Can My Dog Have Mange

January 21, 2010

in Cats

Mange is an itchy, inflammatory disease caused by the mite Demodex. Making a determination of which mite your dog is infected with can determine the seriousness of mange. Typically mange in dogs is referred to as Demodicosis.

There are several side effects of mange again, depending on the type of mite inhibiting the hair follicles and skin. Mange can cause genetic disorders; immune system problems and lesions just to name a few. Mange is not only a condition known to affect dogs but cats as well.

Demodectic mange comes in two forms. It can be localized to a particular area of the body or can be general and cover the dogs entire body. Making a determination as to which type your pet has will determine the treatment your vet will administer.

If you see small patches of lesions around your dog’s legs, face or trunk, then he probably has the milder form, which is localized mange. Generalized mange will appear over the whole body in the form of redness on the skin accompanied by the patches of lesions. Doctors will say that there is no known cause for mange however; some feel that immune system problems can prompt this disease in your dog.

There are three identifiable mites that are known to cause mange. While transmissions of two are unknown, Demodex canis has been determined to get into the hair follicle. It is assumed that this is transferred from the mother to the newborn through nursing.

Testing is done either with a urine sample if you are able to get one or by scraping a piece of the dogs skin. The vet will want to rule out that possibility of your dog having an infected hair follicle. They can also determine the mite by plucking a few hairs.

Generalized mange can be the hardest to cure. You have the option of the lime-sulphur dip and continuous medication, which should alleviate some of the discomfort. In the more severe cases, it should be ascertained what type of life the dog will have to endure with this chronic condition, then determine the best solution for your dog.

Skin scrapings are necessary to continue testing the dog during its treatment to determine that the mites have been eliminated. If your dog is diagnosed with mange, it is important that you are diligent with the prescribed treatment. This will enable you to keep the spread of the disease under control.

Remember that if your pet has generalized mange, it’s best that you not breed it. Prevention can be simply maintaining a healthy diet for your dog. Regular grooming and good health may be all you need to keep your dog free of mange.

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