MSD Manual

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Primary Mites of Cattle

Primary Mites of Cattle


Region affected

Clinical signs

Sampling method


Sarcoptes scabieibovis

Starts on head, neck, and shoulders

Can spread to the whole body

Pruritus, alopecia, papules, thickened and folded skin

Deep skin scrape


Psoroptes ovis

Base of tail, back, and flank

Severe pruritus

Thick, scabby crusts Alopecia with exudative dermatitis

Superficial skin scrape

Not zoonotic

Also infests sheep and goats

Secondary infections common

Chorioptes spp

Primarily C bovis

Pastern and can spread up the legs to the udder, scrotum, tail, and perineum

Typically subclinical

Allergic, exudative, mildly pruritic, flaky dermatitis can develop

Superficial skin scrape

Not zoonotic

Smaller with rounder head and mouthparts than Psoroptes spp

Demodex spp

Primarily D bovis

Withers, neck, back, and flanks

Typically subclinical


Chronic inflammation, with formation of ulcers, abscesses, and fistulae

Deep skin scrape

Squeezing skin folds prior to scraping can improve recovery

Not zoonotic

Secondary staphylococcal infection can occur

Psorobia bos



Deep skin scrape

Not zoonotic