Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Skin: parasitic disease - overview

Contributor(s): Karen Campbell, David Scarff


  • One of the most common causes of dermatoses in dogs.
  • Cause: parasitic infection.
  • Signs: mild to severe skin lesions +/- systemic involvement, pruritus.
  • Diagnosis: skin scrapes, identification of parasite, response to treatment.
  • Treatment: effective use of antiparasitic agent.
  • Prognosis: good with effective treatment.
  • Non-parasitic insects can also be implicated.



Mites Insects Helminths
  • Ancylostoma braziliense, Ancylostoma caninum(not seen in UK),Uncinaria stencephala, ancyostomiasis and uncinariasis, hookworm dermatitis.
  • Pelodera strongyloides, pelodera dermatitis (not in UK).
  • Strongyloides stercoralis, strongyloides stercoralis-like infection (one report, not in UK).
  • Anatrichosoma cutaneum, anatrichosomiasis (only in Africa).
  • Schistosomiasis (not in UK).
  • Dracunculusspp, dracunculiasis (not in UK).
  • Dirofilaria immitus, dirofilariasis Canine cardiopulmonary dirofilariasis (rare in UK - not endemic).
  • Taenia crassiceps(one report, USA).
  • Habronemiaspp (one report, USA).
  • Gnathostoma spinigerum(one report, Australia).
  • Lagochiascaris major(one report, Brazil).
Ticks Rickettsia
  • Rickettsia rickettsii, Rocky mountain spotted fever (USA only).
Protozoa Non-parasitic mites and insects
  • Environmental mites, egDermatophagoides pteronyssinus,Dermatophagoides farinae.
  • Spiders.
  • Bees.
  • Wasps , see canine facial eosinophilic folliculitis and furunculosis Skin: eosinophilic folliculitis and furunculosis.
  • Hornets.
  • Moths.
  • Ants.
  • Caterpillars.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Nesbitt G H & Ackerman L J (1991)Dermatology for the Small Animal Practitioner.Veterinary Learning Systems Co. pp 32 (Excellent table of common parasitic diseases with history, clinical signs and diagnosis).
  • Scott D W, Miller W H & Griffin C E (1995)Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology.5th edition. Philadelphia: W B Saunders Company. pp 392-468 (Detailed dermatology text book for in-depth reading).