What are the different types of Mange on Dogs?
Everyone has heard a dog referred to as a “mangy mutt” but not many people stop to think where this phrase actually came from. A true mangy mutt is actually a dog that is infected with mange.
So what exactly is mange on dogs?
In short, mange is an infestation of mites in the dogs skin. There are four types of dog mange: demodectic mange, sarcoptic mange, Cheyletiellosis, and ear mites.
Demodectic mange, also called Demodicosis, most commonly affects puppies, though it does occasionally manifest itself in older dogs as well. It’s caused by a microscopic mite that attacks the skin. Actually, this type mite is commonly found on dogs, but doesn’t usually cause an infestation (aka – mange on dogs)unless the dog’s skin immune system is weakened in some way. Demodectic mange in dogs can be localized, meaning that it only affects a few parts of the dog. It can be generalized, meaning that it occurs all over. It can also affect just the paws of the dog.
Common forms of Canine Mange
Sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies, can affect both dogs and humans. The mites live on the skin, and after they mate, the female burrows inside the skin, laying as she goes. When the eggs hatch into larvae, they make their way to the surface of the skin, grow into adults, and then subsequently mate and the cycle begins all over again.
Cheyletiellosis, also called walking dandruff, is a highly contagious form of mange. It is most characterized by the flaky, scaly patches of skin on the dog. In fact, it’s called walking dandruff, because a close examination of the dog’s skin will show small white flakes that move around. It’s most commonly found in puppy mills and other places where large numbers of dogs are kept together without the proper sanitation.
Ear mites are tiny spider-like mites that attack the ears in dogs, as the name implies. Typically they prefer to live and breed in the ear canal, but they can spread. Dogs with long, floppy ears, such as Cocker Spaniels, tend to be more prone to this type of mite. These mites cause ear infections. They feed on skin and wax, and as they burrow deeper, the dog’s natural immune system responds to the inflammation by producing more wax. While this type of mange on dogs does not occur on the skin, it is indeed a form of mange. All types of dog mange are characterized by itchy skin, which in some cases is actually painful and will cause the dog to lick, bite, and scratch himself raw. A dog infected with mange is usually miserable and unhappy.