Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1103–1109 | Cite as

Ectoparasites are the major causes of various types of skin lesions in small ruminants in Ethiopia

  • Mersha Chanie
  • Tamiru Negash
  • Asegedech Sirak


Ectoparasites are the major causes of skin lesions in animals. Clinical, skin scraping examination, and histopathological studies were conducted to identify and characterize skin lesions in small ruminants caused by ectoparasites. Mange mites, lice, sheep keds, and ticks were collected from the skin of affected animals for species identification. Skin biopsies were collected from affected part of the skin and fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin for histopathology. Of 1,000 sheep and 600 goats examined, 815 (81.50%) sheep and 327 (54.5%) goats were infested with one or more types of ectoparasites. Sarcoptes scabiei var ovis, Demodex ovis, Psoroptes ovis, Bovicola ovis, Melophagus ovinus, and Amblyomma variegatum and other tick species were identified from sheep. S. scabiei var caprae, Demodex caprae, Linognathus stenopsis, and A. variegatum and other tick species were identified from goats. Gross skin lesions or defects observed on the skin include stained and ragged wool, loss of wool/hair, nodules, crusts, lichenification, and fissuring. Microscopic evaluation of H and E stained skin sections revealed lesions in the epidermal layer such as hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, and melanin inconsistency on the basal cells of the epidermis. Follicular keratosis, perifolliculitis, frunculosis, perivasculitis, and aggregates of inflammatory cells (of acute and chronic type) with fibrosis were experiential in the dermal layer of the skin. Most of the skin lesions caused by ectoparasites are overlapping. Thus, ectoparasites control program should be executed to reduce skin lesions as skins are the major export commodity of the country.


Ectoparasites Ethiopia Goats Histopathology Sheep Skin lesions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Agriculture and Veterinary MedicineWollo UniversityDessieEthiopia
  2. 2.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of GondarGondarEthiopia
  3. 3.National Animal Health Diagnosis and Investigation CenterSebetaEthiopia

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