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Dog mange

Dog mange causes, symptoms and treatment of demodectic and sarcoptic mange

Dog Mange is a parasitic infestation affecting the skin of dogs.

There are two basic types of dog mange and the symptoms of mange in dogs are also different for the two types. Such infections are common in humans also, though in humans, the condition is known as demodiscosis. Veterinarians consider dog mange contagious.

Demodectic mange in dogs
This type of mange is also known as demodicosis or more popularly Red Mange in dogs.

This condition is caused due to presence of the Demodex canis mites. Though this mite is usually not able to attack the dogs, a dog that has an impaired immune system may not be able to keep the population of this mite in check. This mite grows in the hair follicles of the animal and can also be present around the face of the dog. These mites could well be benign; however, in certain cases they can spread and cause skin irritations.

Some of the causes for this infection are low immunity, malnourishment and stress. Since these mites reproduce rapidly, dogs that are sensitive may get rashes. Sometimes these rashes or patches of irritation get corrected on their own when the immune system starts to mature.

Sarcoptic mange in dogs
This kind of mange is also known as canine scabies. This is a type of mange that is highly contagious and is caused due to a burrowing mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei canis.

The mites dig into the skin causing itching and pain. There is also crusting on the skin that could become infected if not treated in time. There is a loss of hair around the elbows as this the area where the mites usually attack. If the dog feels intense itching, it usually scratches and bites furiously causing further damage. Most of the damage in this condition is done due to secondary infections through bacteria. The dogs that have this infection usually show poor health.

Dog Mange Symptoms

  • Pustules on the dog's skin,
  • Redness,
  • Scaling,
  • Hair loss
  • Crusting
  • Inflammation


The infection occurs on the ears, elbows, around the eyes, corners of the mouth and paws.

Dog mange treatment
Treatment of mange in dogs depends on the type of mange that the dog suffers from. If the cases are minor and localized, they can be treated simply with shampoos that are specially medicated. However, if there have been secondary infections, antibiotics might have to be used. For those who suffer from red mange, the dogs will have to be separated from other dogs so that the mites don't spread.

  Submitted on June 1, 2010  

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