Mange in Cats – Help is on the Way
By Ron King
Mange is a highly contagious condition of the skin caused by mites and parasites in animals. Cats affected by mange most often stay outdoors. If left untreated, the cat may become very ill and lose its fur. The symptoms of mange include itching, discomfort, and scratching. Here are options cat owners should use to treat their cat affected by mange.
Mange in cats is fairly uncommon, yet it is possible for a cat to contract mange. If your cat is losing fur, you should always to take your cat to the vet. Other diseases and problems other than mange can cause hair loss. A vet can look at a sample of the cat's skin or fur under a microscope to confirm whether or not your cat has mange.
There are a few different various types of mange that are thought to affect cats. Ear mites are not usually considered mange, but the parasites that cause in ear mites can also cause mange. Ear mites should always be treated with injections or prescription ear drops. When a feline has ear mites, the inside of their ears will look dirty. Black oily-looking dirt will cover the inside of the cat's ears. These are not the actual mites, but are the dropping left behind from the mites.
Another form of mange is called Demodex Mange. This type of mange is not contagious. Cat and dogs do not pass this type of mange to each other. Generally cats and dogs have small amounts of these mites inhabiting on their skin. This type type of mange does not often bother the cat unless it becomes inflamed. It might show up as small patches of hair loss. In more serious cases, it can cause in a bacterial infection on the skin. The skin can become inflamed, red and itchy. Demodex Mange usually starts causing problems in cats that are immuno-suppressed or that are aging. This type of mange can also adversely affect cats with poor health. Hormones and stress might also cause this type of mange to cause problems. It can be seen in pregnant and nursing cats or male cats that are not neutered.
There are treatment options for this kind of mange. When you take your cat to the animal doctor for possible mange, you vet will perform a thorough health exam. This will rule out autoimmune diseases and other varieties of parasites such as worms. An oral medication called Ivermectin can be used. Although this drug is not approved by the Federal Drug Administration to use for mange, many vets find this treatment very effective. Another treatment option is dipping your cat in a prescribed pesticide. This is highly effective, but it can cause problems like vomiting and seizures in cats. Additionally, the treatment is poisonous, therefore it should not be applied with pregnant cats or by people who are pregnant. This dip is routinely done weekly for up to six weeks.
Sarcoptic mange is another form of mange that can be contracted by felines. This variety of mange is highly contagious and very problematic to persistent. Cat that are affected by this variety of mange are extremely itchy and the scratching can cause serious inflammation and sometimes bleeding of the skin. Mites will burrow into the skin and leave the eggs. When a cat has this, the excessive scratching can also cause scabbing and infections on the skin.
This variety of mange is often determined by examining the cat's skin or fur under a microscope. If it is indeed Sarcoptic mange, your animal doctor will want to wash the cat with a medicated shampoo and then treat the cat with a pesticide dip. Just as with Sarcoptic mange, this pesticide dip is very potent and extreme caution must to be used when treating your cat.
If you suspect your feline has mange, you should take your cat to the vet for an exam. In order to treat the infection, it is required to know which type of mange your cat has. Also, it is not unwise to use "home remedies" for mange that are often found. These remedies can be extremely dangerous to your cat. In many cases, hair loss is not mange. Hair loss can be caused by allergic reactions to foods, plants or even medications. Allergic reactions are treated much differently than mange so it is very important to look medical care for your animal.
Source: Ron King.
Paradise Pets Magazine