Also known as walking dandruff, Cheyletiella is an infestation of rabbit fur mites. These mites come in three varieties— C. blakei, C. yasgury, and C. parasitivorax— and are common through the United States. Cats can contract cheyletiella through direct contact with infested animals, or through contaminated beds, grooming supplies, or homes.
Symptoms of Cheyletiella
Walking dandruff is so named because sometimes people, on close examination, can observe the movement of their cat’s dandruff as the mites walk beneath it.
In addition to dandruff, symptoms of Cheyletiella include:
Often cats do not show any visible symptoms, although if you use a magnifying glass you might be able to spot the mites on your cat’s skin and fur.
Occasionally people can contract cheyletiella infestations from their pets, so if you feel itching or skin irritation, or (in rare cases) develop lesions on your skin, be sure to check your cat for mites and have your cat, your home, and yourself, treated for the infestation.
Treatment of Cheyletiella
Treatment for cheyletiella is a two-part process. Firstly, you must treat your cat to eliminate the mite infestation. Secondly, you must treat your cat’s environment to ensure no mites remain there to re-infest your cat. If you return a treated cat to an untreated environment, the cat will likely pick up more mites and require repeated treatment.
Your vet might suggest any of the following to treat Cheyletiella:
You might choose to treat your house for mites using a product such as:
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