Treating a Cat Suffering from Mange

Mange in cats is not nearly as common as it is in dogs, but it can happen. Learn more about the cause, symptoms, and treatment from a Portland veterinarian here.

Cause

Mange is caused by mites that are already inhabiting your pet’s skin—the mites become a problem when the immune system is compromised or the body is producing excess hormones or oils. Two different types of mites are known to cause mange in cats, Demodex gatoi and Demodex cati.

Symptoms

Hair loss is the primary symptom of mange in cats, and it usually occurs around the head, neck, eyes, and backside. Lesions, scaly patches, and crusty skin are more common sights on a cat suffering from mange.

Treatment

If you see the above symptoms on your cat, take her to the vet’s office right away. Your veterinarian will perform tests, like skin scrapings or urinalyses, to confirm the diagnosis of mange. Since allergies, scabies, or other disorders could cause the same symptoms, it’s important to diagnose correctly.

Your veterinarian may prescribe medication, taken orally or applied topically, to help treat symptoms. Surprisingly, in the majority of feline mange cases, the disorder resolves itself. Of course, you’ll still want to get your cat evaluated should you notice any unusual symptoms. Your veterinarian will probably want to schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your cat’s progress.

Prevention

Good hygiene will help prevent mange cases in cats and keep her overall health in top form—it keeps the already-existing mite population under control, greatly reducing the risk of a mange breakout. Groom her regularly with a brush, and don’t over-bathe—too many baths can dry the skin out, leading to problems. Ask your Portland veterinarian about the procedure for bathing your cat, how often it should be done, and what tools you should use.

 

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