Demodicosis, also known as red mange and demodex, is a skin condition that occurs in both cats and dogs. This condition is caused by a microscopic mite which is present in small numbers on the animal, however some are more predisposed to this condition . Pets who have a predisposition to this condition have a larger amount of these mites present on their skin and when the mites multiply, they cause this skin condition. This condition is thought to be genetic, but some pets may be affected while others are not, however, this condition is not contagious. Demodex canis is common in dog breeds, however, Demodex cati is quite rare in cat breeds.
This condition may either be localized or generalized. Localized occurs in dogs that are less than a year old, generally healthy, and may have just experienced an illness or some sort of stress that caused the demodex. Generalized can begin as a localized type and then evolve as a youth or adult-onset of this skin condition. Dry skin patches of demodex presents itself usually on the head, trunk, and the legs of the cat or dog. Diagnosis can be done by a skin scraping by your veterinarian and treatment involves antibacterial baths and lotions. Skin scrapings will be required quite often while treating the condition in order to see if it is getting better or worse. Vet bills for diagnostic tests and medications of this skin condition can be quite expensive since it is not a quick treatment process.
To learn more about demodicosis in pets, check out our Pet Health Concerns Guide. By enrolling your pet with Trupanion, your cat or dog’s policy will include coverage for diagnostic tests, medications, surgeries, hereditary and congenital disorders, as long as treatment for a certain condition is required after enrolling and is not pre-existing.
Has your pet ever been diagnosed with demodicosis? If so, we would love to hear from you and any comments, advice, experiences, of thoughts on this condition.