Generalized Demodicosis
July 2014

A 9 month old, male intact Boxer presented for alopecic lesions of 2-3 weeks duration. The owners reported mild pruritis and a history of fleas. Flea preventative (Frontline) was initiated and mostly resolved the pruritis per the owner.

On physical examination, he had multifocal alopecic, scaly lesions on his trunk and was thin. A skin scraping was performed and 3+ Demodexmites were observed. He was diagnosed with juvenile onset generalized demodicosis. A heartworm test was also submitted and found to be negative.

Classically, with generalized demodicosis the entire dog is affected with patchy alopecic lesions, skin infections and scaly skin. The secondary bacterial infections make this an itchy and often smelly skin disease. The approach to generalized demodicosis typically depends on the age at which the dog develops the disease.

Oral Ivermectin was dispensed along with DermaZoo’s GlycoBenz Shampoo and 3 weeks of the antibiotic, Simplicef®. The dose of Ivermectin was increased every 3 days until a dose of 600 mcg/kg orally once daily was reached. The gradual dose increase was was intended to make sure the dog could tolerate the Ivermectin. The owner was instructed to give a bath with GlycoBenz Shampoo twice weekly.

Re-check of the patient 4 weeks later revealed fewer alopecic lesions and 2+ Demodex mites on skin scraping. The owner was instructed to continue the oral Ivermectin. Re-check 2 weeks later revealed 1+ mites and very few lesions. The owner was again instructed to continue the oral Ivermectin. Re-checks at 2 weeks and then 4 weeks revealed no mites on skin scraping. The owner was instructed to continue the oral
Ivermectin for 2 additional weeks after the second consecutive negative skin scraping was performed.

In addition to treating the Demodex, it was recommended that flea preventative (Frontline) was continued on a monthly basis and the environment (owner’s home) be treated for fleas with a thorough cleaning. Additionally, the dog’s caloric intake was increased for weight gain. Finally, the dog was neutered at 1 year of age.