Skin mites

The presence of mites in the skin is also referred to as "mange" and is an intensely itchy condition.

OVERVIEW

The presence of mites in the skin of the pet referred to as "mange". Mites are not visible to the naked eye and diagnosis requires a veterinary skin scraping.

Mites bury into the skin of the pet causing itchiness, hair loss and inflammation. Mange is highly contagious to both cats and dogs. Treatment requires specific veterinary management and monitoring.

SIGNS

Common signs of a mite infestation:

  • Intense itching
  • Highly contagious - so multiple pets in the household affected
  • Crusty sores on abdomen, chest, ears, elbows and legs
  • Hair loss
  • Rash
  • Skin odour

Diagnosis of mites is made via skin scrapings where mites and eggs may be seen under the microscope.

MANAGEMENT

Veterinary treatment consists of medications and shampoos.

NOTE: Mange, caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite, can be transmitted to humans. For further information, seek advice from your General Medical Practitioner.

TIPS

If you suspect a mite infestation, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Tips to help prevent mange:

  • Clean and disinfect bedding and collar
  • Treat all animals in the home
  • Keep your pet away from the source for example neighbour's pet or wildlife