Cat Veterinarian Serving Ijamsville, Urbana & All of Frederick County, MD!
The mite disorder mange, caused by both Demodex or Sarcoptic mites, is far more common in dogs than cats. However they most certainly can encounter mange as well, making it very important for cat owners to understand and be able to identify the signs. Luckily, they are fairly clear, so all it takes is a little knowledge.
At Village Vet of Urbana we take the health of your cats and kittens very seriously, so we want to provide you with as many resources as we can. If you suspect your cat has the skin condition mange please call 301-228-0681 or contact us online as early as possible!
The Signs & Symptoms of Mange
There are actually two types of mange that can occur in cats, one more common than the other. They express different symptoms, making it fairly simple to determine which your cat has. These are:
Interestingly, Demodex mites are somewhat common on pets of all kinds, and the majority of the time they’re somewhat benign. This is also the only non contagious mange type in cats. Mange caused by Demodex mites only occurs when either the cat’s immune system is compromised, or if the mites are allowed to proliferate, or grow out of control/populate unchecked. Symptoms include:
- Ranged hair loss, usually around the eyes, back of the neck, around the ears, and along the flanks
- Scaly patches of dry skin—often very itchy!
- Your cat may have evidence of vigorous scratching, often abrasions or scratches
Caused by the mites Sarcoptes scabiei, you might better know the name Sarcoptic mange by the term scabies. Unlike Demodex mites Sarcoptes scabiei are intruders, and thus are always a threat to your cat. This is actually a quite rare condition, and often requires professional or prescription treatment. The condition is also highly contagious. Symptoms are similar to Demodectic mange but include some more drastic problems including:
- Patchy hair loss, usually on various parts of the body
- Red, raised spots on the skin, frequently on the inside of ears, along the abdomen and chest, and ankles
- Frequent and intense itching
- Dry, scaly skin sores
Notoedres cati is a mite unique to only cats, and while it shares many symptoms with Demodectic mange, it is very contagious, exceptionally uncomfortable, and symptoms worsen with time. Notoedric mange can become quite severe and sometimes dangerous if left untreated. Symptoms are:
- Intense itchiness, usually starting around ears and spreading to the entire face
- Considerable hair loss as the mites progress
- Thick, wrinkled, crusty skin that can spread rapidly
While mange can be very uncomfortable for cats, all forms of mange are thankfully treatable. Treatment should be sought as soon as possible to reduce stress and discomfort, so it’s important to identify the signs early. If you suspect mange you should contact us as soon as possible! In the case of Demodectic mange the condition may simply run its course, as it often does. But seeking a consultation to both ensure the mange is caused by the Demodex mite and to ensure it isn’t caused or triggered by another illness is vital.
Medical treatments frequently include:
- Prescription shampoos
- Lime-sulfur dips
- Topical prescriptions
- In the case of Notoedric mange it may be recommended to clip hair to reduce mite spread
Mange Treatment & Diagnosis at Village Vet of Urbana
If you suspect, or have even confirmed, mange in your cat please contact us right away or call 301-228-0681. Early treatment helps to reduce risks of contagion and helps your cat stay happy and healthy!