Notoedres spp

From Dog

Notoedric mange is a fairly common parasitic skin disease of cats characterised by scabby, scaly facial disease known as head mange. It has been rarely reported in dogs[1].

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Notoedres cati

Notoedres mites are closely related to Sarcoptic mange mites of dogs and thus the two infections have some similarity. The mite lives in the epidermis and its life cycle is similar to that of Sarcoptes scabiei. The condition is highly contagious, especially by direct contact to cats and man (where it causes a pruritic rash)[2].

Although Notoedric mange is now rare in European countries, it is still common in Italy, Switzerland, Soain, Slovenia, Croatia and Australia, where it is either endemic or present in an epizootic state. Young animals are particularly susceptible.

Affected dogs present with pruritus and scaly dandruff at the ear margins. Notoedric mange progresses to involve the face and ultimately, if the skin disease is ignored, it will cover the entire body. Signs appear initially on the face and pinnae and are characterised by alopecia, erythema, scaling and thick crusts (a notoedric 'helmet')[3].

Diagnosis is based on skin scrapings and visualization of the parasite under light microscopy[4].

A differential diagnosis of other causes of dermatitis such as atopy and other mites such as Demodex spp.

Notoedres mites are spread by touch and they can certainly infection humans, dogs, or even rabbits. They do not live off their host for more than a few days at best thus transmission is generally by direct contact with an infected individual.

Treatment involves topical acaricidal drugs such as fipronil, permethrins or other topical drugs such as ivermectin[5] and selamectin[6].


  1. Leone F (2007) Canine notoedric mange: a case report. Vet Dermatol 18(2):127-129
  2. Euguere, E & Prelaud, P (2000) A practical guide to feline dermatology. Merial, France
  3. Foley, RH (1991) Comp Cont Educ Pract Vet 13:783-800
  4. Ghubash R (2006) Parasitic miticidal therapy. Clin Tech Small Anim Pract 21(3):135-144
  5. Bigler B et al (1984) 1st successful results in the treatment of Notoedres cati with ivermectin. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 126(7):365-367
  6. Itoh N et al (2004) Treatment of Notoedres cati infestation in cats with selamectin. Vet Rec 154(13):409