Cheyletiella dermatitis is caused by a small mite that lives in the outer layers of the skin of dogs, cats, rabbits and people. Infected animals have an accumulation of dandruff on their backs and occasionally on their necks and heads. Most infested animals scratch and shed hair excessively.
The mite spreads easily from animal to animal by direct contact or sharing contaminated quarters or grooming supplies. People become infested through contact with infested animals.
As the entire life cycle of these mites occurs on the host animal, environmental cleaning is not difficult.
Diagnosis is made by identifying the mite microscopically. The characteristic appearance on examining the pet is one of 'walking dandruff'.
Important Points in Treatment
1. Cheyletiella infestations are easily treated with acaricidal spot-ons such as Revolution, Stronghold or Advocate. They can also be treated effectively with medicated shampoos and insecticidal dips, powders or sprays. The veterinarian will advise you concerning the best product for your pet.
2. During treatment, your pet should be isolated from other animals for 3 weeks.
3. While environmental contamination is not a great problem with Cheyletiella, mites may survive up to 10 days off the host. For this reason, a strong effort should be made to clean the premises thoroughly and spray the area with a good residual insecticide.
This article was donated by the Columbia Animal Hospital. For further information visit http://www.petshealth.com
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