It is heartbreaking to watch helpless cats and dogs suffer from mange. This common yet painful skin condition often leaves them hairless and covered in sores. If you found your beloved pet with these signs, they need mange treatment right away.
Mange is a common skin disease in dogs and puppies that are stray, abandoned, or abused. It makes the pet hairless, with skin coated in sores or thickened, dirty, with crusty areas. Approved treatments for mange (Demodex) are sulphurated lime or Amitraz, but if they are not successful, veterinarians can prescribe high doses of prescription drugs such as Ivermectin.
But before you rush to the nearest pet shop, first, you need to understand first what this skin condition is all about.
This article explains all the information you need to know for mange treatment. It also comes with a comprehensive list of natural treatments to keep your cats or dogs healthy and happy again.
What is Mange?
Mange is a contagious skin disease caused by parasitic mites. These mites that cause mange are divided into two types: sarcoptic mites and demodectic mites.
Stray cats and dogs are commonly affected by mange. However, even domesticated ones can also be susceptible to it. The general symptoms that you should check before confirming that your pet has mange include the following:
- Excessive scratching due to itchiness
- Appearance of rashes
- Alopecia or hair loss
- Scaly patches on their skin
- Red Sores
- Scabs on their body
Mites cause these types of Mange usually found in-ear flaps and belly of your pets. Your dog can acquire these mites from another animal from shelters, dog parks, and even in pet salons. Sarcoptic mites can cause severe itchiness when they lay eggs on your pet’s skin, leading to scabies, hair loss, and rashes.
These symptoms appear for two to six weeks after the mites burrow their eggs. Other signs to look for includes:
- Thick, yellow crust
- Bacteria and yeast infections
- Lymph node inflammation
- Emaciation or thinning of your pet’s body
Sarcoptic mange is known for being contagious. It can infect all your pets if treatment is not done immediately. You should quarantine your pet with Sarcoptic mange to stop it from spreading.
Demodectic mange starts when there is an infestation of Demodex mites in your pet. These mites love to breed in your dog’s hair follicles. Although harmless when they are small in number, Demodex mites can be dangerous when left untreated.
This type of mange shares similar symptoms with Sarcoptic mange. Hair loss, red rashes, and crust often appear in animals with Demodex mites. But the appalling effect of this mange is that it can weaken your pet’s immune system. Demodex mites can develop based on the parts of the body they infested:
- Localized mange occurs in one area, particularly in the face or ear. Ten percent of pets with this mange have a high chance of developing into generalized mange.
- Generalized mange occurs in different body parts such as elbows, stomach, and ears. Adults who acquired this mange are said to have health problems that trigger further the development of this mange. Such issues include allergies and heartworm infections.
- Pododermatitis is limited only to paws or feet and common to Bulldog breeds.
Recommended products for mange in dogs and cats
Treating the mange of your pet requires careful consideration and preparation. Medications for your pet may vary depending on whether the infection is localized or generalized.
Your vet may prescribe mange treatment that will kill the mites that cause mange. These medications can be applied to the skin as a lotion, shampoo, or soap. It can also be injected. Other drugs, such as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial medicines may also be given.
Localized vs. Generalized Mange Treatment
Pets with localized demodectic mange show lesions on their bodies. These can occur before they become one year old, but it is immediately cleared after six to eight weeks.
Dogs or cats with localized mange have a 90% chance of getting better within two months. The catch, however, is that your pet must be healthy enough to fight it back. Topical antibacterial creams can help your pet with localized mange. Using shampoo for mange treatment in every bath can prevent infection on their skin due to excessive scratching.
Juvenile onset, generalized mange is an inherited immune system defect that usually appears before one year. On the other hand, adult-onset generalized mange appears on dogs who are four years or older. It is generally caused by diabetes, cancer, and hypothyroidism.
Pets who are less than a year old have a 30% to 50% chance of clearing generalized mange. It is due to their immune system that starts to activate during that period. To help them further in clearing mange, prescribed medications are usually given by vets such as the following:
The combination of sulfur and lime is one of the best antibacterial and anti-parasite agents. It also relieves your pet’s itchiness caused by mites. Sulfurated lime treatment is repeated for several weeks via rinse or dip. It is safe to use even for your kittens and puppies.
Amitraz is a potent agent that kills harmful insects like mites, ticks, and lice on animals. Like sulfurated lime, Amitraz is used via dips and rinse. It is suggested that pets should have their hair clipped before undergoing this kind of treatment.
For an alternative, you can use Amitraz collar instead to prevent your pets from taking in Amitraz. An Amitraz collar helps kill and repel mites and ticks.
Amitraz for Pododermatitis
For pododermatitis, Amitraz mixed with mineral oils can help in clearing up the infection. This is particularly useful by soaking the dog or cat’s paw on the said mixture.
Side Effects of Amitraz
Amitraz dips are used under the supervision of a veterinarian because of its slightly elevated toxic level. When taken by animals, Amitraz can cause a slow heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, and high blood sugar.
Ivermectin or Milbemycin
Topical Ivermectin has been studied and is proven to be an effective counteragent for mange. Based on De Jaham and N.Page’s research, Ivermectin applied in a shelter of 90 dogs for 15 days has eradicated their scabies infection. Milbemycin oxide in chewable tablets also provides a safe and effective treatment against sarcoptic mange.
In the study of Verena Hampel, milbemycin was tested and showed its excellent medical properties. For two months of medication, the 65 dogs who take these chewables displayed improvements on their papules, crusts, and alopecia.
Supplements for Pets with Mange
Supplements and boosters can also aid your pet against mange. Besides a balanced diet, you can also give you pets some supplements with live enzymes and essential fatty acids. These can pump up their immune system in good shape to fight mange.
Foods and chew able with lecithin are suitable for the skin. Lecithin cleans and soothes the itchiness that your pet experiences. Bathing your dog and cat with shampoo containing benzoyl peroxide helps kill bacteria that reside on rashes and scabs.
Essential oils from plants like St. John’s Wort and Chamomile are also popular natural remedies to ease the itchiness caused by mange.
CBD Oil for Mange
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any diseases or ailments. However, many studies are now pushing the beneficial effects of CBD on your pets. It was concluded on recent studies that the cannabinoids in CBD are active suppressors of inflammation. It shows that inflammation due to mange can be relieved using CBD.
Another study indicates that CBD can be utilized to achieve homeostasis. Keeping your pet healthy can help their immune system become stronger to prevent the complications brought about by mange.
Mange might be a common condition among animals. However, you should never take it lightly for the sake of your beloved pups and kits. Like the cliche always says: prevention is still better than cure.
Keep your pets healthy both inside and outside. Give them a nutritious diet as well as keep them always clean through a daily bath. If you suspect that they might have mange, you can always count on your vets to guide you in treating them back to their lively and healthy selves.
Demodectic mange treatment is usually adequate. Nevertheless, if the immune system is compromised, neither the mites nor the infection will respond to treatment. With generalized demodicosis, successful treatment may take a long time and may require a regular scraping of the skin to check the progress of treatment. Since the immune system does not develop until 12 to 18 months of age, a dog with demodectic mange can have relapsed before that age. Also, dogs with compromised immune systems can be vulnerable to recurrence.
MANGE IN CATS: SYMPTOMS, TREATMENTS & PREVENTION
It is a type of skin condition caused by parasitic mites, small parasitic arachnids closely related to ticks. Mange can cause restlessness, extreme itching, and frenzied scratching in cats.
Its symptoms usually occur one week after exposure. It generally progresses to patchy hair loss and a moth-eaten skin look.
A cat’s ears and face are the most frequently affected areas, but it can spread to the entire body.
Mange in cats is a significant challenge to cat lovers. Ours is a pet-loving culture. Cats are one of the happiest pets on the block. They are furry friends with so many favorable traits. They are delightful pets for any family. But pet ownership is not for the faint of the heart. Pets are like humans, too; they can get health issues.
Pet parents are flooded with emotions whenever they have to deal with their pet babies’ health concerns, from minor concerns to serious ones. So, pet parents need to look out for their cat’s health.
Our pets may not be our flesh and blood, but we treasure them like our children. We’re here to help those cat parents to know essential information about mange. Let’s layout the condition, its causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment methods.
Let’s swing into action and start on learning everything about Mange in cats neatly.
WHAT IS MANGE IN CATS?
Mange in cats generally means the proliferation of mites in cats. Some mange mites are living infallibly on your cat’s hair and skin. It’s not a pleasant thought, but it is normal. However, when a cat is hungry and has a weak immune system, mites can increase and cause distressing symptoms.
THERE ARE THREE MOST COMMON TYPES OF MANGE IN CATS: SARCOPTIC, NOTEDRIC, AND DEMODECTIC.
- Feline sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabei) is a relatively rare but highly contagious form of mange. It is caused by microscopic mites that are oval-shaped and light-colored.
- Notedric mange (Notredes cats) is a type of scabies that occurs in cats. This type of mange causes unpleasant skin infections that appear on the face and ears and then gradually extends to the rest of the body. This type is also a highly contagious type of disease. Hence, if you are living with multiple cats at home, you would want to act quickly.
- Demodectic mange (Demodex cati or Demodex gatoi) is neither common nor communicable. Instead, they are cigar-shaped mites that are usual residents of a healthy cat’s hair and skin that can only cause infection if the cat’s immune system is compromised.
SYMPTOMS OF MANGE IN CATS
Your cat’s exact condition will depend on which type of mange or parasites have spread and the degree of their proliferation. But the general symptoms of mange in cats include:
- Skin drying
- Excessive licking or grooming
- Intense itching
- Frantic scratching
- Patchy hair loss
- Moth-eaten appearance to the skin
These symptoms onsets a week after exposure to mites and worsens when mange is not treated. Mange in cats may affect the face or the ears of the cat, but it can also spread to the other parts of the body.
TREATMENTS FOR CATS WITH MANGE
The initial step in treating mange in cats is isolating your cats to deter contagion of other pets.
Seeking a vet is needed to know which medication shall be administered to kill the mites depending on the type of mange your cat has.
The veterinarian will perform diagnosis like skin scraping and physical examination to confirm which type of Mange in cats is causing skin disease.
The vet may prescribe medication that may be in the form of antibacterial or anti-inflammatory and antibiotics shampoo or soap. Treatment can also be in the form of topical cream, or through injectable drugs. With constant medication and care, mites can be killed fast, and your cat’s condition will improve in just one month.
PREVENTION FOR MANGE IN CATS
As long as the cats are not immunocompromised, mange would not be a significant concern. But just like humans, cats have their ups and downs as well.
Some necessary preventions for mange in cats include:
- Just like flea control, you would need to clean its surroundings by maintaining a clean home thoroughly. Replace your cat’s beddings and or wash it with hot water with detergent and sanitize the toys, dishes, collar, clothes, etc.
- Keep your cat away from a cat with suspected Mange in cats to keep this skin disease at bay. Wash your hands if you pet other outdoor cats before handling your own to avoid exposing your cats to mites.
- Mange is contagious, so make sure that the grooming facilities you have visited with your cats are free from mites’ presence.
- Feed your cat with a healthy diet to help strengthen its immune system.
SIGNS OF MANGE IN CATS
The symptoms of mange in cats are:
- Extreme itchiness
- Excessive licking, grooming, and scratching
- Sores, lesions, and bumps on the skin
- Scaling of skin around the face, neck, and eyelids
- Skin discoloration
- Hair loss
But there are also distinctive signs and symptoms particular in each type of Mange in cats. Let us delve into them to pin down which of this pesky mange is giving your cats the itch:
- Sarcoptic Mange: Its signs and symptoms include skin rashes, hair loss, intense itching, biting, and scratching. The intense scratching causes red papules to develop, which will eventually crust over, causing patches of crusty, scaly skin.
- Notoedric Mange: The signs and symptoms include hair loss and intense itching that starts at the face and neck, then rapidly spreads in the body. The thickening and forming of grayish-yellow crust in the skin develop as it progresses. Severe cases may involve sores.
- Demodectic mange: The signs and symptoms are similar to that of notoedric mange, but it is not contagious and will only get out of control when the cat has weakened immune system.
CBD OIL AS AN ALTERNATIVE
As a pet parent, you want to ensure that your cat gets the best care possible. It is painful to see a cat stressing over the itchiness and the pain caused by the mange.
Natural remedies for Mange in cats can help them feel better. One best alternative for treating your cats is CBD oil.
CBD oil is an organic and all-natural treatment that can benefit cats. It is still under continuous health and medical research, so we are not allowed to imply that CBD oil can be used to prevent, treat, or cure any diseases or ailments of cats or any pets in general, but results are promising.
Interestingly, many studies have confirmed that CBD oil can effectively help relieve discomfort from extreme itchiness and irritation. Hence, it could ultimately reduce hair loss and crusting of the skin.
CBD also cooperates with the brain in inducing positive emotions. It could alleviate the anxiety and stress of the cat as he fights the skin disease. It is also important to note that CBD oil has little to no THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana.
MORE ABOUT CBD OIL
Hence, CBD oil has no intoxicating properties, so you don’t have to worry about your cat getting ‘high.’ Instead, it is a natural product derived from the hemp plant, making it entirely safe to consume and filled with natural health benefits.
With so many studies showing CBD oil several health benefits, the bottom line is, CBD oil is legal, safe, and healthy even when taken in high doses and over a long period.
Talk with your holistic veterinarian to learn more about how CBD oil can help your pet and the proper dosage of CBD oil for your cat. Speak to your veterinarian if you have any further concerns.
Rarely diagnosed in cats, but one of the most common diseases affecting dogs, mange is a skin disease caused by many small mite organisms. Mange in cats can cause irritation, extreme itching, and frenzied scratching.
The first step in managing care is to separate your cat, so it does not affect other animals and humans. Your vet will prescribe medications to kill the mites. Medication can be administered topically, by injection, or by shampoo and dip.
Even though mange is a nasty parasite, the good news is that this disease will unlikely experience this disease. This is assuming your cat is healthy, living in a clean indoor home, and being fed a healthy and consistent diet.