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What is mange?

Wombat with mange

Wombat with mange

Mange is caused by a burrowing mite that was introduced to Australia by Europeans about 200 years ago. The mites can also infect people causing scabies, and animals are affected worldwide. Wombats, koalas, echidnas and wallabies are all susceptible, suffering painful and itchy deaths.  The mites burrow under the skin of a wombat, causing them to scratch incessantly.  
Killing the mites on the wombat is one thing but the whole environment requires treatment. Wombats use a number of burrows where mites can survive for around 20 days. Our experience has shown that it takes at least 6 months to fully treat a population of wombats, The mite’s eggs take 5 days to hatch and the treatment, Cydectin, lasts for only 5 days on a wombat.  
Photos can be used to assess a Wombat with suspected mange, ensuring that it’s actually mange and not an injury from dog attack, another wombat or car accident. Dirt encrusted wounds can easily be mistaken for mange. It has to be decided if the wombat is treatable, with no obvious infections that would make euthanasia much kinder. Adult wombats with mange often die quickly when brought into care. 

Mange will be an ongoing issue as mangy animals will move into the area looking for water and grass as they get sicker. We call these guys ‘travellers’. We are now looking at expanding into other properties in the area in our efforts to eradicate the deadly mange in wild wombats. This includes the ‘Treatment of Mange’ course we hosted in March 2009, the distribution of leaflets locally, and wherever we go to show that it can be treated. We constantly give out, or mail our treatment kits, so we know that the mange is treatable message is spreading.

 

Wombat with mange – looking better after treatment

Wombat with mange – looking better after treatment

 Mange in wild wombats can be treated with a simple flap, and a weekly treatment. Please note this is not allowed in some states without a Veterinarian’s advice. We are always happy to talk to anyone with mange or wombat or any wildlife issues.  Warwick & Dianna 02 48435933

Wombat mange treatment flap

Wombat mange treatment flap

 

Spud demonstrating how a treatment flap works. As the wombat pushes under it, the flap tilts and the 4mm dose in the drink bottle cap is tipped down the wombats back.

Spud demonstrating how a treatment flap works. As the wombat pushes under it, the flap tilts and the 4mm dose in the drink bottle cap is tipped down the wombats back.

 

Ice cream lid treatment flap hanging in burrow entrance.

Ice cream lid treatment flap hanging in burrow entrance. I use string and a couple of bits of wire to peg into position. I leave them in place as then the wombats get used to them. Use a drink bottle cap which is exactly 4mm as the applicator, it must be plastic. I find a hot glue gun works best to glue it in. The small ‘roof ‘ above the cap helps stop the rain from splashing out the cydetin.