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What are Skin Mite Dermatitis?

Mange is caused by the microscopic parasite known as the mite. These very small parasites live on the skin and in the hair follicles of felines, but do not usually feed on the animal’s blood like other external parasites. In fact, some mites are considered normal residents of many mammalian species and their host’s immune system keeps them in balance, preventing them from taking over. However, when the immune system drops due to illness, one of these species of mites takes over and skin mite dermatitis is soon to develop.

Skin mite dermatitis in cats is known to both the veterinary world and the general public as mange. Cats are highly susceptible to several types of mange, including demodicosis, trombiculosis, cheyletiellosis, otodectic and notoedric mange. Each form of mange is highly contagious to other cats, causing dermatitis symptoms of skin inflammation, alopecia, and pruritus. Mange commonly affects the very old, very young or otherwise unhealthy groups of felines, but other cats could be carrying the mange parasite with no sign of mange. 

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Skin Mite Dermatitis Average Cost

From 485 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

Symptoms of Skin Mite Dermatitis in Cats

Skin mite dermatitis is extremely pruritic to the feline and will cause the cat to scratch the skin vigorously. Depending on the species of mite affecting the feline, skin mite dermatitis might affect the ears, head, neck, abdomen, foot pads or entire body of the cat. If a feline is infected with ear mites, symptoms of head shaking, pawing at the ears, bloody ears (due to scratching), swelling of the ears and ear infections will all be noted. Mite species-specific symptoms of skin mite dermatitis in cats includes:

  • Feline Scabies: skin crusts and hair loss. 
  • Ear mites: The inner ear will appear dirty with dark debris that resembles coffee grounds. 
  • Walking Dandruff: dandruff-like skin crusts and small bumps along the skin. 
  • Feline Demodicosis: hair loss and fluid-filled sores. 
  • Trombiculosis: these mites can be viewed as orange ovals on the skin that are usually clustered together. Common symptoms include skin crusts, hair loss, skin bumps and redness. 

Types

Trombiculosis 

Trombiculosis is a type of mange caused by the larval-stage parasite known as Trombiculidae. Trombiculidae are one of the few mites that will feed on the feline around the abdomen, feet pads, ears and head. A cat can contract this parasite by laying in the dirt. 

Feline Demodicosis

Feline demodicosis is a type of mange caused by either the Demodex cati mite or the Demodex gatoi mite. The demodex mite is often a normal, non-hazardous skin mite of the feline but can cause problems in sick cats. 

Cheyletiellosis (Walking Dandruff)

Cheyletiellosis is commonly called walking dandruff due to the mite’s dandruff-like appearance. Cheyletiellosis is caused by the Cheyletiella blakei mite, which is a common parasite in multi-cat households. 

Otodectic Mange (Ear Mites)

Otodectic mange is caused by the Otodectes cynotis mite, but this mite is commonly known as the ear mite since it infests a feline’s ear. 

Notoedric Mange (Feline Scabies) 

Notoedric mange is caused by the Notoedres cati mite. Although quite rare, feline scabies is a highly contagious disease that causes the skin to crust, favorable to the upper portions of the body.  

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Causes of Skin Mite Dermatitis in Cats

Skin mite dermatitis in cat is caused by an infestation of a species of mite that is host-specific to felines. Trombiculidae, Demodex cati, Demodex gatoi, Cheyletiella blakei, Otodectes cynotis, or the Notoedres cati mite can all cause skin mite dermatitis in cats. Unlike other external parasites that spend half of their life cycle in the environment, mites spend their entire lives on their host. The only exception is the Trombiculidae mite, as this mite does live in the environment, infecting felines at their larval life. However, all other mites are usually transmitted to one feline to another through direct contact. Nursing queens often transmit skin mites to their kittens, causing skin mite dermatitis as kittens have a weak immune system. Multi-cat household and cats living in breeding facilities, pet stores, or shelters are at a high risk for contracting a type of skin mite.

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Diagnosis of Skin Mite Dermatitis in Cats

Skin mite dermatitis in cat can be identified through the symptoms on a physical exam. Mites that are affecting the cat’s skin can be identified through the process of a skin scraping. A skin scraping is a simple test of scraping the top layer of the skin, removing particles to view underneath the microscope. Ear mites will require a swab of the ear and microscopic view for identification.

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Treatment of Skin Mite Dermatitis in Cats

Some cats recover from skin mite dermatitis without treatment, but severe cases or cats that are in poor health must receive medical treatment to recover. Mites that are localized in the ears will need to be cleaned out and treated with prescribed drops.   Topical medications are often needed for mite infestations.  

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Recovery of Skin Mite Dermatitis in Cats

The recovery outlook for a cat suffering from whole-body skin mite dermatitis depends on her overall health. Follow your veterinarian’s treatment plan and bring the cat back into the clinic if symptoms worsen, or you do not see an improvement. Preventing re-infestation of mites can be a challenge, but the best preventative method is keeping your feline’s environment clean and keeping her away from potential carriers, and using prevention recommended by your veterinarian.  

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Skin Mite Dermatitis Average Cost

From 485 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

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Skin Mite Dermatitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Ask a Vet

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Sammy, daisy, khya

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Tabby mix,tuxedo, calico

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6 Years

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Serious severity

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8 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Hello I have three cats two females one male my mail is a tuxedo and my females one is a dilute tortoiseshell and the other one is coloring and like a Maine Coon bobcat mix they're all indoor cats except the Maine coon I did get her in the spray in March she was a stray that I picked up and have it checked out and everything was fine few months after that I noticed that there was some stuff going on my cat like there was these white hairlike things that would come out of his fur and he was itching a lot so I thought maybe with a Bayer quad dewormer and gave them all flea bath well it didn't help nothing stopped and then I noticed that there was things happening in my home that was unexplainable like these hairs were getting on things and they were multiplying or I noticed them in my hair and I was getting itchy ear and itchy or more at night time and to the point where I ended up buying my house I ended up doing everything you can think of my cats have had numerous revolutions they've had mange washes they've had everything you can think of but I don't know how to treat my home so I never knew what to do and still don't the vet never gave a true diagnosis but treated them for parasites now mind you like I said this is now in my hair and in my children's hair and it looks like like white hairs there iridescent looking the clear but yet they're not clear I don't know what these are I took my child to the hospital to get help because of this because they bite and it hurts and I don't know what to do to kill them and they took my kids from me told me I was crazy please if somebody knows what this is please help me I can't get it to go away it's relentless

Sept. 21, 2018

Sammy, daisy, khya's Owner

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Jag

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Unknown breed

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10 Years

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Mild severity

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5 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Itching, Red Bumps On Himans

Me and my child have recently woken up with bites on her arms and my stomach. Her pediatrician said they could be mites if our animals come on out bedding. I have noticed one cat who spends most of the time outdoors has been coming inside more and seems to be begging to be pet and seems to itch a lot more than before. What can I do asid for the lime sulfu wash to get rid of them in our house and bedding. I ha e a steamer for clothes could I steam my bedding until I get the wash in the mail and stop them from getting on the beds?

Sept. 15, 2018

Jag's Owner

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Skin Mite Dermatitis Average Cost

From 485 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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