Demodicosis is a parasitic disease of dogs and cats caused by the presence of a large number of demodex. In dogs, demodicosis is caused by Demodex canis and in cats – Demodex cati. Unlike dog demodicosis, this disease is far less common in cats. Demodicosis can be localized, when affecting smaller areas of the body, but also generalized, and in that case it affects large areas on the body. Generalized demodicosis is almost always connected with some systemic illness such as diabetes, hyperadococcalism, or some other systemic illness… What many pet owners fear is that this parasite can be transmitted to humans, but in this case, there is no need to panic. Humans can not be infected with demodicosis.
Demodicosis is characterized by skin inflammation, redness and formation of scabs, as well as roughened skin. Although it usually affects certain parts of the body such as paws and snout, demodicosis can be extended to other parts of the body as well. As with most diseases, the immune system plays an important role in this case. Due to this, the kittens are the most vulnerable group.
A veterinarian can diagnose demodicosis based on the pet’s detailed medical history provided by the owner, a detailed examination of the pet, and, most importantly, a microscopic examination of skin scarification. Demodicosis treatment must be carried out under the strict recommendation and control of the vet. The vet must warn the owners of cats suffering from generalized demodicosis as to how severe and resistant to treatment this disease is, and to ask for both patience and financial engagement of the owners. The treatment can last for weeks and even months. Demodicosis is considered cured only after a year has passed since the last skin changes occurred.
Prevention of this disease almost does not exist. In fact, it refers to what could be possible causes of it. Among other things, stress represents a great danger, but so does malnutrition. Also, the inherited tendency towards demodicosis is also a very important factor in the onset of this disease. Demodeks cati is constantly present on the cat’s skin, and symptoms develop under the influence of stress or immunity decline caused by other pathological conditions, and so a good, happy and healthy life of your cat is the best prevention of this dangerous illness.