If you have a dog, then you may have wondered at some point where dogs get mange. This common skin condition can cause your dog a great deal of discomfort. In this article, we will discuss the causes of mange in dogs, as well as the symptoms and treatment options. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent mange in dogs. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Mange?
Mange is a skin condition that is caused by mites. These mites are tiny parasitic creatures that burrow into the skin and cause irritation. Mange can affect dogs of all ages, but it is most common in puppies and young dogs. Mange can be classified into two types:
1. Sarcoptic Mange
Sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies, is the more contagious form of mange. It is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite, which is a highly contagious parasite. This type of mange is easily passed from dog to dog through contact with contaminated bedding or clothing. It can also be passed to humans, although it is not dangerous to people.
Symptoms of Sarcoptic Mange
There are a few different things that can indicate that your dog may have sarcoptic mange. The most common symptom is intense itchiness, which can lead to a lot of scratching and biting. This can then lead to secondary skin infections, hair loss, and scabs or crusts on the skin. You may also notice your dog dragging its hind end along the ground (a condition known as “scooting”), or it may have reddened or irritated skin.
How Is Sarcoptic Mange Diagnosed?
There are a few ways that sarcoptic mange can be diagnosed. The most common methods include skin scrapings and biopsies.
Skin scrapings involve taking a small sample of skin from the affected area and looking at it under a microscope. This is generally considered to be the most reliable way to diagnose sarcoptic mange, as it can directly confirm the presence of mites. However, it can be difficult to get a good sample if the mites are buried deep within the skin.
Biopsy is another option, though it is not as commonly used due to the invasiveness of the procedure. In this procedure, a small piece of skin is taken and then examined under a microscope. This can be helpful in diagnosing mange, but it is generally only used if other methods have failed.
2. Demodectic Mange
Demodectic mange also referred to as ‘Demodicosis’ is caused by the Demodex mite. This mite is found in small numbers on all dogs, but it only causes problems in dogs with a weakened immune system. The mites feed on the oil and dead skin cells that make up the dog’s coat, and this can lead to hair loss, itching, and secondary infections. In severe cases, the mites can even invade the dog’s skin and cause permanent damage.
Demodectic mange can occur in any dog, but it is most common in puppies and young dogs. Certain breeds are also more susceptible, including Dachshunds, Boxers, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers
Symptoms of Demodectic Mange
There are several symptoms of demodectic mange, which is also known as “red mange”. These include hair loss, itching, inflammation, and crusting. The most common symptom is hair loss, which usually begins as small patches. However, in severe cases, the entire coat may be lost.
Extreme itchiness is another common symptom, and dogs with demodectic mange often scratch or chew excessively at their skin. This can lead to secondary infections, as well as hot spots and bald spots. Inflammation and crusting are also common symptoms, and affected areas may be red, scaly, or crusted over.
How Is Demodectic Mange Diagnosed?
There are a few ways that your vet can diagnose demodectic mange. The first is through skin scraping. This involves taking a sample of the affected skin and looking at it under a microscope. Your vet may also recommend a biopsy, which is taking a small piece of skin and sending it to be tested in a lab. Blood tests are not typically used to diagnose demodectic mange but may be done to rule out other conditions.
Where Do Dogs Get Mange?
Dogs can get mange from several different places. The most common place is from other dogs, either through direct contact or by coming into contact with contaminated bedding or clothing. Mange can also be passed from mother to puppy during nursing. In some cases, mites may be present in the environment, such as in dirt or grass. These mites can then attach to a dog and cause an infestation.
Let’s take a look at some of the treatment options for mange in dogs.
One of the most common treatment options for mange is medicated shampoo. This shampoo contains sulfur or other ingredients that help to kill mites and relieve symptoms.
Another option is oral medications, which are typically given in the form of pills or capsules. These medications work by killing the mites from the inside out and are generally considered to be quite effective.
There are also injectable medications that can be used to treat mange. These are typically given by a vet, and they work by killing the mites directly. Injectable medications are considered to be very effective, but they can be expensive and may require multiple treatments.
There are also several topical treatments that can be used to treat mange. These include spot-on treatments, creams, ointments, and shampoos. Topical treatments work by killing the mites on contact and are generally considered to be safe for dogs.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the mites. This is typically done as a last resort, as it can be expensive and may require multiple treatments.
How To Prevent Mange?
There are a few things that you can do to prevent your dog from getting mange. The first is to keep them up-to-date on their vaccinations. This will help to strengthen their immune system and make them less likely to develop mange. You should also avoid letting your dog come into contact with other dogs that may have mange. Finally, you should regularly groom your dog and check them for any signs of mange.
Our Final Thoughts
Mange is a skin condition that is caused by mites. It is important to know where dogs can get mange so that you can prevent your dog from coming into contact with it. Mange is most commonly passed from dog to dog, but it can also be present in the environment. If you think that your dog has mange, it is important to take them to the vet so that they can get proper treatment.