I have 2 dogs and one has demodectic mange, how can I stop the spread?
My 7 month old Dandie has just been diagnosed with demodectic mange and will soon be under the vet’s care. Now, I just read online that it can be contagious, how can I stop it from getting on my Chad? What can I buy? Please help.
TREATING DEMODECTIC MANGE NATURALLY
Demodectic Mange (Demodex canis), also called Red Mange, is a non-contagious skin disease caused by a tiny, eight-legged parasitic mite that lives in the hair follicles and skin glands of dogs. Puppies are infected with mites from contact with the skin of their mother while nursing. The disease is seen in two forms:
· Localized mange, which is confined to a few small areas such as the face or front feet,
and is relatively easy to treat, occurs in puppies under one year of age.
· Generalized mange is much more severe, and treatment is not always successful.
Most dogs have a microscopic mite population hitching a ride on their body, but the dog’s immune system handles it all very nicely. When the immune system is no longer able to control the mites, they begin multiplying, then attacking. It is thought that dogs infected with demodectic mange are immunodeficient. In other words, they are not able to fight off the mites like a healthy dog would. Heredity is believed to play a part in dogs that show signs of demodectic mange so it is strongly recommended that infected dogs be spayed or neutered. Signs of disease appear only when mites reproduce unchecked and occur in unnaturally high numbers. Outbreaks are seen around the eyes, lips and/or lower limbs when the numbers of these mites increase.
Because the immune system does not mature until 12-18 months of age, a dog with demodectic mange may have relapses until that age. It is important for treatment to begin promptly to minimize the possibility of developing uncontrollable problems. Demodectic mange in dogs over 2 years of age is classified as adult-onset, and usually occurs secondary to an underlying cause. Successful treatment of adult-onset mange relies upon identifying and correcting the underlying cause. Dogs with immune suppression due to illnesses like hypothyroid disease, and Cushing’s disease, are also candidates for demodectic mange. Demodectic mange may also occur in very old dogs because function of the immune system often declines with age.
Some dogs infected with demodectic mange may have secondary skin infections. The skin becomes dry, crusty, and brittle, it will ooze serum, blood or pus. A strong, offensive skin odor may be present due to a bacterial infection. The secondary infection responds to antibiotics like cephalexin or clavamox.
Conventional treatment depends upon the severity of the disease. Generally, veterinarians recommend treatment with a dip containing Amitraz. The dip is repeated every 7-10 days. Although the dog may respond well to the dip and look normal, dipping must be continued until negative skin scrapings are found consistently for a few weeks. The dipping may have side effects. Sleepiness and itching are common for 24 hours after the dip. Some dogs many experience decreased body temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, excitability, staggering, or other personality changes. If any of these side effects occur you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Amitraz can reduce the function of the hypothalamus, which helps regulate the body’s metabolism by controlling hormone release in the body. In animal studies, amitraz caused episodes of increased aggression, as well as some central nervous system depression. In addition to the dip, to treat more generalized cases of mange, many veterinarians are now prescribing daily doses of Eqvalan, which is liquid ivermectin. Dr. Jean Dodds has written extensively about ivermectin as a trigger for immune-mediated diseases. Ivermectin should not be used in combination with Amitraz dip nor with Amitraz tick prevention collars. These medicines are all members of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor group; when they are used together their effects combine together creating sedation and adverse neurologic effects.
Conventional treatments do work but at what expense to your dog’s health? Since conventional veterinary medicine relies heavily on a highly toxic method of treatment, and suppressed immune function is the cause of demodectic outbreaks, you should consider an alternative. Using a combination of natural diet, vitamins, minerals and herbs, you support the immune system while treating the skin.
Immune suppressed dogs require a high quality, all natural food. Select a raw food diet, a cooked diet, or an ultra premium dry food with lots of raw pulverized vegetables. Select organically grown vegetables or use one of the pesticide cleaners available in supermarkets for use on fruits and vegetables. Add leafy dark green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables — broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress, bok choy, and carrots (carrots should be blanched one minute to release the carotenes). If you feed raw foods, increase the veggies.
To each meal: sprinkle a teaspoon of sesame seed oil–on the food. This is an important oil for immune function and skin repair. Also add a variety of dried sea vegetables like wakami, nori, dulce and kelp. The sea vegetables should be offered at least 4-5 days a week or even every day if your Akita likes it. Feed fish, boneless poached or canned fish. Do not use tuna, tuna and swordfish are laden with mercury; sardines, salmon, mackerel or fresh water fish are good choices. When giving fish, cook some white rice and mix with the fish. Avoid grains like wheat or rye–rice, barley and oats are okay.
NO VACCINES. Not even one. The immune system in these dogs is already severely stressed; they do not need additional viral components circulating in the blood. Stop using all chemicals including dips, flea/tick spot-ons, pills, or flea collars. You are attempting to reinstate immune function not add to the collective damage.
The following supplements are for the immune system and should be given daily. If you find a product that combines these antioxidants in one capsule, use it:
· Zinc: 50mg (chelated type)
· Selenium: 200mcg (There is a product called Selene E from Twinlabs. It contains
the right amount of selenium and Vitamin E)
· Vitamin E: 400 IU twice daily
· Cod liver oil capsules: 3 gel caps twice daily
· One gel cap daily: 25,000 IU of Marine carotene (it is available in health food
stores—another Twinlabs product.
· Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: start at 500mg and work up to 3,000mg by increasing in
increments of 500mg weekly. If your dog develops a loose stool, back off by 500mg
and maintain the level.
· Nutritional yeast: one tablespoon daily
· Lecithin granules: one teaspoon daily
· Milk thistle: follow directions on bottle for an adult human.
· One-half teaspoon of bee pollen (optional but great nutrients)
· Hokamix 30, a vitamin/mineral/herbal supplement: follow directions on container
The following herbs are to boost her immune system and fight bacterial infections. Wherever possible purchase organic herbs that are “Standardized.”
· Olive Leaf Extract: Follow directions on bottle.
· Astragulus: Follow directions on bottle.
· Cat’s Claw: Follow directions on bottle.
· Kyolic garlic: Follow directions on bottle.
· Pau d’Arco: 4 capsules twice daily.
· Grapefruit Seed Extract Capsules or tablets: 225mg daily.
· Flax seed oil (organic) gel caps: one twice daily.
· Plant based digestive enzymes available at health food stores. Give two
capsules per meal.
Add a few tablespoons of plain yogurt to each meal or give acidophilus supplements. It is very important to maintain good intestinal bacteria when fighting parasites.
Learn more about demodectic mange here.