Treating Democectic Mange With Rotenone

Demodectic mange is a rare skin disease in cats caused by Demodex cati or Demodex gatoi. Also known as red mange or democidosis, demodectic mange can be managed with a topical treatment or shampoo containing the parasiticide Rotenone. Demodectic mange is more common in dog (though it is caused by a different species of mites) but cats of any breed and age can become infected with red mange.

Causes of Demodectic Mange

Demodectic mange is caused by mites that live on hair follicles or on the outer layer of skin of cats. Many cats are carriers of these mites but have no reaction to the parasites. Some cats, especially those with weak immune systems, can experience reactions that are local or generalized and range from minor skin irritations to severe infections. Burmese and Siamese cats appear to have a higher risk of developing demodicidosis.

The mites that cause demodectic mange cannot be seen with the naked eye and require a skin scraping by a veterinarian. The vet will examine the scraping under a microscope in order to diagnose red mange.

Topical Treatment Using Rotenone

Localized reactions to demodex mites generally result in small, scaly and hairless patches that usually develop on the face, eyelids, ears and neck. Generalized demodectic mange affects large areas, sometimes causing reactions over the cat's entire body. Large, red, scaly patches can form along with secondary infections that can cause itching and odor. Though smaller local mange can often clear up on its own, cat owners should always take their pet to the veterinarian for treatment whether the problem is small or large.

Topical treatments like shampoos and ointments with Rotenone are often prescribed to kill mites living in the hair follicles. Anti-itch lotions or oral medications may also be prescribed to ease scratching or fight secondary bacterial infections. Always continue to administer all medication according to your vet's instructions, even if symptoms have cleared and your cat appears to be better. Your veterinarian will most likely continue skin scrapings until the mites can no longer be seen under the microscope. Tell your veterinarian if your cat needs any other topical treatments or medications that may interact with Rotenone.

Potential Side Effects

If your cat experiences any of these side effects from the topical treatment Rotenone, contact your veterinarian's office immediately. These symptoms are usually due to an overdose of Rotenone.

  • drooling
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • changes in breathing
  • seizures
  • twitching
  • depression

Preventing Demodectic Mange

A strong immune system is one of the best lines of defense against demodicidosis; if your cat does develop demodectic mange your veterinarian should check for any underlying causes of mange such as feline leukemia, diabetes, feline immunodeficiency virus or other diseases affecting the immune system.

A balanced diet featuring cat food with high quality ingredients can help your cat fight off illness and parasites like mites by building up their immunity. Stress can also harm the immune system so owners should maintain a clean and safe environment for their cats.