Wombats are amongst the world’s largest burrowing animals. They are equipped with powerful limbs, short broad feet and flattened claws. Wombats are primarily grazers and their continuously growing incisors work as efficient cutters of grass and forbs. They are disappearing locally due to loss of habitat and disease.
A good reference is the Australian Museum: see: https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/mammals/common-wombat/ (photo courtesy of Australian Museum)
One of the diseases of concern is mange – read flyer for details. (photo is by group)
Sarcoptic mange is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var. wombat, and occurs throughout the bare-nosed wombat range and is commonly fatal. Infestation manifests as thick crusts on skin which is often split. Encrusting around the eyes and ears eventually causes blindness and deafness. Intense irritation and inflammation of the skin leads to excessive scratching and hair loss. Haemorrhage and infection are often associated with the cracks in the thick encrusted skin. The wombat becomes emaciated and eventually has difficulty moving, eating and drinking, most frequently succumbing to starvation, pulmonary infections and organ failure.
Sarcoptic Mange Management
There are several methods utilized to treat sarcoptic mange; however mite eradication programs must take into consideration various factors before deciding on treatment methods, such as ease of treatment, cost, severity of infestation and interference with the wombat’s routine. The optimal treatment is simple to apply, and does not interfere with the wombats routine
Wombat Mange is treatable!
- There are several ways to treat mange in wombats.
- All methods that are used are better given and monitored by landowners once they have gained some advice on these methods and how to treat mange in wombats.
Treatment using one dose Bravecto spot on for dogs lasts for 3 months
- The main requirement for treatment with Bravecto, is to apply to a dry wombat and wombat must remain dry for 24 hrs after application of Bravecto. Do not apply in rain periods.
- Is the wombat approachable? If not flap treatment using cydectin would be preferable. (Please contact for advice and a free treatment pack with consultation).
- For optimal results it is recommended that 20 mls of cydectin is added to the bravecto in the one dose.
- ALWAYS USE GLOVES WITH THESE CHEMICALS
- Dose is applied via a pole and scoop method. See below
The use of wombat flaps
- The burrow flap is an easier but less reliable way to treat wombats with mange and takes a commitment over time to refill containers on burrow flaps. New research has also shown that because of the various directions a wombat may enter a burrow; only 1 in 3 doses are likely to hit the wombat.
- The advantages of this method are that there is no need to catch the wombat
- Flaps are easy to make and set up although can be fiddley.
- There is no stress to the wombat apart from your smell invasion.
- We at CCWW will provide burrow flaps, cydectin for treatment and a program for application. Just contact CCWW for advice.
- A photo of the wombat will be needed for assessment as sometimes mange is mistaken for an attack on the wombat.
Treatment using cydectin is as follows
10 x 20 ml treatments of cydectin every 5 days
6 x 15ml treatments of cydectin every 2 weeks
5 x 15ml treatments monthly for 4 months.
- Mites last around 3 weeks in the environment. This is why treatment can take a substantial amount of time as you must eliminate mites from several burrows. With the new one dose lasting 3 months this is achieved more easily.
- Cydectin is only effective on a wombat for 5 days hence continually having to refill flaps.
As mites die, the muddy looking crusts will begin to fall off the wombat (this is a mix of mites and fur). This leaves the wombat looking bald and there could be bleeding from raw skin but this should heal quickly, (if you are worried please contact CCWW).
Always provide water for a mange wombat if not readily available
If you would like any further information on mange treatment programs, flaps, injured or anything wombats give CEN a call or contact Carla on 0497 508 509.