Signs Your Dog Has Mange
Healthy animal fur is soft, smooth, and thick. If your dog has developed scabby skin, a crusty coat, and hair loss, he may have mange. This is a skin infection caused by tiny demodex or sarcoptic mites that make the skin sore and itchy.
If you even somewhat suspect your dog has mange, contact Village Vet of Urbana to begin treatment without delay! You can reach us at 301-228-0681.
Symptoms of Mange in Dogs
There are two types of mange: demodectic and sarcoptic. Each one is caused by a different genus of mites. Here’s how to tell the difference between each one.
Demodectic Mange Symptoms
- Hair loss, especially around the eyes, ears, back of the neck, and along the flanks
- Skin redness
- Patches of scaly skin and lesions
Demodex canis mites live in the hair follicles of healthy mammals, meaning demodectic mange is not contagious. However, if a dog suffers from an underdeveloped immune system, these parasites can overrun the body and cause a skin infection to develop. On its own, demodectic mange usually doesn’t cause itchiness, but secondary bacterial infections can lead to further irritation.
Sarcoptic Mange Symptoms
- Skin rashes
- Patchy hair loss
- Crusty skin sores
- Intense itchiness, causing the animal to bite and scratch at the irritated skin
Sarcoptes scabiei mites cause sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies. The parasites live just underneath the skin, resulting in itchiness that isn’t present with demodectic mange. Another major difference is that sarcoptic mange is very contagious and can transmit between dogs, cats, and even humans.
What to Do If You Think Your Dog Has Mange
Regardless of which type of mange your dog has, it’s important to treat the condition quickly so he can make a speedy recovery. Here’s what you should do:
Schedule a Vet Visit
First, seek prompt veterinary care to diagnose your dog’s condition and find out what treatment he needs. At Village Vet of Urbana, we analyze skin scrapings under a microscope to identify whether cigar-shaped demodex canis mites or oval-shaped sarcoptes scabiei mites are to blame for your dog’s skin infection.
Depending on the animal’s breed and the type of mange he has, treatments may include:
- Topical medication for localized demodectic mange
- Prescription shampoo and lime-sulfur dips for severe generalized demodectic mange or sarcoptic mange
- Injections for sarcoptic mange
- Antibacterial shampoo or oral antibiotics to clear up secondary skin infections
If the diagnosis is sarcoptic mange, prevent the contagious disease from spreading or re-infecting your pet with these tips:
- Replace the animal’s bedding and collar.
- Thoroughly clean your own bedding and clothes in hot water and bleach.
- Treat all animals in your home as instructed by your vet to prevent infection.
- Have repeat skin scrapes performed by the vet every two weeks to ensure treatment is working and the mites are being eradicated.
Diagnose & Treat Mange in Dogs at Village Vet of Urbana
Don’t take mange lightly. It could merely be a mild case of localized demodectic mange that will clear up on its own, but if it’s more severe sarcoptic mange, you’ll be grateful you didn’t delay treatment.
Get your dog the best vet care in Frederick County. Schedule your visit to our clinic today by calling us at 301-228-0681 or filling out the contact form to the right.