Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Cheyletiella yasguri

Synonym(s): Cheyletiella parasitivorax, Cheyletiella blakei

Contributor(s): Susan Dawson, Maggie Fisher, Flemming Kristensen, Rosanna Marsella




  • Taxonomic tree.
  • Class: Arachnida.
  • Family: Cheyletidae.
  • Genus: Cheyletiella.

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Clinical Effects



  • Adults, larvae and nymphs on the surface of the dorsum of cats Cheyletiella yasguri: walking dandruff ; eggs attached to hairs.
  • Mites normally do not live on man, just transferring over to bite.


  • Cheyletiella life cycle Lifecycle: Cheyletiella yasguri - diagram .
    • Adult.
    • Egg.
    • Larva.
    • Nymphs.


  • Direct contact.
  • Mites are very mobile and so contagious, transferring readily.
  • Transfer of mites from an asymptomatic female to her kittens is important and, with the kitten not developing clinical signs until perhaps 3-4 months old, the source of the infection may remain untreated.
  • Females shown to survive off the host experimentally - probably play little part in transmission.

Pathological effects

  • Signs of dermatitis relate to host's hypersensitivity reaction to mites.
  • Man: most commonly, first reaction is erythematous, papular, pruritic dermatitis - probably due to delayed type IV hypersensitivity reaction.
  • May be asymptomatic, eg older carrier animals.
  • Younger animals usually show mild or severe seborrhoeic lesions with dry or oily scales (very dandruffy), with or without a papular eruption, beginning usually over the lumbosacral area and spreading along the dorsal surface to the head and sometimes down flanks.
  • Little hair loss.
  • Pruritus varies from very mild to intense.

Other Host Effects

  • Feed on keratin layer of epidermis and also penetrate skin with mouthparts to suck tissue fluids.


Control via animal

  • Acaricide; treat all in-contact animals, particularly older (asymptomatic) carriers.
    Include dogs because the level of transmission (if any), between dogs and cats is unknown.Infection often persists because of failure to treat at least 2 times at weekly intervals if using non-persistent acaricides.

Control via chemotherapies

  • Although reported to be susceptible to most flea sprays cases resistant to organophosphate sprays are not uncommon.
    Treatment with fipronil spray Fipronil or selenium sulfide shampoo at 2 week intervals for three treatments should be effective. Selenium sulfide not licensed for use in cats.

Control via environment

  • Assuming females can survive in the environment, it may be useful to vacate accommodation or bedding for several days. Often environmental treatment with an acarcide is recommended.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Chadwick A J (1997) Use of a 0.25 per cent fipronil pump spray formulation to treat canine cheyletiellosis. JSAP 38 (6), 261-262 PubMed.
  • Coman B J, Jones E H, Driesen M A (1981) Helminth parasites and arthropods of feral cats. Aust Vet J 57 (7), 324-327 PubMed.
  • Klayman E, Schillhorn van Veen T W (1981) Diagnosis of ectoparasitism. Mod Vet Pract 62 (10), 767-771 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Griffin C E, Kwochka K W & Macdonald J M (1993) Current Veterinary Dermatology - the science and art of therapy. Mosby Year Book. pp 90-95.