If you have a dog, you probably know how annoying it is when they scratch themselves all the time. But did you know that scratching could be a sign of a serious skin condition called mange?
Mange is caused by tiny parasites called mites that burrow into the dog’s skin and cause inflammation, hair loss, and infection.
Disclaimer: The medical/health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Read more.
Mange can affect any dog, but some breeds are more prone to it than others. In this blog post, I will tell you everything you need to know about mange on dogs: what it is, how to prevent it, and how to treat it.
What is mange on dogs?
Mange is a general term for several types of skin diseases caused by different kinds of mites. There are two main types of mange on dogs: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange.
Sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies, is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. This mite is highly contagious and can spread from dog to dog, or even from dog to human. The mite burrows into the skin and causes intense itching, redness, crusty lesions, and hair loss.
The most commonly affected areas are the ears, elbows, legs, and face. Sarcoptic mange can be very dangerous if left untreated, as it can lead to secondary infections, dehydration, and even death.
Demodectic mange, also known as red mange or puppy mange, is caused by the Demodex canis mite. This mite lives naturally in the hair follicles of most dogs and does not cause any problems unless the dog’s immune system is weakened.
When that happens, the mite can multiply and cause inflammation, hair loss, and scaly patches on the skin. The most commonly affected areas are the face, neck, chest, and legs. Demodectic mange is not contagious to other dogs or humans, but it can be very difficult to treat.
How to prevent mange on dogs?
The best way to prevent mange on dogs is to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Feed your dog a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients they need.
- Provide your dog with fresh water at all times.
- Keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date and follow your vet’s recommendations for parasite prevention.
- Groom your dog regularly and check their skin and coat for any signs of problems.
- Avoid contact with stray or sick dogs that may carry mites or other diseases.
- Wash your dog’s bedding and toys frequently and disinfect them with hot water and bleach.
- If you suspect your dog has mange, take them to the vet as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
How to treat mange on dogs?
The treatment for mange in dogs depends on the type and severity of the condition.
Your vet will examine your dog’s skin and take a sample of their hair or skin scrapings to identify the type of mite causing the problem. Then they will prescribe the appropriate medication and care for your dog.
Some of the common treatments for mange on dogs are:
- Topical creams or ointments that kill the mites and soothe the skin.
- Oral or injectable medications that kill the mites and boost the immune system.
- Medicated shampoos or dips that kill the mites and remove the crusts and scales from the skin.
- Antibiotics or antifungal drugs treat any secondary infections caused by the mites.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids reduce the itching and inflammation of the skin.
- Supplements or special diets that improve the skin and coat condition of the dog.
The duration and frequency of the treatment will vary depending on the type of mange and how well your dog responds to it.
Some cases may require several weeks or months of treatment before they are completely cured. It is important to follow your vet’s instructions carefully and complete the entire course of treatment to prevent any relapse or resistance.
Mange on dogs can be a serious and uncomfortable condition for both you and your furry friend. But with proper prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, you can help your dog overcome it and enjoy a healthy and happy life.