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The burrowing mites, Sarcoptes and Notoedres, belong to the family Sarcoptidae which can cause scabies, a pruritic, contagious skin disease in animals and humans. Notoedres cati is the burrowing mite typically associated with feline scabies (Foley 1991) while Sarcoptes is associated with sarcoptic mange in dogs and humans. Notoedres mites are smaller than Sarcoptes, have ‘thumb print’-like dorsal striations, shorter limb stalks and a dorsal anus compared with the terminal anus, dorsal pegs and spines seen on Sarcoptes species (Scott and others 2001).
While information on canine sarcoptic mange is available, little is known about feline scabies. To the authors' knowledge, no cases of feline notoedric mange have been reported in the UK since the 1960s (Joyce 2010), with only sporadic reports from other parts of the world where it is considered epizootic (Delucchi and Castro 2000, Itoh and others 2004). Similarly, sarcoptic mange due to Sarcoptes scabiei in cats has only been reported infrequently worldwide. Three cases of pruritic skin disease associated with S scabiei in cats have been reported in continental Europe and North America (Bussieras 1984, Hawkins and others 1987, Kontos and others 1998), while a single case without pruritus was described in Taiwan (Huang and others 1998). Furthermore, feline scabies may also be associated with systemic disease or concurrent skin disease (Huang and …