Demodicosis in a cat is caused by a subcutaneous tick. The problem can affect all animals, regardless of breed or age. However, it should be understood that this tick is constantly on the pet's skin, but the disease occurs due to a weakened immune system, against the background of constant chronic pathologies and other negative factors. Veterinarians recognize the tick as opportunistic because only a failure in the immune system leads to the manifestation of the clinical picture of the disease.
Causes of the problem
The skin of most animals is often parasitized by the Demodex mite, while it does not cause problems and does not bother the pet. But under certain conditions, affected areas can be seen on the skin of cats. The following factors can trigger the inflammatory process and provoke demodicosis in a cat:
- presence of worms and intoxication caused by their vital activity;
- insufficient dietary fat intake;
- immunity weakened by frequent illnesses;
- lack of vitamins A, E and group B;
- wrong conditions of detention (dampness, dirt);
- lack of quality care and disinfection of bedding, animal bowls.
Demodicosis in a cat occurs due to the penetration of a tick into the skin. When this occurs, inflammation occurs, and characteristic symptoms are visible.
How the disease progresses
Depending on the degree of damage and the development of the problem, the following forms of the disease are distinguished:
- Localized. Demodicosis in a cat manifests itself in a certain area. It usually affects the mouth, eyes, ears, or neck. If treatment is started on time, the prognosis is always favorable.
- Generalized. If you ignore individual areas of the lesion, then soon the tick will affect multiple zones. Demodicosis can develop rapidly in individuals that are predisposed to this pathology. Therefore, veterinarians recommend neutering or spaying the animal after the course of treatment in order to stop the appearance of kittens with hereditary vulnerability.
Typical signs of the manifestation of the disease
It is worth noting that the first signs of the disease are difficult to notice immediately. Pathology develops slowly, which is why the owner of the pet does not notice the areas affected by demodicosis for a very long time. Every cat owner should know the symptoms and treatment of a cat.
Signs to watch out for:
- wool loses its former luster, becomes dull and lifeless;
- may appearreceding hairline;
- eyes redden, peeling appears, resembling dandruff;
- tubercles or small growths can be found on the skin;
- pustules are revealed that itch and disturb the animal;
- the cat begins to constantly itch, traces of blood are visible when combing the pustules.
It is impossible to detect demodicosis in cats only by external signs. The photo partly conveys the main symptoms, but the specialist will always prescribe a scraping and only on the basis of its results will make a diagnosis and determine the treatment.
Symptoms of demodicosis in cats depend on the form of its manifestation. Therefore, the appropriate treatment is selected based on this. It is advisable to show the pet to the doctor and, after establishing the diagnosis, begin therapy.
Establishing an accurate diagnosis is important because some of the symptoms are similar to those of ringworm or other dermatitis. The veterinarian relies not only on an external examination, but also conducts a series of examinations. A complete picture is given by scraping from the affected areas. In this case, you can identify the presence of parasites and determine the stage of their development.
It is worth considering that if the analysis showed the presence of only adults in the skin, then the cat is not a carrier of the disease and is not dangerous to other animals. A swab taken from the ear also turns out to be informative.
If a tick is not found in the scraping, then an analysis from another site will be required. A stool test is often ordered because the animals are carefullylick themselves. Thus, the parasite enters the body. Tests also help to establish a diagnosis in the absence of obvious external symptoms.
Treatment of the localized form
To eliminate the manifestation of symptoms, it is necessary to bathe the cat in a special medicated shampoo. It is recommended to use the drug "Doctor" or "Elite". Means help to remove excess sebum, coarsened particles, antibacterial protection of the skin from the appearance of new pustules. Next, you need to let the wool dry well and treat the affected areas with an antiseptic. Hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine can be used.
Treatment of demodicosis in cats at home should be carried out under the supervision of a specialist. For this, medicines are used that cause the death of the parasitic tick. Preparations must be carefully treated with a diseased area twice a week. It is required to capture not only the diseased area of the skin, but also the entire diameter near it - about 1 cm.
The following remedies are recommended for this:
However, for these drugs, pregnancy and lactation of a cat, as well as the presence of infectious diseases, are among the contraindications.
In addition to medical preparations, vitamin therapy is needed. To speed up recovery and raise the immunity of the animal, it is recommended tothe use of "Maxidin" or "Gamavit".
Home first aid kit
If the animal has a localized form of the disease, then the treatment of demodicosis in cats at home is possible using folk remedies. Of course, their use does not cancel standard therapy, but it can contribute to a faster recovery and elimination of unpleasant symptoms.
Tar soap or shampoo has proven itself well. Ticks cannot stand its smell and hastily leave their shelter in the skin. Pustules and wounds are recommended to be treated with tincture of calendula, chamomile, sage. The use of sulfuric ointment will not hurt either.
Treatment of the generalized form
If the initial manifestations of demodicosis are not treated, then its generalized form is rapidly developing, which is considered a complication of the local stage. In this case, shaving the wool will be required to provide access to the affected areas. The animal must be bathed using the same shampoos that were indicated just above. In this case, the wounds are treated with chlorhexidine.
A pet diagnosed with the generalized form will need Cydectin injections. The dosage is calculated taking into account 0.5 ml per kilogram of the cat's body weight. In total, two injections will be required with an interval of seven days.
The defeat of the whole body is characterized by extensive demodicosis in cats. Treatment in this case will not do without antibiotics. The veterinarian canprescribe one of the following drugs:
It is mandatory to take vitamins and immunomodulators. In this case, it is recommended to take one of the following remedies:
- "Gala Vet";
To prevent tick parasitism, it is appropriate to apply drops of "Amit Forte" to the withers.
Preventive measures that prevent the development of demodicosis are reduced to strengthening the cat's immunity. For this you need:
- provide your pet with a balanced and complete diet;
- regularly give the animal vitamin-mineral complexes;
- do all scheduled vaccinations;
- Regularly clean and disinfect pet bedding, bowl and toys;
- provide complete care;
- if you have any doubts about your he alth, it is better to take the cat to the veterinarian to clarify the diagnosis and get recommendations for treatment.
It is important that with demodicosis, a tick from cats is not transmitted to humans. Therefore, you can carry out full care, while not using special protective equipment. However, it is recommended to follow the rules of personal hygiene and constantly wash your hands after handling the skin of the animal.
Demodicosis causes a lot of problems for the cat. The skin itches, becomes inflamed, and a secondary infection may join. Veterinarians warn that treatment will be easier and more effective if you start drug therapy at the very beginning of the first symptoms. The tick spreads very quickly throughout the body and affects more and more places on the body. Therefore, you will need a pet haircut, taking stronger drugs and subsequent recovery, which will not have the best effect on overall he alth.