Some Basic Facts Regarding Mange

August 3, 2010

in Cats

When a loved and cherished family pet develops the skin condition known as mange, it can be fairly traumatic. The symptoms are often troubling and must be immediately treated. Almost all mammals are prone to this issue, including humans. If you work with animals or have pets, this is a problem you should familiarize yourself with.

This issue is usually defined as an infestation of the animal’s epidermis by small parasites that are known as mites. As this problem begins, the parasites will burrow themselves into the skin of the animal, feeding on it’s hair follicles and the oil glands. This condition is easily transferred from mammal to mammal through basic physical contact.

The symptoms of mange will become apparent fairly quickly. Domestic pets will begin scratching their itchy skin, often leading to sores and lesions of varying degrees of severity. The animal will become very stressed and will begin losing their hair in patches. They can become weakened and can lose weight. If the condition is left untreated, it can even result in the death of the animal.

The cause of this is a microscopic bug commonly referred to as a demodex mite. Understand that these parasite are actually normal. However, there are conditions that allow the parasite to exceed normal, healthy levels. This happens frequently with young mammals, where an underdeveloped and immature immune system fails to fight off the problem. In mature animals, changes in hormones and the immune system can open a window for the parasite to flourish. This issue is easily passed on from animal to animal through basic physical contact.

There are actually few options in preventing the mange. Perhaps the most ideal method is an attempt at keeping your pet isolated from stray animals that may have the condition, especially if they appear to have the issue. Proper hygiene is ideal, as is keeping your pet properly cared for and nourished.

There are numerous treatment options. It is important, however, that a qualified veterinarian prescribe the appropriate method, as ideal treatment options will vary depending on the degree of severity. Often, the condition will recede naturally. If this is not the case, veterinarians often advise medical injections or various types of medicated dips.

This infestation is a common problem for pet owners, and most will have to address the issue at least once in the lifespan of their pets. Be sure and follow all treatments exactly as your vet dictates. Mistreating the problem with natural or home remedies, or failing to closely follow treatment instructions, can have adverse effects on the animal. Avoiding treatment all together can even result in the death of the pet.

Dog mange is a pejorative humorously applied to pets, but it is also a serious parasitic infestation that can be deadly for immature pets. Unless effective mange cream is applied, your pet will continue to suffer.

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