What is mange?
Mange is a skin disease caused by parasitic mites that can affect both dogs and puppies.
What causes mange in dogs?
Mange is caused by tiny external parasites called mites. Mites can lead to severe irritation of the skin which can significantly impact your dog’s quality of life.
Types of mange in dogs
There are three types of mites responsible for mange in dogs:
- Sarcoptes mites cause sarcoptic mange
- Demodex mites cause demodectic mange
- Ear mites (Otodectes cynotis) cause otodectic mange
What does Mange look like?
Microscopic image of a Sarcoptes mite
What is sarcoptic mange?
Sarcoptic mange in dogs (also known as scabies in dogs) is a highly contagious skin condition caused by microscopic Sarcoptes mites. Sarcoptic mange is an extremely itchy skin disease. The dog variety of the mite can also infest humans and cause temporary dermatitis with intensely itchy skin lesions that can last for several weeks.
What is demodectic mange?
Demodectic mange is caused by microscopic Demodex mites that live in the dog’s hair follicles. Demodex mites are a normal inhabitant of a dog’s skin, however, they can cause skin disease if the immune system cannot control the mite population (e.g. young or malnourished dogs).
What is otodectic mange?
Otodectic mange is a common condition, especially in puppies, caused by ear mites (Otodectes cynotis). Ear mites can cause intense ear irritation and discomfort. These tiny parasites feed on wax and oils in a dog’s ear canals. They can result in head shaking or scratching, rubbing of the ears and secondary ear infections.
What does mange look like on a dog?
If you’re wondering what mange looks like in dogs, the pictures below demonstrate some of the typical skin lesions which can develop.
Demodectic mange resulting in generalised hair loss and dermatitis
Sarcoptic mange lesions on the face
The appearance of the skin lesions can vary and there are many other potential causes of skin disease in dogs. It is important for dogs with skin disease to be assessed by a vet to confirm the diagnosis.
What does early stage mange in dogs look like?
Depending on which type of mite is involved, dog mange may result in signs such as itchiness and hair loss in its early stage. Early-stage mange in dogs can be difficult to differentiate from other skin conditions. You should consult with your vet if you notice any signs of skin disease such as scratching, hair loss or scabs on the skin.
Symptoms of mange in dogs
Mange symptoms will vary depending on the type of mite involved:
- Sarcoptic mange: Intense itching, hair loss and skin infections.
- Demodectic mange: Hair loss, skin thickening and skin infections.
- Otodectic mange: Scratching around head and ears, head shaking, dark discharge and unpleasant odour from the ears.
Treatment for mange in dogs
Dog mange treatment is readily available in Australia. You should always consult with your vet regarding the best treatment for your dog. NexGard® for Dogs and NexGard SPECTRA® for Dogs provide effective demodectic mange treatment, sarcoptic mange treatment and ear mite treatment for dogs. Two consecutive monthly treatments of NexGard for Dogs or NexGard SPECTRA for Dogs are recommended for sarcoptic mange. Demodex treatment with NexGard for Dogs or NexGard SPECTRA for Dogs should be continued monthly until your vet confirms the absence of mites on two consecutive monthly skin scrapings. A single dose of NexGard for Dogs or NexGard SPECTRA for Dogs is highly effective against ear mite infestations in dogs.
What causes mange around a dog’s eyes?
Both sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange can result in hair loss and/or skin lesions around the eyes, however, there are also other potential causes (e.g. allergic skin disease). It is best to consult with your vet to confirm the diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment.
How can I spot early-stage scabies mange in dogs?
The signs of scabies in dogs (also known as sarcoptic mange) may include intense itchiness and hair loss. It is important to visit your vet if you suspect that your dog has mange.
What does the start of mange look like?
Depending on which type of mite is involved, mange may result in signs such as itchiness and hair loss in its early stage. You should consult with your vet if you notice any signs of skin disease in your dog.
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