Red mange: the term itself calls up unpleasant images of some huge plague sweeping across the world. The good news is red mange is not as scary as it sounds, is not a danger to people, and can be effectively treated to make your cat or dog healthy and happy again. First of all, you should know that the problem is much more common for dogs than for cats. However, it is important for the health of your pet that you know about the facts about red mange. The tiny mite demodex is responsible for infecting pets with demodicosis or red mange. It can be quickly recognized with the use of a microscope. However, the types of symptoms depend on whether it is found in dogs or cats.
Fortunately, red mange is not difficult to identify and relatively easy to treat.
Red Mange in Cats
In cats, demodicosis is the result of the mite taking up residence in the hair follicles. Although the problem may affect cats of all ages and breeds, it is more common in Burmese and Siamese cats. The two distinct forms of demodicosis are localized and generalized. Localized red mange is much more common and can be recognized by symptoms which include itchy skin and loss of hair, especially in the areas around the head and eyes. Lesions which are a reddish color and look irritated may appear.
On the other hand, while the generalized version of the ailment may include similar sores, it is not limited to upper areas but affects the legs and body as well. In addition to such unpleasant indications, generalized red mange may be a sign of a suppressed immune system. Cats with generalized red mange should be examined by a veterinarian for such things as diabetes, feline leukemia, infection from Feline Immunodeficiency, as well as other immune system diseases.
Red Mange in Dogs
For dogs, demodectic or red mange attacks puppies at three months to one year old. The problem is brought on by the tiny mite Demodex canis, which is normally present in pores of the puppy’s skin. Most often, the mite causes no problems. However, for reasons that are not clear, there are some cases in which the mites begin producing a substance that reduces the dog’s ability to resist them. As a result, the mites are able to multiply freely. Symptoms of red mange in dogs may include thinning hair near the mouth and eyes as well as on front legs which can progress to hair loss in small areas of approximately one inch across. Such conditions may disappear on their own within a couple of months. Unfortunately, red mange may start in a localized form and grow into a generalized infection affecting the dog’s legs, body, and head. Once the infection reaches this stage, the skin becomes tender, flakey, and often discharges pus. In addition, hair follicles can be clogged with mites as well as debris. Necessary treatment is usually lengthy and must include regular cleaning with medicated shampoo along with the use of mite-killing insecticide.
Making a Diagnosis
While any initial diagnosis is likely to be made by the pet owner upon noticing signs of a possible red mange infection, your veterinarian will provide the best diagnosis. The demodex mite is extremely small and cannot be identified without a microscope. A veterinarian will take scrapings of lesions to examine under a microscope for the presence of the mite.
So Your Pet Has Red Mange…Now What?
As mentioned previously, red mange is relatively easy to treat. One of the most effective products available is EcoMange. EcoMange has been specially formulated to cure the pain and discomfort of all types of mange in general and red mange specifically.
Although the demodex mite which causes red mange is a scary-looking creature, its affects can easily be corrected if they are dealt with quickly and effectively. There are some important things to keep in mind. Since the mites can spread quickly, all pets in your household are at risk and should be treated. Also, if your pet exhibits the generalized form of the disease, it is wise to have a veterinarian conduct diagnostic testing to exclude the possibility of underlying causes.
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