Species affected: Dogs, cats (occasionally)
Background: A parasitic mite common to young dogs, which usually resolves spontaneously. Older dogs with chronic demodicosis have a serious immune deficiency appear responsive to supplementation; occurs in cats but is extremely rare.
Symptoms: The skin lesions are initially visible on the feet, face and abdomen, and may spread to cover the entire body. There is hair loss, a reddening of the skin and scaly desquamation. Secondary bacterial infections are common (frequently Staphylococcal), causing pustular lesions to form; this may appear over the entire body.
Diagnostics: Microscopic slide preparations made from material from deep skin scrapings.
Special Notes: The mite is not contagious but may appear in several animals from the same litter due to a general immune system compromise of that litter. They tend to appear only in immune-compromised animals, and as such can be difficult to cure, since the immune system allows the parasite easy entry.
Principles for Supplementation: Assisting the health of the immune system is important, without overstimulating it.