Dog Demodectic Mange

What is Demodectic Mange in Dogs?

Mange is a contagious skin related malady that is caused by the presence of parasitic mites. Mange is most common in domesticated animals including: dogs, cats, livestock, and even humans. The condition arises when the parasites imbed themselves in skin or hair follicles causing baldness in the affected area. Demodectic mange, also called red mange, is caused in canines that are overly sensitive and overpopulated by demodex canis. Demodex canis a a parasitic mite that are specific to canines and live in and around the animals hair follicles. The presence of this type of mite is very common in domesticated canines and usually do not cause any of the symptoms related to red mange. The condition is only apparent when the animals immune system is unable to keep the population of the mites under control.

There are two types of demodectic mange: localized and generalized. Localized demodectic mange consists of four different affected areas on the animal or less. Generalized red mange in dogs occurs when the demodex canis parasite have all but overrun the animals skin tissue and hair follicles. Both local and generalized afflictions are most common in elderly dogs whose immune systems have been compromised by the atrophy of their entire bodies. This particular type of mange is can not be spread to humans.

Types of Demodectic Mange in Dogs and pets

Dogs affected with this disease have no need to be quarantined from other living things. In most cases the condition is spread from mother to pup while the young dogs immune system is underdeveloped. There are a number of mange treatments that are successful in ridding the dog of its unwelcome intruders. The dog can be rinsed in sulfurated lime on a weekly or bi weekly basis depending on the severity of the condition. There are also a number of topical and orally applied alternatives one can use that have been successful in treating the condition.

If your dog is constantly chewing at himself, or if the hind leg moves in a scratching motion when the pup is scratched behind the ear you may want to make an appointment with your vet. The vet diagnosis the canine by taking skin scrapings from several areas of its body and examining for the demodex canis parasite. Even though it is not potentially life threatening, a dog afflicted by demodectic mange is suffering from constant discomfort. The sooner the animal can be treated for the condition the better.