Notoedric mange, also referred to as Feline scabies, is a highly contagious skin infestation caused by an ectoparasitic and skin burrowing mite Notoedres cati (Acarina, Sarcoptidae). N. cati is primarily a parasite of felids, but it can also infest rodents, lagomorphs, and occasionally also dogs and foxes. This skin disease also has zoonotic potential. Infestation is also called acariasis, which refers to a rash that is caused by mites.
Infestation of N. cati causes several symptoms such as severe itchiness, alopecia, scales and characteristic dry, crusted, pruritic lesions that first appear in the region of the ears and rapidly spreads over the face, eyelids, neck and continues to infest the whole body. Clinical symptoms appear within the incubation period, which is most commonly 10 days to 8 weeks after transmission has happened from contact with an infested animal. Skin will become thickened and colour of crusting will change yellowish or grey as the parasitic disease progresses. Self-trauma because of severe itching can cause excoriations to develop severe dermatitis, secondary bacterial infections. Far progressed Notoedric mange often leads to apathy, anorexia and even death. In humans, infestation of N.cati can result in transient pruritic lesions.
Notoedric mange is caused by the sarcoptic mite Notoedres cati that belongs to the family Sarcoptidae that consists of the burrowing mites. N. cati burrows its way through the skin of the host animal, which results in intense itching. Characteristic symptoms for Notoedric mange result from an allergic reaction of the host’s body against the mites’ extracellular products and also of the mechanical damage resulting from burrowing through skin.