Dog Mange (Scabies)
Oral ivermectin is effective against scabies and is frequently used as a
diagnostic test when skin scrapings have been negative. Ivermectin, in doses
used for scabies, has produced central nervous system problems and deaths in
Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Australian Shepherds, and
other herding breeds and their crosses. The drug is contraindicated in these
breeds at the higher dosages. Dogs of these breeds made be tested for the MDR 1
(multi-drug resistance) gene by having your veterinarian send a cheek swab to
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Always have the heartworm status of your dog
checked before giving ivermectin, because it may cause a reaction in dogs who
are positive for the heartworm larvae. Recent reports suggest that Interceptor
(milbemycin oxime) may also be effective against scabies mites, and could be
used instead of ivermectin in breeds in which ivermectin is contraindicated.
Revolution (selamectin) is also labeled to help in preventing and treating sarcoptic mange in dogs.
Corticosteroids relieve severe itching and may be required for the first two
to three days of treatment. Infected skin sores require oral and topical antibiotics. Adult mites can
live for 21 days off the host.
Treatment of the indoor environment is advisable to prevent recurrence.