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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 and skin.

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 problem.

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.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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