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Dog Mange

Updated on May 10, 2012
Dog Mange
Dog Mange | Source

Dog mange

Dog mange is a dog skin condition that is associated to presence of parasites on the dog’s skin. Often people talk about a dog mange attack, although most of them do not quite understand what is dog mange and how they can go about treating dog mange at home. Certainly, not all the times you want to make a trip to the vet or have the money to cater for the vest fee. Learning about dog mange and how you can prevent it is a great step towards responsible pet ownership. This could also be important information that you can help other people whose pet are suspected to be suffering from dog mange. In this context let me take a few minutes to explain dog mange and how to handle it in details.

What exactly is Dog Mange?

Dog Mange is a skin disease that affects dogs and is known to be caused by several kinds of parasite that are primarily mites. You don’t need to cram or memorize these fancy mites’ scientific names all you need to know about dog mange is its causative agent. I would like to just mention a few of these mites that cause dog mange:

  • Sarcoptes scabie- this is a mite that causes popular dog mange often referred to as Sarcoptic mange also called canine scabies.
  • Demodex canis -causes the demodicosis
  • Cheyletiella yasguri - causes cheyletiellosis a condition that is also called the walking dandruff.

Dog mange is commonly viewed as a condition that is associated with dogs that are not taken care of well. There is also this perception that dogs that are regularly pampered and taken care of are free from dog mange. While this is true to a large extent, there are cases of dogs that have been infected by dog mange despite the opulent conditions that these dogs live in. This brings us to the question on whether mange is contagious or not.

Is Dog Mange Contagious?

I would say YES! Dog mange from definition is caused by parasitic infestation. It is important to mention that there is a great difference between ticks and mites. Mites are small and often burrow beneath the skin making their identification somewhat perplexing. A keen eye of an experience vet or a parasitologist can possibly point out this but not always. Human can also be infected by dog mange.

Sarcoptic Dog Mange

As earlier mentioned the Sarcoptes mites cause sarcopitic mange a disease that I can classy as highly contagious. In most cases this disease is not seasonal and your dog may be infested throughout the year.

What to Look for in Sarcoptic Dog Mange

Its imperative we note that this disease is characterized by severe itching and these is present in all the dog breeds. The itchiness is as result of the mites burrowed beneath the skin.

  1. You should look for signs of mites around the skin and in particular the ears.
  2. Check to see is you see the mites around the pinna or reddening of the ears and scratch marks.
  3. The dog should show signs of scratching that is severe and can cause self trauma.
  4. You are also likely to see some patches of skin where the hair has been lost. (Alopecia)
  5. You should also examine the elbows, abdomen and the groin for these parasites.
  6. Obvious changes in the behavior of the dog should also depict an underlying problem.

These are the obvious signs that can immediately point out to an underlying sarcoptic mange problem but you need to take the skin scrapping for examination for the parasites.

Cheyletiellosis Dog Mange

It is as disease that is equally contagious to sarcoptic mange and the only notable difference is the absence of itchiness. These mites are not capable of burrowing deep into the skin layer and therefore do not produce a severe irritation of the skin. These mites in some cases can be identified from the skin.

Demodicosis Dog Mange

This is one kind of mange that may pass the eyes of majority of dog owners unnoticed. This dog mange does not show any obvious signs such as itching but alopecia is the most common phenomenon observed in this kind of dog mange. The mange may turn to severe wound that are infected by bacteria and this can complicate the problem with development of septicemia.

From where can your dog get infested ?

Mites are arachnids that are freely available in nature. They are often classified together with ticks and can be called collectively as arachnids. Your dog can pick out the mites when they come in contact with other dogs while walking, in dog shelters, during dog training programs or when they wander away from home. It really does not matter how they get infested by mites. What matters is our ability to taken care of them; provide the necessary help to alleviate pain caused by mite infestation. You should always be on vigil for these signs and take the necessary precautionary measures to ensure that your best friend is safe, happy and pleased that you are a great master.

Good Luck


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    • afriqnet profile image

      Joe Njenga 5 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

      Thanks Doc for your compliment an very grateful :)

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Great article. I linked to this on my hub about scratching.

    • backporchstories profile image

      backporchstories 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Your info is great timing. We have eight dogs in our home and a Mother dog and one of her male pups are losing their hair, taring out from itching. We are looking into a sulfur treatment. Would you recomment this and what is the best way to apply?