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February 1969

Canine Scabies in Children: "Puppy Dog" Dermatitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Indiana University Medical School, Indianapolis.

Am J Dis Child. 1969;117(2):239-242. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1969.02100030241023

A widespread pruritic skin reaction in a child often poses a difficult diagnostic problem. Canine scabies can be responsible for such a widespread eruption.1-3 An affirmative answer to the question, "Is there a new puppy in the house?" often will be the physician's key to the diagnosis. If the puppy is infested with the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, variety canis, the intimate association between the child and the puppy leads to the transfer of organisms to the child. Even though this tiny mite prefers the dog as a host, it will not hesitate to burrow into the skin and secure a meal from a human.

The child with canine scabies is usually brought to the physician because of severe pruritis and a "rash" of several days duration. The onset is usually sudden with the development of many lesions. The child is otherwise well. When examined, there is a papular or