Is there any such thing as mange in dogs? If yes, then what is it? Well, if you have been having questions regarding mange in dogs, the types, symptoms and treatment, then you need to read this.
Have you noticed your dog itching incessantly, or you’ve noticed some missing fur or patches of thinning? It could be symptoms of a common dog skin disease (mange in dogs) that is usually caused by an infestation of the dog’s skin by some microscopic mites. If left untreated, it could lead to an unhealthy-looking dog that is hairless and covered with sores. Mange at any stage makes your dog very uncomfortable and leaves it in so much pain. Mange in dogs can be treated and prevented as well.
Types of Mange in Dogs
There are primarily two types of mange that could affect your dog. Each of the mange depends on which type of mite causes the problem. The 2 types of mange are;
- Sarcoptic mange
- Demodectic mange
Sarcoptic mange in dogs is caused by an eight-legged circular shapes mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. A closely related mite to sarcoptes scabiei is Notoedres. Commonly referred to as scabies or canine scabies, these parasites can be contracted by your dog from sharing contaminated bedding, or other animals (like foxes – this is rare), etc. some major places dogs can get sarcoptic mange are; shelter, dog parks, kennels, groomers and even vet clinics.
The mange often begins from one part of the and when left untreated could cover the other remaining part of the body.
When the sarcoptes scabiei burrows into the surface of the skin, the scabies mite lay eggs and in 3-10 days, they hatch and then develop into adult mites in about 1-2 weeks. They then reproduce and the cycle continues. The average lifespan o an adult scabies mite is 3-4 weeks.
Symptoms of sarcoptic mange
The earliest symptoms of sarcoptic mange are itching around the ear flaps and elbows. Over time, the itching becomes more severe.
Other symptoms include;
- Redness and rash
- Thick yellow crusts
- Hair loss
- Bacteria and yeast infections
- Thickening of the skin (advanced cases)
- Lymph node inflammation (advanced cases)
- Emaciation (extreme cases)
- Hair loss mostly around the belly and legs
- Dark skin thick patches
- Skin chewing
As usual, always present your dog to the vet anytime you observe any symptoms. If left unattended to or treated, it could lead to a severe mange infestation which could lead to;
- Swelling of the lymph nodes s a result of inflammation
- Weakness and thinning
- Weight loss
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This is a less common type of mange, it is also referred to as red mange, demodex or demodicosis. It is caused by a cylindrical cigar-shaped mite with eight legs called demodex canis. Demodex canis in dogs occur naturally (transmitted from mother to pup during the first few days of birth) and is found in your dog’s hair follicles. Demodectic mange in dogs occurs once demodex canis get overpopulated and the dog is no more able to keep the mites under control. This is usually a result of a weak immune system. Unlike Sarcoptic mange, demodectic mange is not contagious to humans. Dogs prone to demodectic mange include;
- Stray, sick, elderly or neglected dogs with a weak immune system
- Juvenile onset is a severe form of demodectic mange that affects puppies that inherit weak immune system from their mothers
- Healthy young dogs may also develop some patches of demodex which could go away over time.
Symptoms of demodectic mange
The most common symptoms of demodectic mange in dogs include;
- Oily, bumpy skin
- Pustules (small skin bumps that contain pus or fluid)
- Skin discoloration
- Crusting of skin
- Hair loss
- Bacterial infections with a foul odor
Treatment of mange in dogs
Regardless of the type of mange that your dog is affected with, it is always important to contact the veterinarian for appropriate treatment. The treatment procedure for demodectic mange and sarcoptic mange after proper diagnosis may include;
- Hair clipping
- Dipping for skin cleansing and healing: Regular baths in medicated shampoos on a weekly basis will help heal and soften skin.
- Control and eradication of mites: Topical applications of compounds to kill the mites, such as selamectin and imidacloprid-moxidectin formulations, over a period of several weeks have been shown to be effective. Oral treatments are also sometimes used.
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