How To Tell If My Dog Has Mange

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Tell If My Dog Has Mange

Scabies is a type of inflammatory skin disease that affects dogs. Pet dogs are usually carriers of a small number of mites, and their immune system is sufficient to keep them in check. However, mange is caused by an excessive amount of various types of mites that infect the dog and burrow between the fur and the skin, causing skin lesions that can lead to hair loss, immune system disorders and even genetic diseases. There are several types of mites and, depending on which one is responsible for the dog's skin complaint, mange may or may not be contagious. Early detection of the disease can do much to help cure your pet, which is why, in this article, we'll give you the information you need so you can tell if your dog has mange.

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Distinguishing between localised demodectic mange and generalised demodectic mange

  • Localized mange is caused by a microscopic mite known as Demodex Canis. In fact, this type of mite is found on almost all domestic pets but in small quantities. It only becomes a problem if the dog's immune system fails: This allows the mite population to grow rapidly out of control and causes the disease. Localized scabies is frequent in puppies that are less than a year old. The tell-tale signs are the development of bald patches in the fur around the eyes and mouth. Bald patches may also appear on their legs, back or paws, and they can measure to 3 cm in diameter. In addition, the skin in these areas is often reddish in color.
  • It is likely that your dog is suffering from generalized mange if it has 5 or more bald patches - which may also appear on the animal's head - along with areas where the fur has completely disappeared. A dog with an excessive number of mites in its follicles and on its skin may also present with sores and scabs. If a puppy in his first year of age is diagnosed with generalized mange, there is a 30-50 % likelihood that its immune system will get rid of the problem naturally; however, adult dogs will need veterinary attention in order to overcome it.

Note that neither the localized nor generalized varieties of demodectic mange are contagious, nor can they be transferred to humans.

How To Tell If My Dog Has Mange - Distinguishing between localised demodectic mange and generalised demodectic mange

Recognising sarcoptic mange

Unlike demodectic mange, canine sarcoptic mange - also known as canine scabies - is very contagious and can easily be transferred to other animals. Mites can also infect humans, but they cannot live for long in the human body. This type of disease is caused by an infection from a specific kind of mite that attacks dogs and spreads rapidly through the skin, causing serious lesions and scabs all over the body. The first indications of sarcoptic mange usually appear on the ears and elbows.

How To Tell If My Dog Has Mange - Recognising sarcoptic mange

Identifying the symptoms of each type of mange

  • Symptoms of demodectic mange include loss of fur, small lesions and reddening of the skin. However, the dog may not start itching until the infection has become more generalised, and it may even seem to be in general good health. However, in addition to inflamed skin, the dog may suffer from severe stomach aches and eventually, if not treated in time, may lose large amounts of fur.
  • Sarcoptic mange causes intense itching from the outset. The dog may scratch and even bite the skin in a frenzy in an attempt to ease the itching, which only worsens the condition. The dog's health will rapidly deteriorate, and it may even be unable to sleep or eat because of itching and burning. If this type of infection is not treated, it can lead to serious health problems.
How To Tell If My Dog Has Mange - Identifying the symptoms of each type of mange

Caring for a dog with mange

Depending on the type of mange your dog has, the way of treating this disease will be one or another. Next we'll give you some advice on how to care for a dog with mange depending on the type it has:

  • Ear mange: this kind of mange can be prevented through a pipette that you'll be able to purchase at any vets. If your dog has ear mange, you'll be able to treat him with medical drops that must be dropped in the dog's ear, always under a specialist's supervision.
  • Sarcoptic mange: you can also prevent them using a pipette. To treat dogs with this type of disease you need to bathe them with insecticide, always when recommended by a vet.
  • Demodeic mange: to treat this kind of mange, you must bathe your dog with Amitraz and/or Moxidectin (insecticide). You can also prevent it with pipettes.

If you think your dog has mange, it's important to take it to the vets so you can determine what kind of mange it has and what the best treatment is.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Tell If My Dog Has Mange, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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