Three kinds of fur mites

Fur mite

Fig. 80. Fur mite. (Baker et al)

Dogs, cats and rabbits each have their own species of fur mites. Previously, they were considered as one species (the predatory mite Cheyletiella parasitovorax). They are distinguished from each other for example by the shape of a sensory organ on the front legs. Determination of species should be left to specialists and is only relevant in cases where stray examples are found outside the host animal. Ordinarily, it can be assumed that fur mites found on cats are cat fur mites, on dogs are dog fur mites and on rabbits are rabbit fur mites.

The dog fur mite, Cheyletiella yasguri is almost always the cause of skin disease in infected dogs. It is seen mainly in puppies and young dogs. We estimate that less than 1% of Danish dogs have this parasite in their fur. Humans can be bitten quite severely by the dog fur mite. Some cases have resulted in hospitalization. In an English study of 102 fur mite infected dogs, it turned out that the owners in 83 cases showed symptoms of cheyletiellosis.

The cat fur mite, Cheyletiella blakei is not as common as the dog fur mite in Denmark. In the USA and in England it is found in 0.2 and 2.7% respectively of domestic cats. It is rare for cats with fur mites to suffer clearly. From these, almost asymptomatic cats the mites can spread to animals that are in contact with the cat, providing a cheyletiellosis, no less troublesome than the one you get from dog fur mites.

The rabbit fur mite, Cheyletiella parasitovorax is found in 50-100% of domestic and wild rabbits in other countries. Rabbits are rarely bothered by their fur mites. Rabbit Fur mites can bite humans, but it almost never happens because they rarely have the opportunity.