How to Diagnose Dog Mange

February 6, 2010

in Cats

Mange and how to diagnose it Mange is a illness that many animals contract in particular dogs and cats. It is surprisingly prevalent, but is also easy to eliminate. Here we take a look at the way in which mange occurs, how to spot mange in pets and how it should be eliminated. .

The requirements of knowing how mange occurs cannot be stressed too highly. Mange is caused by miniature mites that live in the animal’s fur, and the female mange mite will dig into the skin of the animal in order to lay her eggs. This can cause an unwanted reaction in the dog or cat, and leads to persistent irritation and suffering as well as other symptoms that we will look at later. The mites themselves have a life span of a short period but they reproduce at a rapid rate. It is when the number of mites increases rapidly that the pet can become susceptible to mange.

Recognizing mange is relatively easy as the signs are visible and unusual. The first thing that may be noticed is more noticeable scratching, particularly in areas where the hair is at its shortest – these are where the mange mite likes to live – and this may be accompanied by loss of hair in these areas. While in only certain spots in the first instance it is often the case that mange spreads and in the worst cases can cover the body of the animal entirely.

Further symptoms can include lack of appetite, lethargy and red areas on the skin – so called red mange – that are painful and present great discomfort for the animal.

If mange is detected it is best to commence treatment straight away, as keeping the illness under control is vital to eliminating the condition. Mange is rarely a danger to life but can be dangerous if allowed to get out of control. It is also very distressing for the animal, whose welfare should be considered at all times. Instances of mange transferring from any animals to humans are known to have occurred and the most common form of mange – known as sarcoptic mange – is extremely contagious and occurs in humans as scabies.

It is so that mange mites are specific to different species – a dog mite will live best on dogs only, a cat mite on cats – but they can live for short periods on other than their natural host. For this reason it is best to keep uninfected people and animals away from those with the mange to be safe and sound.

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