Mange In Dogs: A Guide

Learn about mange in dogs, symptoms, treatments, causes and what you can do to protect your pet.

Mange is a problem which occurs in dogs as a result of mites. There are two different types of mange caused by different mites. Firstly, sarcoptic mange, which is caused by the Sarcoptes Scabei mite and is contagious. Secondly, demodectic mange, which is not contagious and is caused by the Demodex mite.

As the problem develops, your dog could experience skin lesions and alopecia, as well as more serious problems including immune system and genetic disorders.

Causes

 
Though we know the mites which cause mange in dogs, not much is yet known about the exact cause which leads to a dog developing mange problems, though many in the field believe that genetics which lead to a weakened immune system increases the risk of mange developing.

Symptoms of mange in dogs

 
Symptoms can vary depending on the type of mite affecting your dog.

Sarcoptic Mange: Symptoms of sarcoptic mange usually appear first around areas with sparse amounts of hair. If left untreated these symptoms can spread further on the body causing serious problems. Look out for itching, redness of the skin and alopecia (hair loss).

Demodectic Mange: Like with sarcoptic mange, you can expect hair loss and itching (in some cases). Typically, hair will fall out while the skin beneath remains normal in appearance in milder cases. In the most severe of cases itching can become uncontrollable and skin irritated.

Diagnosis

 
Skin scrapings will reveal the presence of either mite. Demodex mites are usually present but in numbers too low to cause any physical symptoms, skin scraping will be able to determine if the numbers are higher than normal. In cases of sarcoptic mange, skin scrapings may not always reveal the issue. This is usually because the number of mites is too small to be detectable. Dogs with sarcoptic mange will often still be treated for the condition based on symptoms alone even if skin scraping does not reveal the condition.

Treatment

 
There are several drugs which can treat mange, you may wish to speak to your vet about Revolution for dogs as a treatment option. There are other options including Vectra 3D but some pet owners report a high instance of negative reactions to the drug.

Prevention

 
To avoid your dog developing mange at all, avoid contact with other infected dogs (sarcoptic mange is contagious) and keep his/her immune system functioning properly. Many people believe that echinacea for dogs can be used to improve the function of the immune system, which could in turn help protect your pet against mange.



PetMD article about mange