If you're noticing that your wee kitten is experiencing some skin-related discomfort, don't just brush it off. Feline scabies is a relatively rare ailment that affects kitties of all ages through a variety of unpleasant symptoms. Think severe itchiness, unusually restless behavior, fur loss and lesions -- not fun at all.
What is Feline Scabies?
Feline scabies, also known as notoedric mange, is an infectious skin ailment that results from the presence of a parasite called Notoedres cati. The contagious condition can be transmitted easily through direct exposure between felines. Because of the relevance of close contact, feline scabies generally appears more in cats who spend significant amounts of time outdoors, including stray and feral kitties.
According to The Merck Veterinary Manual, feline scabies is an undiscriminating problem for cats both young and old. Sprightly kittens and wise adult cats alike may be affected by the rare disease. Apart from age, feline scabies also seemingly equally affects different cat breeds, as well as males and females.
If your cute fluff ball is suffering from feline scabies, the symptoms will likely be very apparent -- much to the frustration of you and your kitty. Be on the lookout for indications of discomfort such as conspicuous loss of hair, sores, crusty patches on the skin and extreme itchiness of the ears, neck, eyelids and face. Although especially common on these body parts, however, the itching can spread elsewhere, so be especially alert.
If you are concerned for even one second that your kitten may have feline scabies, call your veterinarian and schedule that appointment. During the time before your appointment, the ASPCA recommends keeping your kitten away from any other pets you may have in your household. The last thing you need is more poor things suffering from the annoyance and discomfort of scabies. At the appointment, the vet may conduct diagnostic skin scraping tests to determine whether your kitten indeed has the condition. If she does, the vet may speak to you about the various possible solutions out there for getting rid of the scratch-inducing problem, including lime-sulfur dips, antibacterial shampoos and antibacterial medications.
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