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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17931
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 2 year old male cate went missing for 4 weeks but returned

Customer Question

My 2 year old male cate went missing for 4 weeks but returned in a very thin state, no meat on his bones etc. He eat and drank well and after 2 days I took him to a vet for a check up, she said he was fine hydrated etc altho had a slight eye infection which she gave cream for. After a few days he developed a scratch on his nose which turned into an infection across the nose. The vet says its caused by a mite only known in dogs or cattle, called demotex and due to the fact its so rare in cats there is no real treatment. Iv been told to give him flea treatment twice a month to see if it helps. The fungal cream she gave doesn't seem to have any affect as the infection is spreading. Ruling out the possibility of him being HIV which she mentioned, do you know of any other treatment for him. He is well and back to his normal wait apart from the above mentioned problem. Mrs John
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about Murphy and his skin condition.
Demodex gatoi is a atypical type of demodex that infects cats, and unlike the demodex seen is dogs is contagious, and lives on the skin rather than deep under the skin like most types of Demodex mites. It causes very itchy skin and is difficult to treat, as the typical treatments we use for other Demodex mites do not work for this mite. Those reasons are likely why his infection is worsening.
Has your veterinarian prescribed Revolution (selamectin)? If so that is unlikely to work, it has a very poor success rate in treating this mite.
One treatment that may work, and though not always effective seems to have the best rate of success is Lime sulfur dips of all cats in the house every 5 to 7 days for at least 6 treatments. Here is a link to an accurate article that discusses lime sulfur dips and Demodex gatoi.
Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear dr Kara, iv just heard from the vet that the mite is called demodex felix, not gatoi. Can you help with this ?

Regards ***** *****

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
I understand now why they are concerned about systemic, immunosuppressive diseases because this mite is considered a normal skin inhabitant and rarely causes any lesions. Of course he should be tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses. It is not a contagious mite.
Lime sulfur dips applied weekly for at least 6 weeks should also treat this mite.