Archive for August, 2010

Singing calms Nelson, the rescue kitty with mange

This is Nelson – he has mange and was severely malnourished when he got stuck in a client’s garage. He’s a sweet boy, but still a little unsure of some things. I decided to see if he likes singing and if it would calm him. It really did. I sang parts of Paul Thorn’s “Resurrection Day,” one of my favorite songs in the world. I need to re-learn the words, but Nelson didn’t care. His mood completely changed…watch it until near the end when he rubs his head against my leg. He was in heaven. I’m going to sing to him from now on.

Duration : 0:2:47

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Cat losing hair? Medical not shedding?

Im asking this question for my dad-inlaw…He just bought collars for his cats not long ago- same rack-brand-all of it his one cat we’ll call Cat1 had started to breakout you could say losing fur has/had some sores fur loss completly around neck some on his back and near his tail- its looks as if hes been chewing. Cat 2 never had any problem totally fine. He says this happens sometimes in the summer with Cat 1 and had another one who had the same problem but has never been this severe. There has been NO Flea evidence. He obviously has taken the color off since this has happened a few weeks ago and had given them their Frontline treatment recently. Cat 1 has started getting better and fur is growing back since then.A friend of his mentioned possibly Sand Fleas but there is no evidence of fleas. I am a groomer which is why he asked me but I dont deal with cats- Im figuring its an allergic reaction from something that was possibly on the collar or some kinda Mange but why would the Mange get better once Frontline is applied? If anyone has any suggestions as to what possibly couldve happened please let me know! Once again there was NO sign of fleas once Frontline was applied Cat1 has gotten better and this happens during the summer sometimes.THANK YOU FOR YOUR ANSWERS!!

Hi Michelle,

Hair loss can be a variety of problems. Was the collar a bit tight by chance? Other than that, with hair loss at the neck and base of tail, it sounds like it could be a topical parasite (such as mange), and more are not diagnosed based on sight alone, many of them need skin scraping samples examined under the microscope, however they are generally treated with a topical deworming product, such as Frontline, though it generally takes more than one dose.
It could also be a behavioural problem as well, such as psychogenic alopecia, or hair pulling/chewing or other behavioural problems. If it is deemed behavioural, then medical problems must be ruled out and then a behaviour exam done to try to find the root of the issue, then usually treated with a short-term of behaviour altering medications that are very effective for these sorts of problems.
Though with all this being said, I would be surprised that if one cat had a topical parasite that the other one doesn’t show any evidence of it as they can be quite contagious (mange is also contagious to humans!).
Since it has improved, I would just keep an eye on it, but if/when it does reoccur, I would take the cat(s) in for a check-up.

All the best!

Can cats get the mange and what are the symptoms?

I have 3 cats they are all fixed and get their shots regularly and they seem healthy. However, there is a cat that one of my neighbors moved off and left that I feed. The neighbors that left it come and put food out for it every once in awhile but they are elderly and they don’t ever put enough food out for it. It gets in fights all the time with other neighborhood cats and my grandfather said it looked like it had the mange. I don’t want my cats to get it too. I don’t know what to do. I can barely afford to take my own cats to the vet. I hate to call animal control because the neighbors still own the cat, but I will if It comes down to it. What are the symptoms of mange and can cats get it?

Mange is an infestation of mites. While it is more commonly seen in dogs, cats can: and indeed do get mange.

Basically there are two different types of mange: Sarcoptic mange caused by sarcoptic mites and Demodectic mange caused by demodex mites.

Symptoms include:

Patches of hairloss on the skin, redness, swelling and overall irritation. Demodectic mange is usually found in the facial and ear areas of the animal, while Sarcoptic can be found anywhere in the body.

Another fungal infection that could be causing problems is ringworm. It typically exhibits the same kinds of symptoms although not throughout the body.

Sarcoptic mange is also very contagious between animals and ringworm can be transferred to humans.

If the animal does have mange:

By not-treating the problem the owner is actually comitting an act of animal cruelty through neglect.

However; the SPCA is also aware that elderly people have a really hard time getting around in some cases and won’t always prosecute.

If you decide to call, ask if you can bring the cat in yourself and if they would be willing to treat the animal and return it to the old lady.

You may also want to talk to her personally before filing. She may be medically incapable of taking this animal to a vet, and you could offer to help take it to the veterinarian for her.

Hope this helps!


I should also state that the diagnosis of mange/ringworm is done through a skin scraping analysis. Basically a veterinarian will scrape off a tiny portion under the skin and check for the mites/bacteria under a microscope.

Generally demodex mites are long/narrow looking microscopically, while sarcoptic mites are rounder and more oval shaped.

After the skin scraping analysis is done, the veterinarian will check to see how bad the infestation is, what part of the life-cycle the mites are under and perscribe to have oral/antibiotic drops and toppical dips to solve the problem.

They will also probably want the animal back in for a post-eval. just to be sure that the infestation is indeed gone.