My dog appears to have mange, I will be taking him to the vet on Monday, I am wanting to know what the treatment may be thanks.
There are two types of mange for dogs, so I’ll mention both. Your local vet will need to do a couple of tests to work out what is going on with your dogs skin- usually starting with some skin scrapes to search for mites.
- Demodex. This is a tiny mite that lives in dogs hair follicles. Every dog has these, and normally they don’t cause a problem at all, but in some dogs, their immune system is hyper reactive to them and the mites cause their poor doggy hosts to lose hair and get scaly or crusty skin. It can affect a localised area only such as the face, ears & paws, or it can affect the entire body. Affected dogs may or may not be itchy. This mange isn’t contagious. Treatment usually consists of a type of ivermectin (usually oral, some vets use weekly injections, or spot ons can be trialled depending on the severity of the infestation), antibiotics to treat secondary infection (usually 3 weeks required), and a topical medicated shampoo to help treat infection and flush the follicles. Demodex mites are fairly easy to diagnose with skin scrapes.
- Sarcoptes. These are another tiny mite, but these don’t usually live on your dog, and when your dog is exposed to them they become very itchy. Sarcoptic mites tend to burrow under the skin and cause itching, redness, and skin crusts at the tips of the ears, elbows, hocks, chest and belly. In severe infestations, their entire body can be affected. Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious and can spread from pet to pet or from pet to human. Other dogs in the household should be treated whether or not they have symptoms. Mites can only survive a short time off the dog. However to ensure that there is no reinfection of your dog after treatment, your dog’s living quarters should be thoroughly cleaned and the bedding washed or thrown away. If any family members have red itchy bumps on their skin, they should consult their doctor immediately. Treatment is usually a suitable spot on treatment, applied 2 weekly. Note that Sarcoptes can be very hard to find on a skin scrape, so if a vet sees one it’s a diagnosis, but not seeing one unfortunately doesn’t rule the condition out. When Sarcoptic mange is suspected, treatment may be the only way to diagnose and cure your dog of the mites.
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