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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 own.
  • 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 contact.
  • 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.
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WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist

The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk. If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.

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