The Seriousness Of Mange In Cats & Dogs

Mange dog catOne of the scariest diseases that can attack both dogs and cats is mange. Not many pet parents understand the seriousness of the disease. That’s why we’ve put together some information in case you’re unfamiliar with mange, so you will be able to easily spot signs of mange in your dog or cat.

Mange In Dogs

According to the ASPCA, mange – also known as demodicosis – is a disease that is caused by a number of mites inhabiting hair follicles and skin. It leads to skin lesions, problems with immune systems and hair loss.

The two types of mange are local and general.  If mange is localized, it’s usually contained in a small area on your dog and the symptoms are relatively mild. If mange is generalized, however, the symptoms will be more widespread and appear all over the body.

Causes Of Mange

Doctors don’t really know the exact cause of mange.  Why does it attack one dog and not another? It’s possible that a weakened immune system could make a dog more susceptible.

Diagnosis Mange in Pets

Typically, skin scrapings are done by your veterinarian to see if they can find mites on your dog.  This is also helpful because they may be able to identify the type of mite and rule out mange.  If mange is not the culprit, the problem with your dog’s skin could be as simple as an infection of the hair follicle.

Mange Management

If your dog’s case of mange is localized to one area, most cases clear up on their own without any treatment. For the generalized cases, medication may be needed to control the condition as well as using dips to relieve symptoms. It is recommended by doctors that dogs who have contracted generalized mange should not bred because the condition can be passed on to offspring.

Mange In Cats

The same types of mites also affect felines and symptoms can include hair loss around eyelids, head, neck and legs.

There are two species of mites that cause mange in cats.  The first is called Demodex gatoi and is possibly contagious between cats living in the same household.

The second mite, Demodex cati, has been linked to immune and metabolic system diseases such as diabetes.

Treatment and Management

For 90% of the cases of mange and cats, the disease resolves itself without any treatment.  Long-term medication may be prescribed if it’s found that your cat’s has generalized mange rather than localized.

Follow-up care can include skin scrapings and here examination. Keeping your cat clean without drying of her skin will help keep them might population in balance.

As with dogs, cats diagnosed with generalized mange shouldn’t be bred because of the chance it could be passed on to her kittens.

Additional Reading –

Deadly But Preventable Dog Diseases

18 Incredibly Rare Dog Diseases

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Vaccine

Preventive Care For Pets

Canine Kidney Disease

Does Your Cat Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Photo Credit:  istockpphoto.com

Has your dog or cat experienced mange?

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