You’ve probably heard of scabies. In fact, just by hearing this word we can immediately feel a strange tingling through the legs and / or arms. Because of this, I like to call it the ‘itch disease’, although it is not its popular name. An itch produced by parasites that belong to the same family as spiders. They burrow under the skin, where they dig tiny tunnels. They cannot usually be seen with the naked eye.
In humans, it is transmitted by direct or indirect daily contact, that is, by touching clothing and / or an infected person or animal . Scabies is spread very easily so it is very important that if any of your family members (and / or animals) have been diagnosed with this disease, everything possible is done to avoid further infections.
Types of mange that affect cats
Scabies in humans is not really very different from that which affects cats, as the symptoms are similar as you will see below. However, depending on the type of scabies our friend has, we will have to take some measures or others .
Thus, the mange that most affects cats is that produced by Notoedres cati , called notoedric mange . This parasite can only live in the body of the feline, so no matter how much it wants to live in the human body … it will not cause us any harm or itching.
The demodectic mange , caused by the parasite called Demodex canis which normally affects dogs, but can also affect cats. I have to tell you that one of my dogs had it as a puppy, and with the treatment given by the vet it was immediately cured. This type of scabies is not contagious to humans.
You should be careful with cheiletiellosis and ear scabies , since they could end up appearing some hives on the arms and legs.
Most frequent symptoms
In humans the symptoms are as follows:
- Intense itching : especially at night. Nobody likes to feel itchy, so our first reaction will always be to scratch ourselves. This is something that should be avoided since otherwise the sensation is likely to increase … thus feeding a vicious cycle that could end with an infected wound.
- Small rashes: to heal them, nothing like applying the cream and taking the medicine prescribed by the doctor. But if you need a treatment urgently, wipe the affected area with cotton moistened with liquid against lice, and you will see how little by little you will feel better.
In our furry companions the symptoms are varied:
- Itching : you will see how the affected areas are constantly scratched, which will soon lose hair or look red and / or inflamed.
- Wounds : cat nails can do a lot of damage, so due to constant scratching, wounds are one of the most common symptoms.
- Excess dark earwax : if it affects the ears, excess wax can cause otitis.
Treatment of scabies in cats
Scabies is a very easy disease to treat, but with a treatment duration that can be quite long . So much so that it is normally recommended to combine two treatments so that the quality of life of the animal returns to what it was. And, contrary to what it may seem, practically the same drugs that are used to treat scabies are routinely used to prevent infestation of fleas, ticks and internal parasites.
Thus, there are pipettes that, in addition to repelling the two most common pests, will also kill scabies mites. There are several brands, so your vet will give you the one that he considers best for your cat. But not just pipettes, he will likely give your friend tablets to fight the disease from inside the animal’s body. Another option is to give him medicine through an IV , especially if he is very nervous or there is no way for him to swallow the pill.
As we have seen, there are different types of mange that affect cats. For safety reasons, it is advisable for the animal to remain in a room until it has recovered , but be careful, this does not mean that we have to stop caring for it: it is sick, and now more than ever it needs to feel loved.
And, how to give love to avoid infecting us? Well, very easy. It will be enough to put on gloves and wash our clothes every day , but not only the ones we wear but also the bed clothes , such as blankets and sheets. In the event that there are small children and / or other animals at home, it will be convenient to keep them separate from the sick cat . In this way, more members of the family will be prevented from becoming infected.
You have to be very patient because, as we said, scabies is a disease that can take time to heal , so you should follow the specialist’s instructions to get the situation to normalize as soon as possible.
We know it’s easier said (or written) than done, but really, don’t despair. Mange that affects cats is a disease that, detected early, cures in a matter of days or, at most, weeks. During these days it is important that your furry knows that you love him so that he has the energy he needs to return to being who he was.
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