Tea tree oil has definite antimicrobial properties but very few studies have been done to test its effectiveness at killing mites. Since mange is caused by tiny mites on the skin, tea tree oil is not recommended for treating it. In addition, tea tree oil can be dangerous if ingested, so it should not be put anywhere on the animal where it might be licked.
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Types of Mange
There are two main types of mange, demodectic and sarcoptic. They are caused by different types of mites. Mange, especially the sarcoptic strain, is more likely to be a problem in animals with compromised immune systems -- puppies and kittens, older animals, and generally unhealthy animals.
Tea Tree Oil
Topically applied tea tree oil can be useful in treating certain skin and ear conditions. It is important that it be extremely diluted because it can cause an allergic reaction. Even in its diluted form, it can be irritating to some individuals. Tea tree oil is highly toxic and can be deadly, especially to cats. It should not be ingested. Although an extremely diluted tea tree oil solution will probably not hurt your pet's skin, it can still be dangerous because the animal is likely to ingest some while grooming or biting is skin.
Checking for Mange
If you suspect that your pet has mange, it is important to take it to the vet. Only a veterinarian can provide a correct diagnose since many diseases of the skin look alike. Even if you feel certain the animal has mange, it is important to have it tested to determine which kind (demodectic or sarcoptic) since sarcoptic mange is more severe and also more contagious.
Natural Treatment For Mange: Neem
While tea tree oil is not generally regarded as a safe or effective treatment for mange, neem has a better track record. You can use neem leaf, diluted oil or shampoo. Again, cats are sensitive to this, so it is better to use the milder neem leaf or shampoo that is rinsed out. Diluted neem oil can be used on dogs' skin to combat mange. Watch out for products that contain both neem oil and tea tree oil as these are inappropriate and can be dangerous to cats.
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