Critically appraised topic for the most effective and safe treatment for canine generalised demodicosis

BMC Vet Res. 2019 Jan 7;15(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s12917-018-1767-7.


Background: Canine generalised demodicosis is an inflammatory parasitic skin disease caused by an excessive proliferation of Demodex spp. Generalized demodicosis is a severe skin disease, that can be life threatening if not treated properly. Many of the current treatment options are not licensed for the treatment of generalised demodicosis, it have a low safety margin and may be poorly efficacious and time-consuming for the owner; there is a need for a safe, efficacious treatment for canine demodicosis. Our objective was to systematically review the literature to determine the most effective and safe topical or systemic therapy for canine generalised demodicosis. Single case reports and case series with fewer than five patients were not reviewed as they were considered to be poor quality evidence. A detailed literature search identified 21 relevant clinical trials and these were critically assessed.

Results: The analysis of the best available evidence on March 5, 2018, suggests that six are the most effective and safe treatments for generalised canine demodicosis including (in alphabetical order): doramectin (oral or parenteral); fluralaner (oral); imidacloprid/moxidectin (topical); ivermectin (oral, not as first choice treatment); milbemycin oxime (oral); and sarolaner (oral). There was insufficient evidence to allow comment on the appropriateness of other treatment protocols for canine generalised demodicosis in this CAT.

Conclusions: In our critical appraisal of the best scientific literature, there is evidence for recommending the use of 6 therapeutic options against demodectic mange. Further, in vivo, controlled, randomized and blinded clinical trials are required, to evaluate new therapies.

Keywords: Canine generalised demodicosis; Demodectic mange; Efficacy; Systemic therapy; Therapeutic protocol; Topical therapy; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acaricides / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Azetidines / therapeutic use
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology
  • Dogs
  • Isoxazoles / therapeutic use
  • Ivermectin / analogs & derivatives
  • Ivermectin / therapeutic use
  • Macrolides / therapeutic use
  • Mite Infestations / drug therapy
  • Mite Infestations / parasitology
  • Mite Infestations / veterinary*
  • Mites / drug effects
  • Spiro Compounds / therapeutic use


  • A1443 compound
  • Acaricides
  • Azetidines
  • Isoxazoles
  • Macrolides
  • Spiro Compounds
  • sarolaner
  • milbemycin oxime
  • Ivermectin
  • doramectin