What is Mange?


Wombat Mange is caused by the sarcoptes scabiei mite. The mite burrows into the skin causing thick crusty skin and hair loss, these crusts often grow over the wombats eyes and ears rendering them blind and deaf. It is incredibly itchy and wombats can injure themselves trying to scratch because of their sharp claws. Mange if left untreated is fatal to a wombat. You will often see wombats with mange out grazing during the day which is not a behaviour that a healthy wombat will adopt. It is thought this is because they loose the ability to thermoregulate because of the loss of fur and also their need for more food as their metabolism is affected.

wombat with mange
wombat with mange

What does mange look like?

Whilst you cant see the mites. The key indicator of mange is plaques of dry looking skin in vertical lines, usually starting on their sides or legs. Wombats suffering from severe mange will develop thick crusts of skin over their bodies eventually covering their eyes and ears.

How do we treat a wombat for mange?

We are licensed to treat wombats using both Bravecto and Moxidectin and make this decision on a case-by-case basis.

Bravecto is a spot-on treatment that requires 3 monthly doses to be effective in treating a wombat for mange.  

For Moxidectin – Commonly known as Cydectin we mix it with blue food colouring so that we can easily identify which wombats have received doses. The most effective way of treating a wombat is by using a pole and scoop to tip this treatment directly onto their backs, but we can’t always find them each week (wombats require weekly doses of moxidectin for at least 12 weeks) so often we use mange flaps and camera traps on wombats burrows.