Sweet cat has nasty skin condition
We were in Costa Rica, staying at a small hotel, when two stray cats appeared. They looked alike enough to appear to be siblings, they both were all black, very sweet and small. They were also too skinny, so against hotel policy, we bought cans of cat food and fed them dinner every night.
There was one difference between the two cats – the sister cat had a skin condition – I was concerned that the cat skin condition could be mange, although mange is not common on cats.
The mites responsible for mange causes severe skin infections, restlessness, itching and often appears as patchy hair loss, as if the fur is moth-eaten.
The most commonly affected areas are a cat’s ears and face, but it can spread to the entire body. It’s also highly contagious. Even for humans, contact with mangey cats can get a reaction. That’s because of the mites – they transfer onto people, causing red bumps, very like mosquito bites. The good thing is that the mange mites can’t survive outside of their host’s environment, although the rash can be really uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, other guests at our hotel, even a lovely couple from Santa Cruz, California who confessed to also being cat people, were understandably wary of any contact with the girl cat. Since no one knew what the awful skin condition really was, everyone feared mange or some other nasty condition which could be contagious and be transported by mites or bugs. We too were hesitant to pick her up or even pet her (OK, yes, I did, albeit gingerly). She (and her brother) certainly would never be adopted.
The only thing to do was take her to a veterinarian.
So we did, we brought her to Safari Animal Clinic in Garza Costa Rica.
The vet was wonderful, and her assistant was lovely too. Turns out she didn’t have mange or any skin condition from bugs or mites. Instead, her skin condition was caused by a food allergy. We were so relieved.
The vet suggested we buy high quality food, which we did. We opted for dry food to make it easier for people to feed both cats once we left Costa Rica for home.
She also received an injection to alleviate the itching from her allergy, a deworming pill, and tick and flea treatment. The visit to the vet enabled us to reassure people that the girl cat had allergies, not some dreadful skin condition.
Hopefully someone will adopt both sweet cats soon.