Mange in Dogs (Canine Scabies)
What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Mange?
Take your dog to a veterinarian, who will perform a physical exam, analyze
skin scrapings and try to confirm the presence of mange mites with a
microscope. It can be difficult to identify mange mites if they’re buried deep
in a dog’s skin, so your vet may rely on clinical signs or your pet’s history
to make a final diagnosis.
Are Certain Dogs Prone to Mange?
- Puppies and dogs less than 18 months old are especially prone to
developing localizeddemodectic mange, which often clears up on its
- Generalized demodectic mange, the more serious,
pervasive kind, can be hereditary in dogs. Old English sheepdogs and shar peis
are prone to a severe form of demodectic mange affecting the feet. Older dogs
who have an underlying illness may also be more prone.
How Is Mange Treated?
Depending on the type of mange and the breed of your dog, medication may be
given orally or applied topically, by injection, or via shampoo and dip.
The first step in the treatment of sarcoptic mange is isolating your dog to
prevent the condition from spreading to other pets and humans. Your vet may
prescribe antiparasitic medications, as well as medication to ease itching,
inflammation and secondary skin infections. Results are usually seen after a
month of treatment.
Medications and managing physiological stress are essential when treating
demodectic mange. Some infected dogs may also require special treatment-such as
medicated shampoos-for secondary skin infections.
Please note, many skin treatments can be toxic to dogs and should not be
repeated frequently, so check with your vet before beginning any treatment
program for mange.
Is There a Cure for Mange?
Younger dogs often recover fully from mange, but adult dogs often require
long-term therapy to control the disease. Dogs with demodectic mange should not
be bred, as this condition is thought to be hereditary.
Treatment, no matter which option is chosen, should be accompanied by skin
scrapes every two weeks. After two consecutive scrapes are negative, medication
is discontinued, but a final scrape should be performed one month after
treatment to ensure there isn’t a recurrence.
How Can I Prevent a Recurrence of Mange?
- If your dog has been diagnosed with sarcoptic mange, you’ll need to
thoroughly clean or replace his bedding and collar and treat all animals in
- If you suspect a neighbor’s dog may be infected, keep your
pets away to keep the disease at bay.
- Bring your dog to the vet periodically as recommended for
recheck skin scrapes to ensure the mites have been eradicated.