Mange In Dogs: What It Is And How To Treat It
Mange is a common skin condition in abandoned dogs, living on the streets, or neglected. Microscopic mites cause this disease, and there are two different types of mange. Let’s talk about mange in dogs, how it’s caused, treatment, and how to prevent it.
What Is Mange?
Mange is a skin disease that’s caused by different types of mites. It affects not only dogs but other animals, including humans.
It’s easy to tell if a dog has mange or not because they’ll often have hairless patches on them. On their skin, you’ll be able to see their skin covered with sores or crusty patches that are thickened and hard.
It’s a painful condition that causes your dog to itch a lot, making it worse.
In addition, there are two different types of mange:
- Sarcoptic Mange (also known as Scabies)
- Demodectic Mange (also known as Red Mange or Demodex)
Let’s take a closer look at both of these types of mange, including their symptoms and treatment.
This type of mange is highly contagious from dog to dog and even dog to human. However, this particular mite doesn’t do well on hosts that are non-canine.
Females of this mite, known as Sarcoptes Scabiei, will burrow into the dog’s skin and lay its eggs. The eggs will hatch within ten days and then feed off the dog’s skin.
Symptoms of Sarcoptic Mange
You might notice symptoms of sarcoptic mange in your dog within ten days to eight weeks of carrying these mites. Symptoms will most likely appear on the ears, chest, elbows, hocks, or belly.
Symptoms to look out for may include the following:
- Extreme itching
- Thick yellow crusts
- Redness and rash
- Hair loss
- Bacteria and yeast infections
And in extreme cases, other symptoms may include:
- Thickening of the skin
- Lymph node inflammation
This particular mite is called Demodex Canis. The major difference between this mite and the previous one is that these mites are always present on your dog.
It is not contagious to other dogs or humans. After birth, this mite is passed down from the mother to her puppies.
Normally, they’re harmless. However, if the dog has a strong immune system, the number of this mite will stay under control.
However, if the immune system is weakened, Demodectic Mange can grow out of control.
Symptoms Of Demodectic Mange
This type of mange is often common in puppies with a weakened immune system, elder dogs with a weakened immune system, or dogs who are strays, neglected, or were abandoned.
Your dog might have this skin condition if they show the following symptoms:
- Hair loss in patches (or most of their body)
- Red, scaling skin
- Infected skin
- Swelling skin
- Crusty skin
How Is Mange Diagnosed?
If you notice any of these symptoms occurring with your dog, then you’ll want to bring them to the vet right away.
Your veterinarian will scrape off some skin and look at it under a microscope. There, they’ll be able to see the parasites.
How To Treat Both Types Of Mange
Mange is not something you want to take lightly. It’s easy for mange to grow out of control, no matter which type it is. So, instead of trying to treat it yourself at home, it’s best to see a veterinarian.
A vet will diagnose the mange and help you treat it appropriately.
For example, a few ways mange may be treated are as such:
In some cases, depending on how bad the mange seems to be, it’s easiest to clip the hair. Even though the mites are in the skin, clipping your dog’s hair will allow you to see where the mites are and treat all the infected areas before the mites have a chance to spread further.
Dipping The Skin
There are medicated shampoos and conditioners that are dog-friendly. These types of shampoos will not only relieve your dog of its itchy, irritated skin but will also kill the mites.
You can do this weekly so that the skin can heal itself even when the mites are gone. Medicated shampoo and conditioner will soothe your dog’s skin so that it can heal itself over time.
Topical Or Oral Solutions
In some cases, if it’s really bad, your dog may need medication. You can get topical treatments or oral medication for your dog from the vet to help kill the mites.
For a more natural way, you can also use the dipping method (with your vet’s approval) to help heal your dog’s irritated skin.
Can Mange Be Prevented?
Unfortunately, at this time, there are no known ways to prevent mange.
A poor immune system often causes demodectic Mange, so do your best to boost your pup’s immune system.
On the other hand, make sure to get your pup groomed regularly and bring them to the vet often. Take care of their coat and skin, keeping an eye out for any possible symptoms.