Demodectic mange, also known as "red mange" is a skin condition that affects dogs. It's caused by a type of mite called Demodex canis. In this blog post, our Long Island vets we'll closely examine demodectic mange, what causes it and how it can be treated.
What is Mange?
Mange is a skin condition that is caused by mites. There are two types of mange that affect dogs: demodectic mange and sarcoptic mange. Demodectic mange is caused by the Demodex canis mite. On the other hand, the Sarcoptic mange is caused by a different type of mite, Sarcoptes scabiei.
What Causes Demodectic Mange?
Demodectic mange is caused by an overgrowth of Demodex canis mites on dogs' skin. The mites usually are present on the skin of healthy dogs in small numbers, but in some dogs, the mite can become overgrown and cause skin problems. This overgrowth is often due to a weakened immune system, which can occur in young puppies or dogs with underlying health problems.
Is Demodectic Mange Contagious?
Demodectic Mange is not contagious from dog to dog. The mites that cause the condition are species-specific, meaning they can only survive on the skin of dogs and not on other animals or humans.
Symptoms of Demodex in Dogs
The symptoms of Demodex mange in dogs can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some comment symptoms include:
- Hair loss, especially around the face, paws, and legs
- Redness and inflammation of the skin
- Scaly patches or crusty sores
- Itching and scratching
- Infections of the skin, which can lead to bad odor and discharge
How is Demodectic Mange Diagnosed?
Demodectic mage is typically diagnosed through a skin scraping test. A mall skin sample is taken and examined under a microscope for the presence of Demodex canis mites. Your veterinarian may also perform a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
How is Demodectic Mange Treated?
It can be treated with a combination of topical and oral medication. In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend a combination of drugs, such as topical antifungal and antibacterial treatments, as well as oral antibiotics and immunotherapy to boost the dog's immune system. In mild cases, topical medications may be enough to treat the condition.
Recovery and Prevention of Demodectic Mange in Dogs
Treating mange in dogs is generally successful when done promptly and appropriately. However, chronic treatment may be necessary for dogs with underlying health issues or secondary infections. Managing any medical conditions that may complicate the mange treatment is crucial, as the consequences could be severe, even fatal.
Demodectic mange, on the other hand, usually doesn't spread from dog to dog. Therefore, cleaning the environment is unnecessary. Giving your dog regular preventive miticidal treatments is still wise to ward off other parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and mites. Be sure to follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding the type and frequency of preventative care.
Treatment for Dermatological Conditions in Dogs & Cats at Atlantic Coast New York Veterinary Specialists
Dogs and cats with severe or chronic skin conditions may need to be treated by a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. At Atlantic Coast New York Veterinary Specialists, our specialists are equipped with years of experience and cutting-edge diagnostics that allow us to provide the best possible care for your pet. Treatments and their duration depend on the condition, its severity, your pet's health and environment, and other factors.
Demodectic mange and other skin conditions can easily become severe. If this is true for your dog, we're here to assess, diagnose and effectively treat your pet. We also work together with your primary care veterinarian to tailor a plan to fit your pet's specific requirements.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.