MYTHS ABOUT MANGE
St. Francis Animal Rescue of Venice, Florida, received three very tiny kittens that were found in a rubble pile during a home demolition project. In addition to being emaciated with runny eyes and upper respiratory symptoms, all three kittens had visible signs of mange. Yes, it is the “M” word and animals unfortunate enough to have this affliction are often treated like the lepers of biblical times. Many shelters, even ones that are technically “No Kill,” would have euthanized these unfortunate babies. But not St. Francis! We recognize that this is an easily treatable condition that takes a bit of time but can be cured. Mange is caused by tiny mites that are normal residents of a healthy cat’s skin and fur follicles. In fact, mange is rare in cats but very common in dogs. Cats that are malnourished or those with compromised immune systems are prone to the normal mite population on their skin getting out of control and causing a severe skin itching and inflammation.
This first photo is of the black male kitten that we estimated to be 6 to 7 weeks old. The hair loss around his eyelids, head and neck are common symptoms of mange and the ears and hair coat have a moth eaten appearance. Named Altair, the little guy weighed only 1.24 lbs. on admission and was severely dehydrated. He was so weak that we initially had to hand feed him a special nutritional mix with a syringe. His two sisters Alecia and Akita were able to eat and drink without assistance. The three tiny kittens were prescribed a total of 3 doses of Revolution, rubbed in the fur on the back of their necks every two weeks. After the first dose, the mites had pretty much disappeared and the fur began growing back. All three gained weight rapidly and went into foster care.
Altair’s recovery was slower but he proved to be a very affectionate and handsome kitten. He now resides in a loving forever home.