SARCOPTIC MANGE (SCABIES):
This family of mite can infect dogs, cats, and other animals, each species is considered to be fairly host-specific for our domestic animals. It affects any age, sex or breed.
Severe itching is a predominant symptom, often with accompanying papules that develop thick yellow crusts, which drop off leaving a raw area. Areas of the body affected include the underside, ears and elbows. Humans can develop lesions on in-contact areas e.g. forearms and the stomach. Itching and red skin lesions are also a feature.
Diagnosis in animals is not always easy, but skin scrapings, faecal examination for mites ingested while grooming and skin biopsy may all be required.
TREATMENT CONSISTS OF:
• Parasiticidal dips on a weekly basis
• Injectable or oral medications
• Corticosteroids to relieve itching
• Clean-up of environment ( mites live 2-3 days away from host)
• Treating in-contacts
• Topical antiparasiticals (on the back of the neck) e.g. Advantage Multi
This condition can occur in dogs, cats and rabbits of any age, breed or sex. Signs are quite variable and include either dry or greasy seborrhoea (excess skin scurf) which may be itchy, often with crusty eruptions on the skin.
Diagnosis is made by taking skin scrapings for microscopic examination in order to identify the mite. Faecal examination may also lead to mite identification as a result of mites being swallowed during grooming.
Treatment consists of application of topical insecticidal. Other in-contact animals may be asymptomatic carries and should also be treated.
OTODECTES (ear mites):
Ear Mites (Otodectes cyanotis) infest the ear canals of dogs and cats. The mite is contagious and transfers from animal to animal by direct contact. Otodectes mites can live away from their host (your pet) for several months and will re-infect given the opportunity.
Infected animals usually have itchy ears and spend considerable time shaking and scratching at them. Irritation of wax glands leads to the production of a thick black or red crusty material, which often fills the ear canals. Trauma to the pinna (the floppy part) is common and may progress to an aural hematoma, which requires surgery to correct. Secondary infection with bacteria and yeast further complicates the problem. In severe infestations, the mites invade other parts of the body.
Diagnosis is made when the veterinarian visualizes mites under magnification, either with an otoscope in the pet's ears or in wax visualized beneath the microscope.
In all cases your pet should be confined during treatment to prevent spread of these diseases.
© Forrest Hill Vets (2000) Ltd