Caprine dermatophilosis in Fiji

  • Ranald Munro
  • Published 1978 in Tropical Animal Health and Production


Although Dermatophilus congolensis is widely recognised as affecting goats, descriptions of the lesions of caprine dermatophilosis are few. Those papers which are available, describe the disease in Africa (Beaton, 1928, 1932; Green, 1956; Memery, 1960; Munz, 1976). Lesions in kids can be seen as early as four to five days after birth. Scabs are first noticed on the concave inner surface (scapha) of the pinna. These lesions enlarge until they reach 2 to 3 mm in diameter and approximately 1 mm thick. Less frequently scabs up to 8 by 5 mm can be found. Usually, the scabs are dark in colour, rough on the surface and in some cases assume a wart-like appearance. During the early stages the most easily seen lesions are those which are present on the glabrous areas of the scapha. These scabs are readily detached and on removal expose smooth circular light-coloured areas. Scabs occurring on the haired regions of the scapha are larger, more firmly attached and leave dry, scaly depressions when removed. On the dorsum auriculae early lesions are difficult to see but are easily felt. Later in the development of the condition typical raised scabs with matted hairs are readily seen. The other form of D. congolensis infection in kids which has been recognised in Fiji consists of small crusty lesions on the smooth skin on the ventral aspect of the base of the tail. These scabs are very similar to those seen on the central scapha. Infection on the tail appears to be much less frequent than on the ears. There is no pruritis associated with either the tail or ear lesions. Dermatophilosis, when it appears during the early weeks of life, lasts two to three months with individual scabs beginning to fall off 10 to 14 days after their appearance (Laor, pers. comm.). Adult goats may have on their ears the larger type of scab described in kids but the small lesions are unusual in this age group. The pink or white circular blemishes on the scapha which mark the site ofearlier infection are frequently observed in young adults. Small (1-2 mm) slightly raised, dark, smooth adherent scabs may be felt on the dorsum auriculae. Scabs on the nose may vary from 1 to 6 mm in diameter and have a height of up to 3 ram. The nasal scabs are more adherent than those found on the ears. Removal of these crusts causes some discomfort and leaves a raw, often bleeding, surface. In pigmented goats the scabs are dark whilst in white animals they are yellowish. An occasional site for Dermatophilus infection in old goats is along either side of the ridge formed by the dorsal vertebral spines. The lesions, which reach a maximum size of 10 mm, extend from the scapula to the wing of the ilium. A single young male showed slightly raised 1 to 2 mm scabs on the ventral scrotum whilst another male had multiple long (up to 12 mm) 1 mm wide keratin outgrowths on the ventral abdomen and medial aspect of the thighs. Climatically Fiji can be divided into a dry and a wet zone. However, no difference in the time of appearance, extent or severity of Dermatophilus infection is apparent between the two regions. Light infestations by Haemaphysalis longicornis are common but close correlation between the sites of attachment and D. congolensis lesions is

DOI: 10.1007/BF02235347

Cite this paper

@article{Munro1978CaprineDI, title={Caprine dermatophilosis in Fiji}, author={Ranald Munro}, journal={Tropical Animal Health and Production}, year={1978}, volume={10}, pages={221-222} }