Dog Mange

What is mange and what are the symptoms in dogs?

I am curious as to what the symptoms are? Is it more common in outside dogs than indoor dogs? What can be don’t to correct the problem? Mychocolate lab has tiny insect-bite-like marks on her ear flaps that are crusty and she has lost some hair and has thinning hair on her belly and chest. Thanks!

Sarcoptic mange, commonly known as canine scabies, is caused by the parasite Sarcoptes scabiei. These microscopic mites can invade the skin of healthy dogs or puppies and create a variety of skin problems, the most common of which is hair loss and severe itching. While they will infect other animals and even humans, they prefer to live their short lives on dogs. Fortunately, there are several good treatments for this mange and the disease can be easily controlled

The symptoms are varied, but usually include hair loss and severe itching especially on the elbows, ears, armpits, hocks, chest, and ventral abdomen (belly). The mites prefer to live on areas of the skin that have less hair. As the infection worsens it can spread over the entire body. Small red pustules often develop along with yellow crusts on the skin. Because of the severe itching and resultant scratching, the skin soon becomes traumatized and a variety of sores and infections can develop as a result. The itching seems to be much worse in warm conditions such as indoors or near a stove or heat vent. If the infection goes untreated or is mistakenly treated as an allergy, the skin may darken due to the constant irritation, and the surrounding lymph nodes may become enlarged.

Sarcoptic mange is a somewhat common infection and many cases have often been misdiagnosed as severe atopy (inhalant allergy). Any time we see a dog who does not have a prior history of allergies and develops severe itching, or if the itching is not seasonal but year-round, we have to suspect sarcoptic mange.

The intense itching caused by the sarcoptic mite is actually thought to be caused from a severe allergic reaction to the mite. When dogs are initially infected with Sarcoptes they do not develop itching for several weeks. If the animals are treated and then reinfected at a later time, severe itching starts almost immediately, which indicates the itching may be due to an allergic reaction. However, the standard treatments for allergies generally will not decrease the symptoms of scabies, and will do nothing to cure the disease.

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Learn more about Symptoms of Mange and different types, here.


How long does it take for canine mange to go away?

Three days ago we dipped our two puppies in a solution (Pyrithine?) the vet gave us. She said we would need to dip them again in 10 days which we plan to do. However they are still scratching so much that sores are coming up (not to mention crying), we called the vet and she said to give them children’s benadryl to help them relax. Three doses later and one of them is no longer relaxing, but still scratching. What can I do for my puppies???

It depends on the type of mange (there are two types, demodectic and scarcoptic), but it usually takes about 4-8 weeks depending on how bad the mange is.

Do not use anything on the dog (or give it any medication) without first consulting your vet.

Also the oral medication that a poster below spoke of is ivermectin, and it is used to treat demodectic mange. It is very very dangerous because you have to dose it to an almost lethal amount. I do not recommend it. My vet used amatraz dips for my dog with demodex (I do not know what your vet is having you use, but the dip I used kind of smells like mothballs) along with a week of antibiotics to help with the skin infection from itching.

If your dog has scarcoptic mange (the contagious kind) you can use Revolution. It is a topical flea medication that also kills that scarcopties mites. It is kind of expensive, but it works better than any other treatment that I have found.


How can I get rid of my dogs red mange with out costing a lot,home type medications.Thanks?

Mange is a rather common disease in household pets.
Dogs are primarily susceptible to two forms of mange, Demodectic mange (red mange) and Sarcoptic mange. Demodectic mange is generally seen in dogs less than two years of age. These mange mites are passed to puppy’s skin from their mothers. Demodectic mange mites live in the hair and oil (sebaceous) follicles of the skin. The first signs of this disease are patchy areas of hair loss about the head and forelegs, which do not itch and do not appear inflamed. These areas may spontaneously resolve or become larger until a large area of the pet’s skin is involved. It is considerably rarer in cats. A few of these parasites are present in the skin of many or all normal dogs. However dogs which develop disease have a defect in their immune system (T-cell defect) and can not keep the number of mites under control. The only product approved for use on Demodectic mange in the United States is amitraz (Mitaban). This concentrated liquid is diluted to a dip and the entire animal is immersed and scrubbed in the solution every two weeks until no living parasites can be seen under a microscope. A compound named benzyl benzoate cream was once used to treat small areas of infection. It is no longer believed to be effective. I will sometimes mix a 10% solution of Amitraz in propylene glycol and have the owner first cleanse and then massage this solution into isolated lesions. I have had good success in curing small areas of Demodectic mange in this way. The effectiveness of treatment is hard to evaluate because small lesions often go away by themselves. Shar Pei dogs are notorious for their susceptibility to Demodectic mange. When amitraz (Mitaban) dips fail to halt the infection, I have had good success in placing these dogs on daily oral ivermectin. This product is sold as Ivomec 1% and the dose I use is 1ml (cc or approximately 15-20 drops) per110 lbs body weight. This comes out to 200 mcg/kg of body weight. Ivermectin may take up to a year to completely cure the dog. In severe cases, secondary bacterial skin infection is severe and subcutaneous lymph nodes enlarge with mites present in these nodes.

The second common form of mange in dogs, other pets (and wild animals) is Sarcoptic mange. This microscopic spider-like mite burrows through the layers of the skin causing an intense itch and streaks of reddened skin. After a month or so the skin becomes very crusty. It is spread from one mature dog to another by contact or by contact with objects the infected dog has touched. Humans in contact with these pets will often begin to itch too. This disease in man was once called the seven year itch. It is the disease that back-woods folk and farmers used to cure by rubbing the dog with burnt motor oil. Do not attempt this! The gentlest way of curing this disease (but the smelliest way) in all species of animals is with lime sulfur dips. Oral or injectable ivermectin cures the disease very well too. However, Ivermectin can be toxic in cats. Besides dogs, I see this disease in cats, hedgehog’s raccoons and squirrels.
A third form of mange, psoroptic mange, I see most often in rabbit ears and the area surrounding the ears. All ear-mite medicines cure this disease but the ears often need a soothing antibiotic corticosteroids cream for a week or two to heal.

A form of mange that I see in budgerigars (parakeets) and canaries is knemidocoptic mange. It affects their legs, the base of the beak and their vents. The skin in these areas is thickened and flaky. It responds very well to ivermectin or oily topical products containing rotenone (derris root & cube resin) such as Goodwinol. Goodwinol is difficult to obtain these days, but the active ingredient, rotenone, can be purchased as an organic rose and vegetable insecticide and mixed with margarine.

The reason most mange can be treated with any non-toxic oily product is that mange mites, being arachnids, breathe through openings (sphericals) along their body. Any substance which plugs up these pores kills the mites. The exception is Demodectic mites which live so deeply within hair follicles that oily substances do not seem to affect them.


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