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Seasonal insect bite hypersensitivity in sheep
Dermatitis due to hypersensitivity to certain insects like the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis felis or to midges like Culicoides are well described in small animals and in horses. But why should sheep not show allergies to these insects? This brandnew study from Israel suggests that these reactions might be underestimated!

The clinical, epidemiological and histopathological findings of two pruritic dermatites in sheep in Israel are described.

The first type of dermatitis affected mainly young animals with lesions predominantly on the legs. It occurred from March to November, with a peak in June.

The second type affected animals of all ages and was mainly on the ventrum. It was sporadic but occurred throughout the year with a peak in October.

The morbidity rate of this syndrome reached 4.3% in one flock.

The histopathology of both conditions was consistent with an allergic dermatitis. Fleas and midges were collected and identified as Ctenocephalides felis felis and various species of Culicoides.

The population density, seasonal activity, geographical distribution and feeding behaviour preferences of the insects and the incidence of the two types of dermatitis suggest that fleas and midges were the causal agents.

Flea and midge bite pruritic dermatoses should be considered in the differential diagnosis of sarcoptic and psoroptic mange.


Source: YERUHAM, I., PERL, S. & BRAVERMAN, Y. (2004): Seasonal allergic dermatitis in sheep associated with Ctenocephalides and Culicoides bites. In: Veterinary Dermatology 15 (6), 377-380.




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BOVINE

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