The Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica) population of the “Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas” Nature Park (Spain) was isolated as the result of a severe epidemic of sarcoptic mange. In this context, the dynamic characteristics of the disease were analyzed in a wild group consisting of 35 animals from the beginning of the epizootic (when the mating period started) to the extinction of the population due to mange. Monthly tracking permitted the sequential characterization of the pathology in each animal. The duration of the disease was 2 to 3 mo, evolving to severe disease and terminating in death. Incidence and prevalence rates in terms of morbidity and severity, and mortality and lethality were calculated. At the end of the mating season, 81% of the population were affected. There were no statistically significant differences in severity of the disease across sex or age categories of the animals. Most of the carcasses were found in caves used as refuge and/or near rivers or streams. Additionally, 46 of the 63 (73%) ibex captured in different areas of the nature park were naturally infected with the Sarcoptes scabiei. Infected ibex were examined for number of mites during the initial stage of the disease (n = 3), in the development stage (n = 12), in the consolidation stage (n = 17), and in the chronic stage (n = 14). The prevalence of mites in different anatomical regions was determined in each of these phases of the infection. A histological study of the skin lesions was conducted in 22 animals. Both the clinical and the pathological (macroscopic and microscopic) aspects of the sarcoptic mange in Spanish ibex corresponded to the classic description of sarcoptic mange in other wild and domestic small ruminants.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4