How to Treat Mange/Demodex in Dogs and Prevent Recurring Infection
Dog mange is a skin disease that affects both young and old dogs. The condition has noticeable clinical symptoms and some dog breeds may be more susceptible to Mange than others. In addition, dog mange or canine scabies is highly contagious, however, it is treatable if a proper diagnosis is made by a professional vet.
What causes Mange in Dogs?
Demodectic mange in dogs is caused by a microscopic mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei. This mite burrows into the skin of its host and feeds on the host’s blood. Demodex mites can easily transfer from one dog to another and it takes a few weeks for clinical symptoms to begin to show.
Also, younger dogs like puppies are more vulnerable to dog mange because their immunity is still developing. Older dogs are affected as well and the skin condition spreads quickly if your mature pooch suffers from a weak immune system.
Symptoms of Demodex scabies/Mange mites in Dogs
If your dog is exposed to an animal or environment with the mites, it may take up to two weeks for the mites to multiply. These mites will then start burrowing into your dog’s skin causing an itchy sensation. Your dog will constantly scratch at his coat especially in the areas where the mites are more spread.
Some dogs will develop a skin rash due to inflammation from the bites. Lesions may form in the inflamed areas and ooze out pus. A crust will form on the lesions after the pus dries out. After a while, your dog will suffer alopecia (loss of hair) from the constant scratching.
Note that scratching does not always mean your dog has Demodex mites. The itching could be caused by food allergies or a side effect of underlying ailments like a bacterial infection. So the only way to be sure your dog does not have mange is to have him tested at a vet clinic.
Diagnosing Mange in Dogs
Your vet will scrape a tissue sample from your dog’s skin and observe it under a microscope. If the diagnosis confirms the presence of sarcoptic or demodectic mites, your vet will prescribe dog mange treatment drugs for your dog. These over the counter drugs are normally successful however they may cause side effects like diarrhea, lethargy, more skin irritation, and tremor in your dog.
Home treatment solutions for mange in dogs
The only home remedy applicable here is taking preventive measures against the spread of mange in dogs. Ensure that your dog is bathed regularly (you can use chlorhexidine to kill bacteria) and his coat is well groomed to keep it clean. In addition, wash his beddings and kennel regularly especially if he tends to share his home with other dogs.
If one of your dogs has mange, you may have to quarantine him for treatment. He may feel sad but reassure him it is for his own good and the good of his fellow canines. Demodex and sarcoptic mites can transfer on human skin as well. So if you notice red itchy bumps on your skin, especially the back, you will also need to get medication for the same.
Finally, boost the immune system of your puppies with multivitamin supplements. There are quality supplements from companies like Bullyade that not only taste good and pack the necessary vitamins to boost your dog’s immune system.