Delusions of parasitosis in clients presenting pets for veterinary care

J S Afr Vet Assoc. 2001 Sep;72(3):167-9. doi: 10.4102/jsava.v72i3.643.


The syndrome delusions of parasitosis (DP) constitutes a psychiatric disorder of humans in which patients falsely believe that they are infested with parasites. This report describes 2 cases of DP observed at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital (OVAH). The first case involved a 34-year old, single female, who believed that she and her three cats were being parasitised by insects of unknown origin. Before referral to the OVAH, she had taken her cats to 2 other veterinarians and had consulted 2 dermatologists herself. The second case was a single male who believed that he was being parasitised by insects originating from his cat. A full diagnostic evaluation performed on all 4 cats failed to reveal any dermatological abnormalities. No parasites were seen or cultured from any of the cats.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Delusions / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insecta
  • Male
  • Parasitic Diseases / psychology*
  • Skin Diseases, Parasitic / psychology
  • Skin Diseases, Parasitic / veterinary
  • Zoonoses / parasitology