What is Mange in Dogs? Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and More!

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dog mange and mites on dogs red skinMost people are familiar with the annoyance of a dog with an itch. Their little legs go crazy trying to get that hard-to-reach spot behind the ears. Not only does it annoy us, but imagine the frustration they go through! After fleas, mange in dogs is the most common cause for itchy skin.

The intense itch can cause open wounds leading to skin infections and eventually skin disease. Without the correct treatment, mange in dogs can quickly become a serious problem!

What is Mange in Dogs?

So what is it that causes this mysterious itch? Mange in dogs is a skin condition caused by a variety of mites living on the skin. Just like us, dogs naturally have mites living on their skin and in hair follicles. It’s only when these mites begin to multiply and spread uncontrollably, is when they can be problematic.

When the mites get out of control like this, the body can lose its natural defense against them. Especially younger or older dogs, or even those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible.

This is when we would start to see the early signs of mange develop. But there are different types of mites which cause different types of mange! Outlined below are the most common types of mange in dogs, be sure to make yourself familiar!

Understanding the Types of Mange

Understanding the types of mange is important because it can change how we go about the treatment! Some mange types have a much faster progression and a more severe itch than others.

Sarcoptic Mange

Probably one of the itchiest types of mange in dogs! Caused by the extremely contagious Sarcoptes scabei mite. As terrible as it sounds, sarcoptic mites burrow into the skin of the dog to lay its eggs! The eggs then hatch, replicate and repeat this cycle every three weeks.

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The burrowing under the skin causes the intense itching and inflammation experienced with this mange. Inflamed skin, excessive hair loss and the appearance of red, crusty sores is characteristic sarcoptic mange in dogs.

If left untreated, Sarcoptes mange mites can lead to hair loss the itching will worsen, further irritating the skin.

Possibly one of the worse features of this mange is it can survive very well off the animal. Surviving in the environment is what makes this mite so contagious!

Spreading from dog to cat, to even people in the same household! To decrease the risk of spread and alleviate the irritation, its best to start treatment for this mange yesterday!

Demodectic Mange

Arguably a less aggressive mange, demodectic mange in dogs is caused by the Demodex Canis species of mite. Also known as red mange or puppy mange, this skin condition is more often seen in younger dogs.

Demodex mites are harmless to dogs in their normals numbers, it is only when your puppy becomes immunocompromised, or mite numbers skyrocket is when we see skin disease. Puppies will be passed this mite from their mothers within the first couple weeks of life!

It is only if your puppy is particularly sick is when the disease will show.

Puppies experiencing demodectic mange will have patches of hair loss from itching and reddened skin. Usually, they will have an underlying cause of immunocompromise too. Unlike Sarcoptes mites, these mites can not live off the host! they are born, live and die on the dog and spend most of their lives in the hair follicles of the dog.

It’s important to remember the occurrence of this mange is not due to the housing or environment contamination! As clean as your house may be, any puppy can develop this mange!

Cheyletiellosis Mange

Perhaps the rarer type of mange in dogs, cheyletiella mange. Caused by the C. yasguri mite, which moves beneath the keratin layer of the skin, pushing up scales of skin as it goes.

Because of the pattern it leaves as it moves, it often referred to as ‘walking dandruff’ mange! You may see yellow-flake looking dandruff but his is actually the mites themselves!

An unkept coat, hair loss, and small red bumps are typical signs of this condition. It may be rare, but it is important to know the difference between these mites as treatment will differ too!

dog mites and mange on dogs yawning

3 Causes of Dog Mange

There is no one underlying cause for mange in dogs. This is due to the different species of mange and how they become apparent in the dogs. Though there are definitely some factors contributing that we can help with! Below are the most common causes of mange in dogs.

  1. Spread between direct dog and dog contact. Sarcoptes mites and cheyletiella mites are both extremely contagious! We all know how much dogs love to play and cuddle. This is the perfect medium for these nasty little mites! To make matters worse, not all dogs with sarcoptic mange show symptoms! So you may not realize which dog actually has the mange!
  2. Unlike the other two types of mange, a demodectic infestation is unrelated to environmental contamination. Because it lives benignly in almost all dogs skin, puppies will invariably have this mite living on their skin!
  3. Indirect contact between dogs too! This can often be caused by us, sharing all sorts, from brushes, bedding, and toys between dogs. The sarcoptic and cheyletiellosis mites can survive off the host for several days! This means grooming a dog one day, and another several days later with the same brush is a massive risk!

The Dreaded Demodex Mange: Mites on Dogs Exposed!

So now we know, all dogs regardless of their environment will have the demodectic mites living on their skin. So why don’t all dogs have the associated skin condition?

Well, most have an adequate immune system to keep numbers low enough. However, if the immune system is late to develop, or underdeveloped they will develop signs of demodectic mange.

This is why it is often seen in puppies before their immune system is fully developed. But red mange, although very common, is actually one of the less aggressive types.

Thankfully demodectic mange treatment is straightforward. Most puppies will actually recover if left alone, once their immune system catches up.

However, if they do not develop their own immune against the mite, they can develop demodectic pododermatitis, a disease affecting the paws of the dog. But once a dog has had this mange once in their life, they will typically not get it again!

Mange on Dogs, Mange in Cats and Mange in Humans: Are They the Same?

Can your cat get mange from your dog? Or, more importantly, can you get mange from your dog?

In short, yes. Although not all species of the mites can be transmitted between species, some are definitely capable of it! The most versatile of cats, dogs, and human is the sarcoptic mite.

what is mange in dogs and scabies in dogs with dog laying on tile

Also referred to as scabies, this mange is dangerously contagious! If your dog has this mange, it pays to take your cat or kitten in for a check-up too. Although this canine sarcoptic mange mite can infect cats, cats do have their own one too.

The notoedric mange is the cat type of scabies, although the cat can get either the dog or cat version! Humans can also get mange mites from dogs too! Again the scabies mange can cause itchiness, redness, and rashes, this mite will catch on to anyone it can get its little claws on!

The Signs and Symptoms of Scabies in Dogs

The earlier you recognize this mange, the better! Unlike other types of mange, this mite prefers the areas with little to no hair. So early signs will include itchiness and redness around the ears, belly, chest, and elbows. However, without proper treatment, it will not stop there!

Soon the mange will spread to all over the body, causing crusty red sores and an intense itch! This can lead to open sores and increase chances of secondary bacterial infections.

So if you start seeing redness and sores pop up in your dogs’ skin, seek treatment immediately!

Mange Treatment: Time to Get Rid of Those Nasty Dog Mites!

So now that you know a bit about the different types of mange and their symptoms, let explore the different types of treatments! From skin scrapings, your vet is able to confirm mange in your dog. If its localized demodectic mange, so not yet covering the majority of the body, the mange will likely resolve on its own.

If your dog has generalized demodectic mange, the next step will likely be whats known as a dip. Most dips contain a strong chemical made to kill any mites living on the skin. The chemicals involved include ivermectin and doramectin.

Some mange, for example, the sarcoptic mange will need up to six dipping treatments!

This is because the mites lay their eggs under the skin. The chemical can only be effective on those mites on the surface of the skin. Though if you are dedicated to dipping your dogs until the skin condition has subsided, this can be a very effective treatment.

How to Treat Mange in Dogs Naturally

If you’re not big on harsh chemicals, there are some friendlier home remedies you could try too! Borax powder and 1% hydrogen peroxide is a popular home remedy for mange in dogs. Mix thoroughly and wash your dog in the solution, but be careful to avoid the mouth as ingestion can be harmful!

Apple cider vinegar is also another popular home remedy! Either mixed in a bathing solution with borax or sprayed on to a grooming brush before brushing is the best ways to apply it. Some people also believe adding it to the diet of your dog can help too, but before changing up the diet too much, best to consult a vet first!

Honest Paws CBD Oil: Curb that Inflammation!

The health benefits of CBD oil for our pets is no secret. More and more people are turning to CBD oil as a natural treatment for their animals, whether it be for anxiety, seizures or joint pain.

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However, one of the growing reasons to use it now is for treating skin conditions. CBD oil provides relief from inflammation and suffering from mange associated skin disease.

A natural product, free of those nasty chemicals is ideal for the relief while your dog is recovering. Be sure to get your CBD oil from a trusted seller! Honest Paws CBD oil is trusted by many people and veterinarians, so don’t hesitate to check it out.

Help Your Dog’s Skin Stay Healthy with Vet’s Preferred Salmon Oil!

Alternatively, boosting your dogs’ immune system is the best way to help overcome the condition naturally. Especially in puppies with an underdeveloped immune system, where they are more susceptible to Demodex Mange.

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The omega-3 in salmon oil is a high-quality natural ingredient made to boost the immune system and heart health. Not to mention the benefits of the oil for the skin!

Though, it is only effective if you get well known, quality product. Vet’s Preferred premium salmon oil is one of the best quality products available for pets. So if you’re looking for the best way to boost your dogs’ immune system, Vet’s Preferred is the way to go!

Common Questions on Mange in Dogs

Can Demodex be Inherited?

Is Demodectic Mange Contagious?

Can humans Catch Scabies from Dogs?

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