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Mange

Updated on December 1, 2016

There are two kinds of mange in the dog- the follicular and sarcoptic. Follicular mange is not easily cured as the parasites are down in the hair follicles but this variety is not nearly so contagious on this account. Sarcoptic mange is the most common variety and is very con­tagious. Man can contract this disease but is in less danger than other animals and thin skinned dogs seem to be the most easily diseased.

Photo by Ned Benjamin
Photo by Ned Benjamin

Mange Symptoms

The symptoms of follicular mange are redness of the skin and shedding of the hair, but at first there is no irritation of the skin that can be seen. Some time later, and not always very soon, little pustules appear which, if squeezed, exude a purulent sort of fluid. If this fluid is placed under a microscope a great many flat, fish-like parasites with short legs on either side can be seen. In the later stages the dog is uneasy and scratches and rubs constantly, the body becoming covered with sores and the animal losing flesh and giving off a very offensive odor. In sarcoptic mange the disease usually commences under the arm or where the skin is thin, causing great itching and scratching which are followed by sores that are slow to heal. If the dog is neglected and the disease not checked, the sores soon cover the whole body and most of the hair falls out. In many cases the dis­ease spreads rapidly over the whole body, causing great irritation which is followed with emaciation and if nothing is done to kill the parasites the dog soon dies from weakness. It is well to keep in mind that both kinds of mange may be communicated to man, especially sarcoptic mange.

Mange Home Remedies

First of all the dog should be clipped and thoroughly washed with soap and water and dried; then apply equal parts storax and raw linseed oil; or one-half part carbonate potash, one part sulphur and five parts lard; or one part coal-tar disinfectant and four parts vaseline; use any of these remedies daily for a few days. If the whole body is dis­eased put medicine on only a part each day, for fear of its injuring the dog. Remember that carbolic acid and many other irritating drugs should never be put on dogs.

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