Cheyletielliosis, a mite infection also known as walking dandruff, causes an acute onset of intense itching. Pets acquire this mite infection when exposed to another infected animal. Puppies, kittens and immunosuppressed pets are more commonly affected than adult pets. Cheyletiella mites spend their entire life cycle on your pet. Female mites, however, may drop into the environment and survive for up to 10 days. To diagnosis Cheyletiella, a scale sample (taken with a flea comb or by pressing tape to the skin) is examined under the microscope. Finding eggs and/or mites confirms the diagnosis. Absence of eggs and/or mites does not necessarily rule out the infection; definitive diagnosis may be delayed until a response to therapy is seen. Repeated treatment with topical miticidal therapies eliminates the mite infection. All pets in the household need to be treated concurrently. Some pets may develop secondary infections that require oral antibiotic therapy. Pet sleeping areas need to be washed thoroughly to prevent recurrence.

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