Mange in Dogs (March 2019)

¦Mange is a condition that is most often spotted in street dogs, overcrowded situations, and places where dogs aren’t all that healthy.

In more severe cases, the dog’s skin appears to be stone. It’s a painful skin condition that requires treatment as soon as you notice something is wrong to avoid escalating to a dire, critical situation.

It’s very important to know how and why mange happens, the different types of mange, and what you need to do going forward.

What is Mange?

Mange is the most commonly used term for a type of skin infection that occurs due to microscopic mites.

It occurs from the Scabies mite and the Demodex mite, which are very different from each other even though most assume mange is due to one particular problem.

Sarcoptic Mange

So, first we’re going to go over Sarcoptic mange, known as scabies, which is a very contagious skin condition/disease that is a result of the Sarcoptes scabiei mite.

These particular mites burrow into your dog’s skin, which leads to irritation and regular scratching.

This scratching results in loss of fur, creating the mangy look.

Your dog can develop this type of mange from being exposed to other infected animals, even if only for a brief moment. The don’t work like fleas, but they are just as contagious.

Vet clinics, groomers, animal shelters, and dog parks are all areas with an exposure risk because animals are close together.

Unfortunately, it takes approximately between 2 to 7 weeks to notice the first symptoms of this type of mange.

Listed below are the most common symptoms of Sarcoptic mange:

  • Skin Rash
  • Redness of the Skin
  • Yellow, Thick Crust on the Skin
  • Lymph Node Inflammation
  • Thicker Skin Than Normal
  • Emaciation
  • Intense Scratching
  • Alopecia – Hair Loss
  • Bacterial and/or Yeast Infections
  • Crusty Skin Forming in and Around Affected Area

It’s a very treatable skin disease, but it’s also immensely contagious to other animals that come into contact with the “infected” dog. While receiving treatment for this type of mange, you will need to ensure that your dog is quarantined at all times.

Your vet will need to examine your dog thoroughly in order to be sure of the type of mange they have.

If your dog does not have the seasonal form of Sarcoptic mange, a scabicide or scabicidal shampoo will be used in order to kill the mites on your dog’s body and in the skin. This treatment will take quite awhile to go through to ensure that both the living mites and any eggs present are killed.

Unfortunately, mites can have a resistance to some of the treatment options used, so you may need to work with your vet using multiple treatments to find one that sticks and works as effectively as possible.

Depending on how severe your dog’s case is, aggressive treatment options may be required.

Unfortunately, at this time of writing, there are no known prevention methods against Sarcoptic mange.

The best way to ensure that your dog is healthy and relatively happy during this time is to keep them comfortable, have a regular feeding schedule, and ensure their immune system does not become compromised for any reason.

For example, keep the area they are living in squeaky clean, have fresh water available at all times, and keep them from being in contact with any other sick animal.

Demodectic Mange

The Demodectic mange, also known as demodex, is caused by Demodex canis, which is not normally such a health risk for dogs in certain circumstances.

This type of mite is perfectly normal for dogs to have. In fact, when puppies are born, the mother unknowingly passes them onto her litter. From there, they stay in the hair follicles and just hang out.

However, things can go very wrong if a dog has compromised or poor immune system. If this occurs, the mites will get out of control.

Puppies who are born with a compromised or weak immune system are prone to juvenile onset of the more serious form to demodex. Young dogs who are healthy can develop patches of the condition, which can sometimes disappear on their own without the need for a vet.

Unlike the former mange, this one is not contagious to other dogs and animals.

Listed below are the most common symptoms of Demodectic mange:

  • Red, Scaling Skin
  • Patched Hair Loss
  • Infectious Body
  • Swelling
  • Skin Crusting

Neglected, elderly, stray, or sick dogs, however, run a very high risk of having a compromised or poor immune system and develop demodex. Dogs who have health conditions, such as diabetes, for example, have an incredibly high risk factor due to the impaired immune function.

Just like the scabies mange, demodex mange requires swift, and sometimes aggressive, forms of treatment depending on the length and severity of the case.

Topical medications and dipping baths, as well as hair clipping if your dog has long hair, are all used to help eradicate the itchy skin condition.

Oral treatments, depending on the severity, may also be used, especially depending on how badly the immune system is affected.

Isoxazoline, which is a flea and tick medication for dogs, is often used in the treatment of this particular type of mange.

Dog With Mange

Do you have a dog with mange, or do you suspect your dog is dealing with one of the two types of mange? If so, call your vet as soon as possible. This is not a condition you want to wait on. Both types get out of control insanely fast.

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