Different Forms of Mange on Dogs – What You Need to Know

Black and white dog in PawPurity Blog post

Many pet owners may be all too familiar with the discomfort and inconvenience of mange on their dog. Mange is a skin condition caused by mites that can cause hair loss, extreme itchiness for the dog, and redness on parts of the skin. To understand how best to address mange on your pet, it is important to know about the two different types of mange: sarcoptic and demodectic.

Fortunately, there are ways that pet owners can learn more about different types of mange on dogs and provide the right medicine to help their furry friends. This article will discuss the differences between these two forms of mange so that pet owners may be adequately informed and prepared to take action to help their pup find relief from their uncomfortable symptoms.

1. Sarcoptic Mange (Canine Scabies)

The most common form of mange on dogs is sarcoptic mange, also known as canine scabies. It is caused by a microscopic mite called Sarcoptes scabiei that burrows into the top layer of skin and lays eggs there. This causes intense itching and scratching due to an allergic reaction to the mites and their saliva, leading to inflammation, hair loss, and crusty lesions all over the dog’s body. Treatment for sarcoptic mange typically consists of oral or topical medications prescribed by a veterinarian along with weekly baths using medicated shampoo.

Symptoms and Causes of Sarcoptic Mange:

An early diagnosis offers an easy treatment.

Sarcoptic mange on dogs
Image Source: Wiley Online Library

Symptoms of sarcoptic mange can vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, in general, it includes:

  • Intense itching
  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Hair loss
  • Crusting of the skin
  • Secondary bacterial infections

The scabies mite burrows into the deeper layers of the skin where it lays eggs and reproduces. This causes an inflammatory response in the body as it attempts to defend itself from these foreign invaders.

The most common cause of sarcoptic mange is contact with another animal that has the disease. It is so contagious and easily spread through close contact or contact with contaminated bedding or grooming tools. Thus, you must be aware of any signs of infection when in contact with a potentially infected pet. In addition to direct contact with an affected animal, certain environmental factors, such as overcrowding or poor hygiene, can cause animals to become more susceptible to infection. Other underlying conditions such as allergies or immune system disorders may also increase the likelihood that an animal will develop sarcoptic mange.

If left untreated, sarcoptic mange can lead to severe discomfort and fur loss due to scratching and biting at the affected area(s). It may also lead to secondary infections caused by bacteria entering through broken or scratched skin.

2. Demodectic Mange (Red Mange)

Another type of mange that affects dogs is demodectic mange, also known as red mange. Unlike sarcoptic mange, this form of mange isn’t contagious. The main reason for this type of mange is a Demodex canis mite living on a dog’s skin but not reproducing on it. Most healthy dogs have these kinds of mites living on their bodies without issue. However, puppies whose immune systems are still developing or adult dogs with weakened immune systems may experience a severe reaction if they have too many Demodex canis mites present.

Symptoms include irritation around the eyes and mouth that then spreads throughout the body, causing itchiness and hair loss at affected areas. Treatment typically involves long-term antibiotic therapy and daily medicated baths for up to four months or even longer in some cases.

Symptoms and Causes of Demodectic Mange (Red Mange):

The main symptom associated with demodectic mange is patchy hair loss, with redness and scaling on the skin due to inflammation. In some cases, it can lead to secondary bacterial infections and crusts appearing on the bald patches. The mites themselves are often visible as small white spots within the hair follicles or around the edges of affected areas.

Dogs with demodectic mite infestation may scratch, but they do not usually itch as much as dogs with other forms of mange. The amount of itching usually depends on whether there is a secondary infection from scratches and if the dog has any allergies in its history.

Other potential symptoms include thickening and darkening of the skin, loss of elasticity in the skin, and increased oiliness, which can lead to lesions or oozing pus due to a secondary infection. In severe cases, inflammation from excessive scratching can lead to hyperpigmentation (dark patches) on the skin which may take many weeks or months to go away after successful treatment.

The most common cause of demodectic mange is an impaired or weakened immune system in the host, commonly seen in puppies, elderly dogs, and dogs with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or cancer. A low-functioning immune system can allow the mites to overpopulate and cause localized or generalized skin irritation in affected areas. It is believed that an inherited predisposition could also play a part.

Treatment for Mange in Dogs

If your dog has mange, you should seek medical attention for mange treatment in dog as soon as possible. Look at the given treatment options available for mange in dogs so that you can make an informed decision about how best to care for your pet.

1. Topical Medications

The most common treatment option for mange on dogs is topical medications such as ivermectin or amitraz. These medications are applied directly onto the affected area of the skin and work by killing off the mites causing the problem. They also help to reduce inflammation of the skin and reduce itching.

2. Oral Medications

Oral medications such as milbemycin oxime or moxidectin are also sometimes prescribed to treat mange on dogs. For mild cases of mange, some veterinarians may prescribe medicated baths using products containing sulfur or benzoyl peroxide. These products help to kill off any remaining mites on the surface of the skin and reduce inflammation associated with severe cases of mange.

Effective Home Remedies for Dogs Mange

While veterinary care is the best way to treat a bad case of mange, there are also some effective home remedies that can help provide relief for your pup. These treatments include:

  • Bathing with special medicated shampoos
  • Applying oils to the affected area
  • Feeding your dog healthy fats such as coconut oil and supplementing with vitamins and minerals.

With consistency and patience, these simple steps can be used in combination with prescribed treatments to bring your furry friend some much-needed relief.

Preventative Measures to Avoid Mange in Dogs

To safeguard against parasitically-induced diseases such as sarcoptic mange, good hygiene, and preventive treatment are key. You must practice good hygiene and mite control measures. You can use PawPurity Flea & Tick Spray on a daily basis and use PawPurity Organic Intensive Nourishing Shampoo every other week to prevent your furry friends from this unpleasant experience. The herbal citrus scent of this organic shampoo and spray is pleasant for humans and acts as a repellant for insects.

Additionally, if you have multiple pets, it is important to keep them separated from each other when possible since mites can spread quickly between animals living in close quarters. Remember to clean your hands after you touch an animal. If you have more than one pet, use different grooming tools and bedding for each pet. Also, regularly apply prescribed preventative topical treatments according to package instructions.

Finally, regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help catch any signs of mange before it becomes too severe. If you think your pet has a chance of contracting this disease, reach out right away for professional medical advice from the vet.

How Contagious Is Dog Mange?

Now you know that there are two kinds of mange on dogs. Demodectic mange is caused by a type of mite called Demodex canis that lives in the hair follicles of dogs. This type of mange is not considered highly contagious, as the mites are usually passed from a mother dog to her puppies during the first few days of life. Dogs with weakened immune systems may be more susceptible to developing demodectic mange, but healthy adult dogs generally do not contract it from other dogs.

Dog paw and human hands

On the other hand, man mange is caused by a type of mite called Sarcoptes scabiei, and it is highly contagious between dogs and even between dogs and humans. The mites burrow into the skin and can cause intense itching and discomfort. Direct contact with an infected dog or its bedding, as well as contact with objects that have come into contact with an infected dog, can spread sarcoptic mange. It is important to isolate infected dogs and thoroughly clean and disinfect their living area to prevent the spread of sarcoptic mange.

If you suspect your dog has mange, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Wrap Up

Mange is an uncomfortable condition that can affect our beloved canine companions if left untreated. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for treating this condition depending on its severity. With proper preventive measures, you can help ensure that your pup stays healthy and happy.

If your pet has sarcoptic or demodectic mange, you should go to the vet right away. This way, your pet can get the medicine it needs and get better before any other infections happen because of excessive scratching or other symptoms. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, most forms of canine mange can be cured fairly quickly.

#MangeInDogs #DogsMange #MangeOnDogs #Mange

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