hair coat, alopecia or scaly dermatitis may develop with predisposing factors such as malnutrition, aging or systemic disease. Lesions generally occur over the back and rump.  D. aurati is considered more pathogenic than D. criceti.

Diagnosis:  Skin scrapings at edges of affected areas for D. criceti, histopathology for D. aurati.

Diagnostic Morphology:  Bullet-shaped mites with 4 pairs of short, stubby legs, small mouthparts and no setae. D. criceti (A.) has a shorter, blunter posterior than that of D. aurati (B.).