Flea Bite Dermatitis in a Herd of Dairy Calves in Vom Nigeria

  • SJ Shaibu
  • IL Oyetunde
  • LD Jwander
  • JT Tanko
  • LT Ikpa
  • JJ Adamu
Keywords: Fleabite, dermatitis, dairy calves, Ctenocephalides felis felis


Fleas are parasitic insects which are found all over the world. They are wingless insects 1.5-4.0mm long, have a laterally compressed body and are different from lice in they are flattened dorso-ventrally, and are covered with a hard, shiny coating, like an external skeleton, which helps them to move through an animal's fur. There are more than 2,200
species of fleas recognized worldwide (Anon, 2006). Adult fleas are usually red-brown in color and have three pairs of legs, the last pair being quite large and well-adapted for jumping. They have piercing and sucking mouth parts which are specially designed for injecting into a host and sucking
blood. They feed on the blood of cats, dogs and other animals, including humans (Lyon, 1997; Kramer and Mencke, 2001). Flea infestation in cattle and other ruminants is rare; it has been more commonly reported in cats and dogs. Infestations of calves with Ctenocephalides felis felis have
been reported in Israel (Yeruham et al.,1989), the USA (Dryden et al., 1993) , Japan (Otake et al., 1997) and Brazil (Araujo et al., 1998). Kraal et al. (2006), in a survey of flea infestation, reported the infestation of calves and other domestic animal species in Libya. They reported that
of the 1861 fleas recovered, 1857 were Ctenocephalides felis strongylus and 4 were Pulex irritans. Yeruham and Braverman (2004) reported Seasonal allergic dermatitis in sheep associated with Ctenocephalides and Culicoides bites. Ctenocephalides felis felis is a flea of cats and dogs, which is responsible for skin irritation and anaemia (Dryden and
Rust, 1994) and transmission of the tape worm Dipylidium caninum (Pugh, 1987). This flea can also infest other mammals including humans (Genchi, 1992).

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eISSN: 0331-3026