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Individual study: Experimental ivermectin treatment of sarcoptic mange and establishment of a mange-free population of Spanish ibex

Published source details

León-Vizcaíno L., Cubero M.J., González-Capitel E., Simon M.A., Pérez L., de Ybáñez M.R.R., Ortíz J.M., Candela M.G. & Alonso F. (2001) Experimental ivermectin treatment of sarcoptic mange and establishment of a mange-free population of Spanish ibex. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 37, 775-785


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Use drugs to treat parasites Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1988 in a mountainous National Park in southern Spain (León-Vizcaíno et al. 2001) found that injecting Spanish ibex Capra pyrenaica hispanica with higher doses of ivermectin treated sarcoptic mange Sarcoptes scabiei faster than lower doses, and treatment was more effective in animals with less severe infections. All nine ibex with limited mange recovered after being treated with ivermectin. Six animals injected with 0.4 mg/kg body weight had no scabs or mites 21 days after treatment, and three animals injected with 0.2 mg/kg body weight had no scabs or mites four and five weeks after treatment, respectively. However, only three of six ibex with severe infection recovered following treatment, and two died. The sixth animal was still carrying mites two months after treatment. From September–December 1988, wild Spanish ibex were caught, sedated, and treated with Foxim anti-mange treatment (500 mg/l of water). Fifteen adult (>2-years old) female ibex with sarcoptic mange were divided into five treatment groups: 1) ibex with limited mange, given a single dose of ivermectin (0.4 mg/kg body weight) by syringe injection; 2) ibex with limited mange given a single dose of ivermectin (0.4 mg/kg body weight) by rifle dart injection; 3) ibex with limited mange given a single dose of ivermectin (0.2 mg/kg body weight) by syringe; 4) ibex with severe mange given two doses of ivermectin (0.2 mg/kg body weight) by syringe, two weeks apart; 5) ibex with severe mange given two doses of ivermectin (0.4 mg/kg body weight) by syringe, two weeks apart. Infection was classified into four levels of severity, and treatment tested on the worst two: limited (“consolidation”: affected skin limited to a few body parts) and severe (“chronic”: severe skin disease covering much of the body). Ibex were examined for two months to monitor recovery.

(Summarised by Andrew Bladon)

Use drugs to treat parasites Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after study in 1989 in a mountainous National Park in southern Spain (León-Vizcaíno et al. 2001) found that after injecting Spanish ibex Capra pyrenaica hispanica with ivermectin to treat sarcoptic mange Sarcoptes scabiei, a mange-free herd was established. All 32 Spanish ibex treated with ivermectin showed no signs of mange six weeks after treatment began. After joining 65 mange-free ibex (at least 12 of which were treated in an earlier program, and 17 of which were mange-free on capture), the total population of 97 ibex showed no signs of mange for at least a year. From February–March 1989, sixty-three Spanish ibex were caught, sedated and examined for sarcoptic mange. The 14 ibex with chronic mange were injected with ivermectin (0.4 mg/kg body weight) and released at the capture site. The 49 remaining ibex, including healthy animals, were injected with ivermectin (0.4 mg/kg body weight) and a foxim spray (500 mg/l), and examined for mites. The 17 animals without mites were placed in “quarantine” pens, and 32 with mites were kept in “treatment” pens and injected with ivermectin (0.2 mg/kg body weight) two- and four-weeks later before joining the “quarantine” pens. After two weeks in quarantine, ibex showing no symptoms of mange were given a final dose of ivermectin and released into a 400-ha enclosure in Nava de San Pedro Park which already contained 48 ibex.

(Summarised by Andrew Bladon)