Sarcoptic Mange 

Sarcoptic mange, commonly know as scabies, is caused by an external parasite that burrows deep into the skin. It causes intense itchiness, especially affecting the ears, elbows, and face. People can pick up this disease from their pet and show symptoms of itching, but it goes away by itself in a short time and does not require treatment in most cases.

It is important to note that diagnostic tests are mandatory to arrive at a correct diagnosis and achieve a satisfactory outcome to therapy.  Pets that have Ringworm, Demodex. or allergies can look like they have Sarcoptic mange.

The most prevalent symptom is intense itching.  This itching will inflame the skin and cause scabs. The areas most commonly affected are the ear margins, elbows, and face. Some pets will shake their ears excessively.

The usual treatment for Sarcoptic mange is an injection given weekly for up to 4 weeks. Most pets decrease their scratching rapidly after the first injection.  Pets that have secondary skin infections from the trauma might also be put on antibiotics.

Good nutrition and plenty of play and exercise are always important to maintain the proper balance to fight off disease. All pets in a household that has a pet diagnosed with this disease should also be treated.


Demodectic Mange

Demodectic mange is caused by an external parasite that is also present in low numbers on healthy animals, including people. Whether or not a pet shows symptoms of this disease depends primarily on their immune status.  One of the most common symptoms of this disease is small patches of hair loss, which can increase over time to include the whole body.  When it is present in adult dogs it commonly affects the feet. Most pets that have demodectic mange are young.

There are several medications to treat this condition that have proven to be highly effective, and have saved many pets from suffering, and even euthanasia. Sometimes, this condition cannot be cured but only controlled. Treatment duration is based on skin scrapings, not just the appearance of the skin.  A skin that looks like it is healed can still harbor demodex mites.  This is especially true for adult dogs with feet lesions.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that the immune system is paramount in whether or not your pet gets this disease, no guarantee can be made that these medications will work.  Your pet needs to be on high quality foods, be current on vaccines, and be free of internal parasites (worms).  Other skin conditions like allergies can occur simultaneously, and need to be treated also.


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