Mites cause cat mange. There are two kinds of mites: burrowing mites and non-burrowing mites. Burrowing mites get below your cat’s skin. Once there, they can lay eggs. Non-burrowing mites feed on skin, further some non-burrowing mites feed on tissue fluids, and several feed on the blood of your cat.
Types of Cat Mange
Ear Mites (Otodectic Cynotis): Ear mites are the most common form of mange in cats. These non-burrowing mites feed on scaling skin. Symptoms include irritation and inflammation of the ear canal. In some cases you will find oozing from the ear and red, scaly skin near the ear canal.
- Notoedric manage (head mange): Notoedric mange, caused by burrowing mites, can result in hair loss and crusty skin. The primary symptom of this kind of mange is extreme itchiness. Your cat may scratch excessively, creating sores and bleeding.
Other forms of mange in cats:
- Demodectic mange: Demodectic mange causes hair loss and inflamed skin. It may be localized, with small amounts of hair loss and discrete patches of red, inflamed skin, or in can be general in nature happening in several spots on the cat’s body. This sort of mange is uncommon.
- Cheyletiella Mange: This form of mange is usually noted by excessive skin flaking, often in large pieces. Symptoms are usually seen on the back, neck and sides and include itching and red raised bumps. This kind of mange is also uncommon in cats. It is also known more commonly as “walking dandruff”.
- Chiggers (Trombiculid Mites): The mites look like red, orange or yellow spots on the skin. Symptoms are red sores, scabs and raw skin.
- Sarcoptic Mange: Causes hair loss and crusty skin. Sarcoptic mange is uncommon in cats.
Diagnosing Cat Mange
Your veterinarian will take a sample of your pet’s infected skin and look for the presence of mites. Depending on the kind of mite that is found, the veterinarian will narrow down the kind of mange that is present and create an effective treatment plan.
A skin sample may not be 100% telling. Sometimes, there are no mites in the sample. Your cat may have removed all of the mites through scratching. Typically, your veterinarian will treat for mange and watch for symptomatic relief.
Treating Cat Mange
Products like Revolution, which prevent many mite infestations, are the preferred treatment for most kinds of mange in cats. It is preventative, but also kills the mites, which leads to symptomatic relief.
Beyond topical solutions such as Revolution, medicated shampoos may also be prescribed. This can help facilitate the removal of mites from the skin and calm the inflamed areas of your cat’s skin.
Further, cortisone-based treatments such as Animax Ointment or soothing creams like Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Anti-Itch Crème Rinse C can be used to calm the inflamed skin. And topical antibiotics like Triple Antibiotic Ointment may be used to treat any potential infections in the affected areas.
Notoedric mange is very contagious, so all household pets should be treated, whether they have symptoms or not.
With any type of mite infestation, all bedding should be washed in hot water and the surrounding areas disinfected. This will diminish the chances of reoccurrence.
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