Mange is a common skin disease that affects dogs, causing a plethora of uncomfortable symptoms. Let’s delve into what mange really is, how it affects your beloved canine, and what you can do about it.
What is Mange?
Mange is a skin disease in dogs caused by various types of mites. Some mites are naturally present on your dog’s skin and only cause problems when their numbers are unchecked. Other types of mites are not so benign. Regardless, these tiny parasites can cause severe itching and skin problems in dogs.
There are two main types of mange, each caused by a different kind of mite:
- Sarcoptic Mange (Scabies): This is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite, a highly contagious mite that can also affect humans.
- Demodectic Mange (Demodicosis): This is caused by a mite that naturally lives on dogs but can cause problems when their numbers grow out of control.
Symptoms of Mange
Your dog might be suffering from mange if they show the following symptoms:
- Intense itching
- Hair loss, especially in patches
- Red, inflamed skin
- Scales and crusts on the skin
How is Mange Diagnosed?
A veterinarian can diagnose mange through a skin scraping test. They will scrape off a small sample of your dog’s skin and examine it under a microscope. If mites are present, your dog has mange. The type of mite will determine whether it’s Sarcoptic or Demodectic mange.
Treatment and Prevention of Mange
Treatment for mange will depend on the type of mite causing the problem.
For Sarcoptic mange, treatment usually involves:
- Topical ointments to kill the mites
- Medicated shampoos for bathing
- Systemic medications
For Demodectic mange, treatment may include:
- Medicated shampoos
- Oral medications
- Special dips for the dog’s skin
Prevention is always better than cure. Here are a few tips to prevent mange:
- Keep your dog’s living area clean.
- Regularly wash your dog’s bedding.
- Avoid contact with infected dogs.
1. Can humans get mange from dogs?
Yes, humans can contract a temporary form of mange from dogs, especially Sarcoptic mange.
2. Is mange in dogs fatal?
If left untreated, severe cases of mange can be life-threatening. However, with the right treatment, most dogs recover completely.
3. Can I prevent my dog from getting mange?
You can reduce the risk by keeping your dog and its environment clean and avoiding contact with infected dogs.
4. How long does it take for a dog to recover from mange?
Recovery time can vary from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity and the dog’s overall health.
5. Are certain breeds more susceptible to mange?
Yes, some breeds like Bulldogs, German Shepherds, and Chihuahuas are more prone to Demodectic mange.
Remember, your dog’s health is in your hands. As their caregiver, it’s essential to understand the signs of skin problems like mange and seek veterinary help at the earliest.