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"Cheyletiella OR Dandruff?" Crisis

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
So, my newest kitty, 'No Name,' has recently been added to the household. I adopted her from a local shelter, and they cleared her medically. I introduced her to the other cat and kept her contained in one room for the days she's been home.

(When I saw her in the shelter, I didn't notice as much her shedding and dandruff-flake speckled coat. I thought it was minimal.)

First thing I did when I got home with her was give her a bath with my favorite Hartz shampoo. I brushed her and her coat rid itself of enough fur that it began to worry me. I ran a flea comb through her coat to double check, (being the worry wart that I am), and it came away with the conclusion of no fleas. I then let her be about her merry way and get used to the other kitty/her new home. I did, however, notice that she continued to have dandruff flakes throughout her coat, mostly contained to her mid-back area.

Later this evening, I researched some information on dandruff problems and came across a parasite called Cheyletiella, or, the 'walking-dandruff' parasite. This made me wonder if what I was seeing was merely dandruff or something much more serious.

I checked her skin for sores and redness, and found none. I studied her 'flakes' and did not see them move. I checked the medical information I was given by the shelter and read reports such as:
  • "1/31/08- Hair loss on rear end most likely flea allergies."
  • "2/11/08- Hair loss on rump. No lesions present. Kennel mate has same issue. Suspect possible past parasite exposure. No treatment at this time. Advantage multi has been previously applied."

This starts to run the gears in my head even faster, so I quickly find the number to a reccommended Vet's office, which then gives me the number of emergency pet hospitals in the area open twenty-four/seven.

The first call and inquiry to the situation results in a rather sluggish response from an desk girl, "I've never heard of any type of dandruff that's a parasite or is caused by a parasite..."

The second hospital call gives me the information I need. I'm told it's not classified as an emergency, (for them, maybe ), and that isolation of No Name at this point it is moot in regards to keeping the other kitten from becoming infected. Though, it may be a good idea to isolate anyway. I'm told that a scrape and microscope test is done to see if the dandruff is parasitic, and that I'm wise to get an appointment this coming Monday and have a vet check it out.

As soon as I get off the phone, I grab No Name, put her in the other room with food/water/litter box/bed. I then vacuum every inch of the room she was in, and remove the clothes I'd worn to hold her and put them in the hamper.

(Sorry to make this so long, I'm almost finished!!!!) Perhaps I'm being a bit paranoid, but I kind of feel like I should call back the EV and ask if it's at all possible that they let me bring her in to get tested tonight or tomorrow instead of waiting another day... Whatever happens, I'll keep you updated here.

Has anyone else had experience with this? If so, do you mind sharing your story or advice?
post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
Though no one responded, I thought I should follow up.

I took No Name to the vet today. She was really happy to be out of 'isolation.' Luckily, the vet said she seemed completely healthy, though she has quite a bit of dandruff/dry skin. She advised me to do several things; Brush her often, buy a different-oatmeal based-shampoo, add a bit of cooking oil or salmon oil for cats to her food. She has lost a lot of fur on her underbelly and her rump. The vet believes it will build back up now that she's in a low-stress environment.

Most of what we discussed was common sense, but I was extremely relieved to know that it wasn't a parasite!
post #3 of 3
So glad to hear that it wasn't any nasty parasite! Dry skin is SO much easier to deal with.
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