Mange is a skin disease which occurs to mammals and is very common amongst dogs. It is caused by parasitic, microscopic mites and although these can infect plants, reptiles, and birds, the term ‘mange’ refers to mite-mite-infestation on non-human mammals. The condition causes itching, hair loss, scabs which on dogs causes their hair coat to become in a poor condition. There are different types of the condition with Sarcoptic mange also known as canine scabies being the most common as well as demodectic mange which is quite rare and is spread between a mother and her puppies.
Unfortunately, the condition is highly contagious amongst dogs, other animals and even humans. This means owners could catch the condition from their dog. And dogs can spread it between themselves and the mites can infest the home as they can live on furniture, carpet and bedding.
This is the most common type of mange also known as scabies. This type is very contagious and can be picked up easily from one day to another if your dog is in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is also highly contagious with humans so if your dog picks up this disease, it should be dealt with quickly.
Sarcastic mange is caused by small, microscopic mites which burrow underneath the skin surface and lay eggs. Once the eggs hatch (within 3 to 10 days) they move on the skin and develop into adults and reproduce. They often prefer hairless areas of the skin so it is common that they will lay in the ears, armpits and on the belly. They can live 3 to 4 weeks and cause problems and discomfort for the dog.
The discomfort caused by the mites will cause your dog to be very itchy and the skin will become red and inflamed. Because of the constant itching your dog will do with this condition, hair may occur. It is common with dogs to have spots of no fur all over their body, where the bites have been on their skin and the dog has been itching. Scabs can also form and skin scars and infections can occur when the skin has been itched so much that it opens and becomes red and sore.
It is important that this condition is treated as soon as possible. Luckily, the condition is quite easy to treat with the right medication. Take your dog to the vets as soon as you discover the problem and have a suspicion of the condition. Even if it not diagnosed as this condition, it is better to be safe than sorry.
The vet will prescribe steroids in cream or tablet form and antibiotics to help reduce the inflammation and treat any infections that may have occurred from the open wounds. The vet will prescribe what they think is best to suit your dog and the condition at the time. It is important that you follow the medication instructions and complete the full course to ensure it works. The disease should be completely gone within 1 month of starting the treatment.
It is also good to note that although sarcoptic mange can be contracted from adults, the mites have to complete their life on dogs. So although human infections can cause a lot of irritation, this is short-lived in comparison to a dog. Make sure, if you think your dog has sarcoptic mange that you keep them off any furniture you share including furniture and bedding. Also, make sure you wash all bedding and furniture they have been in contact with and avoid close contact with home furniture and humans (especially children). Avoid contact with other dogs too as it is highly contagious amongst dogs.
This is a rater form of mange also known as red mange or puppy mange. The disease is passed on from a mother to her puppies and is developed when a puppy has an immune system problem. However, in most cases, the disease doesn’t fully develop as the puppy’s healthy immune system will stop it. In rare cases, the parasites can take over and the disease develops. This type of mange is not thought to be contagious to other animals or humans.
Also, seek the advise from your vet on how to treat the condition or to seek guidance on if your dog does have mange. The vet will prescribe the best medication or cream to help treat the disease. This type of mange isn’t fully preventable however if your dog is in optimum health, there will be less chance for them to develop demodectic mange. This is because their immune system will work well in the situation to suppress the parasites. It is important to always make sure that your dog’s worming and flea treatment are up to date to ensure they are safe.