Our beloved pets light up our lives, greeting us joyfully with wagging tails and always looking for love and belly rubs. They’re part of our family, which is why we worry about them the same way we do about ourselves. When we see them get sick, they can’t tell us what’s going on. That’s why we need to be familiar with the main diseases that they can have, to identify them in time and treat them without prolonged suffering.
Mange or scabies in dogs is possibly one of the cruelest diseases they can have. With the proper treatment and care, it can be cured, but it is a slow process. Your dog will suffer from itching and burning on his skin, and some even stop eating and lose a lot of weight because of the discomfort caused by this disease. We’re going to thoroughly explain everything you need to know about mange.
What is mange?
Mange or scabies is a dermatological infection caused by a certain type of mite. These mites burrow in the dog’s hair and skin, causing a rash and lesions. Their skin will get reddish from itching and will create sores. Dogs really have a hard time with this infection, they will be very itchy and can’t always scratch where it itches. Plus, constantly scratching only makes the situation worse, making their skin even redder and injuring the skin.
There are several types of mange: some are milder and easy to treat while others are more aggressive, contagious, and more complicated to treat. It’s very important to detect this disease in time to prevent it from spreading, infecting other dogs or causing serious damage.
Mites are small, microscopic relatives of spiders that live as parasites on animals and plants. If you look with a microscope, you’ll see mites everywhere – they’re part of the ecosystem and have always lived among us. There are many types of mites, and some of them are very harmful, both for our pets as well as for ourselves.
How many types of mange in dogs are there?
There are several types of mange which occur in dogs, according to the type of mite that causes it. In general, there are two types of mange that are much more common than the others, which are described below:
- Demodetic mange, also known as red mange, is mange caused by the mite “Demodex”. This mite lives permanently on dogs’ skin, but when a dog’s immune defenses are down or in unhealthy circumstances, this mite will reproduce profusely, causing mange. It develops gradually, gaining “territory” on your dog’s skin.
- Sarcoptic mange is caused by the mite “Sarcoptes”. This type of mange is highly contagious and reproduces very quickly, causing a burning feeling on your dog’s skin, hair loss, itching, etc. It can also be spread to humans, which is why you should take your dog to the vet immediately to get treated.
How can I tell if my dog has mange?
Mange in dogs always starts the same way, with excessive itching, reddening of the skin, possible hair loss in the affected areas, skin rashes, etc. It’s very simply to detect because your dog will start to scratch constantly.
You should examine the area where your dog is scratching, and be aware that it can also be coming from inside his ears, which is why they should be checked regularly. You can do a superficial check when you clean his ears, for example, making sure there are no red areas or rashes.
If your dog isn’t scratching, and doesn’t have sores or a rash on his skin, or redness, then it’s very unlikely that he has mange. Mange is a disease that’s easy to detect and can be cured with the proper treatment.
How can my dog catch mange?
There are many ways to get mange and they aren’t always “caught”. Many mites live on your dog’s skin, just like our own. When your dog is sick or with a weakened immune system, the mites can take advantage of that and reproduce excessively, causing mange.
Another reason why dogs get mange is because of poor hygiene. You should keep your dog clean – in general, a monthly bath is sufficient, but if your dog wanders through unhealthy places, it’s recommended to increase the frequency of his baths. Always use an anti-parasitic quality soap that will kill mites, which you can find at any veterinary clinic.
Another way to get mange is by catching it, if your dog plays with another dog who has the disease or walks in an area where other infected dogs have been, it’s possible for him to catch the disease.
The best way to prevent mange in dogs is to keep them well-nourished and cared for, with proper hygiene. Doing a check every once in a while will not only prevent mange, but many other diseases too. If possible, a visit to the vet every now and then can’t hurt.
How do you cure mange in dogs?
There are no home remedies to cure mange; there are certain things you can do to help treat it, but you must always go to your veterinarian. The vet will give you the correct treatment to cure your dog’s mange, and will also give you advice and instructions to cure the disease as soon as possible.
If anyone tells you that mange can be cured with home remedies, don’t believe them. They’re lying to you, and your dog will suffer for it. It’s very important to follow the treatment that your vet prescribes. This will be your main treatment to cure the disease.
Individually, you can help your dog by bathing him every ten to fifteen days with a neutral, white anti-mite soap. This will prevent the mites from continuing to reproduce and make it easier for the medications to do their job and cure your dog.
The bath should be given in warm water and very gently. Keep in mind that your dog’s skin is painful, so you should bathe him very gently, applying soap to the affected areas and letting it sit for a minute or two before rinsing. Afterwards, dry him with a soft towel, slowly and gently.
A well-balanced diet and vitamin supplements will help your dog have stronger defenses, helping him fight against the mites and helping to eradicate the disease. But always as a supplement to the medical treatment provided by the veterinarian.
What else should I know about mange in dogs?
The main thing is to detect it in time so that it doesn’t spread all over your dog’s skin. Mites reproduce extremely fast, so early detection is very helpful. It’s very important to see your veterinarian to get the proper treatment, depending on the type of mite and mange that your dog has.
Feeding your dog well and not neglecting his hygiene is also important to get rid of the disease quickly. Don’t let your dog play with other dogs until the vet says it’s okay so that he doesn’t infect the others.
Some types of mange can be transmitted to humans, too. Don’t worry; your vet will tell you if your dog’s mange is contagious and what measures you need to take (mange is very uncommon in humans, so don’t panic).
When your dog is sick, you should give him even more love and affection, as this will help him get better. Don’t let him be sad – cheer him up and play with him. A cheerful mood is very important, because a happy dog will recover faster than a sad dog. Never forget that.