Demodectic Mange in Dogs
Generalized Demodectic Mange continued...
Treatment: Generalized demodectic mange must be treated under close
veterinary supervision. Therapy involves the use of medicated shampoos and dips
to remove surface scales and kill mites. Shave or clip hair from all affected
areas to facilitate access to the skin.
The FDA protocol involves first bathing the dog with a medicated benzoyl peroxide
shampoo (OxyDex or Pyoben) to remove skin scales. Allow the shampoo to remain
on the dog for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Completely dry the dog.
Amitraz (brand name Mitaban) currently is the only miticide approved by the
FDA for use on dogs. Make up an amitraz dip by adding Mitaban to water,
according to the directions on the label. Be sure to treat the dog in a
well-ventilated area and wear rubber or plastic gloves to keep the chemical off
your skin. Sponge on the dip over a 10-minute period, allowing the dog’s feet
to soak in the rinse. Allow the dip to dry on the dog. Repeat every two weeks,
or as directed by your veterinarian. Try to keep the dog from getting her coat
and feet wet between dips. Continue this protocol for 60 days beyond the day
when skin scrapings first became negative.
Side effects of Mitaban include drowsiness, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and a staggering
gait. Puppies are more susceptible than adults to these effects. If such a
reaction occurs, immediately remove the miticide by thoroughly rinsing the coat
If the FDA protocol is not completely effective, your veterinarian may
suggest an alternative treatment. Oral milbemycin and ivermectin have been used
as off-label treatments, and require close cooperation between your
veterinarian and you since they are not officially approved for treating this
Secondary skin infections should be
treated with antibiotics, based on culture
and sensitivity tests. Corticosteroids, often used to control severe itching, lower the dog’s
immunity to the mites and should not be used to treat this disease.
Because of an inherited immune susceptibility, dogs who recover from
generalized demodectic mange should not be bred.