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Treating and eliminating sarcoptic mange

Updated on April 8, 2012

External parasites are one of the concerns of dog owners. These little buggers create a great deal of itching that makes the life of the pet extremely uncomfortable. Moreover, these parasites carry dangerous pathogens. These external parasites that obtain nourishment by feeding on the host animal cause a variety of skin conditions. Sarcoptic mange is one of these skin diseases.

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Sarcoptes scabei mite

Sarcoptes scabei, commonly known as the itch mite or the mange mite is a microscopic anthropod that lives on and in the skin of the host animal. This organism lives in the host’s skin

3 to 4 weeks. Females would burrow into the skin and lay eggs in the tunnel it has created. The eggs that will hatch in 3 to 10 days will come out from the burrow in larval form and move to the surface of the skin to molt into the nymphal stage and finally develop into an adult mite. The movements of these mites inside and on the surface of the skin will cause immense itching. These parasites will gravitate to areas less covered with hair to feed. The feeding and the movements of the mites on the dog’s skin will result to an allergic reaction that causes the skin to itch and to flake. This skin condition is called sarcoptic mange.

Sarcoptic mange

Sarcoptic mange is commonly known as scabies. This is a highly contagious disease. A dog can easily spread the infection to other pets. The Sarcoptes scabei can easily infect humans as well although these canine parasites do not really thrive and reproduce in humans. However, parasites will cause the same immense itching in humans. A dog can get the parasite from other dogs, from wildlife in thickly wooded areas and from humans with scabies.

Symptoms of sarcoptic mange

Dogs with sarcoptic mange would have reddened bumps with red dots in the center. These are the bites of the mange mites that will develop into sores and scabbing when constantly scratched by the dog. The dog would have bald patches of reddened and inflamed skin. Because the parasites would attack less hair covered areas, the dog would often have crusty ear tips.


Before the formulation of new sarcoptic mite treatments lime sulfur formulas were used as dips. The hair of the dog will be trimmed and a benzoyl peroxide shampoo or the dip will be used. These treatments, aside from requiring multiple applications can be harmful to the sensitive areas of the dog thus extreme care must be used when administering treatment. Nowadays, newer sarcoptic mange treatments are not only more effective but safer to use as well. Most dog owners attest to the effectiveness of Ivermectin. Because the parasites can be easily transmitted other pets must be treated too. Sarcoptic mites have the tendency to burrow thus it would be necessary to wash the bedding in hot water. Sealing pillows in plastic bags is another way of eliminating the parasites. Without a host the parasites will die. Frequent vacuuming and spraying the carpet and furniture with a solution containing permethrin will remove the parasites from the environment and finally eliminate the sarcoptic mange of the pet.

Mange in Dogs

Itchy Mange or Sarcoptic Mange in Puppies


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    • profile image

      j cyster 

      4 years ago

      I have been feeding foxes every night for over 4 years I have been told of a treatment for mange, drops applied to the food, where do I obtain these drops Thank You


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