We examined the clinical and cellular effects of sarcoptic mange on southern hairy-nosed wombats (SHNW, Lasiorhinus latifrons) and the effectiveness of a single dose of ivermectin as a treatment for captive and wild animals. Wambats were caught at three sites in South Australia between April and August 2005 and blood and skin samples were collected. Hematology, biochemistry, and protein electrophoresis reference intervals were determined for healthy and diseased SHNW. Diseased SHNW had significantly higher white blood cell counts, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and total protein but lower red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and creatinine. Microscopic investigation indicated substantial hyperplasia, hyperkeratosis, and fluid infiltration into the dermis and epidermis of diseased animals. Conclusions on the efficacy of a single dose of ivermectin were limited by low sample size (n=5, two captive and three wild SHNW) and are preliminary. However, ivermectin effectively treated mild, but not severe, mange in wild SHNW and severe mange in captive animals. This study has implications for the conservation and management of SHNW and the broader Vombatidae family.
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Vol. 49 • No. 2