My dog has demodectic (red) mange. Can someone tell me what this means, treatment wise and long term?
I would prefer to hear from first hand experiences, not internet reseach. I have read a lot in the last hour about it already.
If it is generalized mange (all over) it’s likely this will be a long struggle. All dogs (and people too) have some demodex mites living in their hair follicles. The fact that your dog is reacting to them indicates an immune system weakness. The mites will always be there, because they are normally there. Your dog will not stop reacting to them, but you can sooth his skin and get rid of some of the pain and itchiness, as well as the majority of the mites.
One commonly used treatment is Lyme dips. The dip is a bucket of foul-smelling solution that you would soak a rag in, and then squeeze it out over the dog. It’s like a gentle shower with this chemical concoction. It shouldn’t be painful, but it can take some time and patience. It’s important to get in-between the toes and in the armpits and leg pits, as these areas are particularly succeptible to demodex.
Then the doggy should be patted dry a bit (so he or she isn’t dripping all over) and then air dry.
It may take several weeks of this routine (a dip once a week), but the swelling and redness will go down, and the dog will become more comfortable.
Long-term, living in a clean environment, with regularly-laundered blankets to lay on or no blankets at all, will keep the mites away. When your dog comes inside, their feet should be wiped off, so there is less moisture between the toes. This should help keep the irritation down.
Anti-inflammatory drugs may be beneficial as well.
It’s also important to care for your dog’s general health, because of the immune weakness that the mange implies. Make sure to keep up to date on vaccinations, and use a tick and flea preventative.
I’m sure your vet can help you more, and help you decide on a treatment plan for your dog.
Best of luck to both of you!