Vet Blog

Mange on Dogs: What it is and What You Should Know

June 09, 2021

No one wants to find that their pet has an itchy skin condition, especially mange.

However, there may be some instances where mange does occur on our dogs and the more that dog owners know the more likely they are to get early treatment for their dog's condition.

Mange is caused by several different kinds of mites, and as a result, there are several different kinds of mange. Mange causes the skin to become extremely itchy, and red sores and open wounds may result from a dog's excessive scratching.

In this article, we will be explaining everything that dog owners need to know about mange on dogs. This includes what it is, what it is caused by, and what the treatment is for mange. We will be looking at the symptoms of mange and explain the differences between the three different types of mange as well.

What Is Mange?

Mange is a skin condition that is caused by mites that infect the skin and cause it to become extremely itchy. There are three different kinds of mange on dogs, and they are each caused by a different species of mites. We will take a closer look into the three different kinds of mange later in this article.

There Are 3 Different Kinds of Mange

There are three different types of mange that can occur in dogs, and they are caused by three different species of mites. We will be explaining the general differences between these three different types of mange in dogs. They include sarcoptic mange, demodectic mange, and cheyletiellosis mange.

Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic mange is also called canine Scabies, and it is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes Scabiei. This type of mange is incredibly contagious, and it is mainly spread from dog to dog through direct contact. In some cases, dogs can even become infected with Sarcoptic Mange after coming into indirect contact with an infected dog through an infected object such as a water dish or toy. Dogs usually start to show symptoms of this type of mange about 8 to 10 days after initial exposure, and the first signs tend to show up in the following areas.

  • Around the ears
  • On the elbows and hocks
  • On and around the stomach and chest

Demodectic Mange

On the other hand, Demodectic mange, or Demodex, is caused by a mite called Demodex Canis. This is a naturally occurring mite on a dog's skin, and it is harmless most of the time. In fact, this mite only causes mange when a dog's immune system is weaker than normal. This tends to occur in young puppies, elderly dogs, and dogs with an underlying medical condition. This type of mange can either show up in isolated areas or all over the dog's body.

Cheyletiellosis Mange

This is the rarest type of mange, and it is caused by the C. Yasguri mite. Unlike the other types of mange in dogs, this mange appears to move through the skin, and it is sometimes called walking dandruff mange. This mange is usually less strikingly severe than the other two, but it is still uncomfortable for dogs and should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

What Dogs Are at Risk of Getting Mange?

When it comes to Sarcoptic mange and Cheyletiellosis mange, dogs are only at risk of getting this disease if they come into close contact with another dog that is already infected. As a result, dogs in shelters, kennels, and dogs that frequently interact with other dogs are at risk of developing these two types of mange.

Meanwhile, dogs are only at risk of developing Demodectic mange if they have a weakened immune system. As a result, young puppies, elderly dogs, and dogs with underlying health conditions are most at risk of developing this kind of mange. Demodectic mange is not contagious to either people or other dogs.

What Are the Symptoms of Mange?

There are several different symptoms to look out for when it comes to manage. Although the three different types of mange can appear to be different, these symptoms are general and can appear due to any type of mange. Here are the most common symptoms of mange in dogs that dog owners should look out for.

  • Excessive itching
  • Red spots or a rash
  • Yellow scabs
  • Hair loss
  • Onset of bacterial or yeast infections on the skin
  • Thickening of the skin and inflamed lymph nodes (extreme cases)
  • Emancipation (very extreme cases)

How Is Mange Diagnosed?

Of course, if you suspect that your dog has any form of mange you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. When at the vet they will diagnose your dog with mange, or something else if they do not have mange, and provide you with a treatment plan. All three different types of mange are diagnosed in the same way. They will take a skin scraping of your dog's skin and look at this scraping under a microscope. They will then identify the type of mite that is on your dog's skin and diagnose your dog.

How Is Mange Treated?

Once your dog has been diagnosed with a specific type of mange, your veterinarian will set your dog up with a treatment plan. The exact treatment of mange often depends on the specific type of mange, the severity of the dog's mange, and the overall health of the dog at hand. Here are the things that most vets do to treat mange in dogs.

Clipping The Dog's Fur

You will likely need to shave your dog's fur down to get rid of some of the mites and mite eggs that are causing your dog's mange. This is almost always needed for Sarcoptic mange.

Bathing the Dog in Medicated Shampoo

Most of the time you will also need to bathe your dog in a medicated shampoo on a regular basis. This is called dipping, and you will likely need to do this about once a week. Vets prescribe these shampoos to heal the skin and help work on getting rid of the mites. There are many different brands and types of these dips.

Topical and Oral Medications

Many vets also prescribe topical or oral medications to help aid in the eradication of the mite infection. Your dog may also need to take antibiotics to either clear up or prevent a bacterial infection caused by excessive itching.

Need to Talk With Vet?

Do you suspect your dog has mange or need to talk with a vet? Call (281) 471-6834 to talk with the veterinarians at Bay-Porte Animal Hospital today!