Notorious mange is a scabby, scaly skin disease resulting from an infection by the feline mite called Notoedres cati. Notoedres mites are closely related to the Sarcoptic mange mites found on dogs. The two infections are similar. These conditions will usually start out with itchy crusts and scales on the edge of the ears. Notodric mange will spread to the cat’s face and if the disease is not treated it will cover the cat’s whole body. The word “scabies” refers to a mite infection with any of the mites in the Saroptidae family. In the U.S. this infection is considered rare. Many veterinarian dermatologists never see this condition in their entire careers. The Southern California area is a hot spot for the condition and here the infection is very common.
A scraping of the crusty skin can be examined under a microscope and the mites and their eggs are generally not difficult to detect if they are present. If they are not it still does not rule out Notodric mange. Sometimes a test treatment will be used to fully rule out the infection. The animal will develop a terrible itch that nothing will seem to relive.
This infection can be transmitted to other pets and humans. Notoedres mites are spread by touch and they can infect humans, dogs and rabbits as well as cats. They stay on their host a few days and transmission is usually by direct contact.
There are several options for treatment of this condition. In the past dipping the infected animal 6 or 7 times in lime sulfur or Amitraz dips was used. Ivermictin has become the most common treatment because it is convenient and effective. It is usually given by injection and it is usually given weekly or every 2 weeks for a month and the recovery time is fast. The treated cat will become infected again if it comes in contact with other cats that have not started showing symptoms.
Selamectin is a topical medication that was designed for lea, heartworm and intestinal parasite control and is sometimes used. This medication is used on dogs to control Sarcoptic mange mites. Selamectin seems to be effective on Notoedres mites. This product appears to be most beneficial in prevention of future infections and is a convenient way to treat other household cats.
If one cat in your home is diagnosed with this condition all the cats in the