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Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

What Is Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs?

Mange is a common canine skin disease that can be caused by several different species of mites. There are three different mange mites. The sarcoptic mange lives just under the surface of the skin in dogs; demodectic mange resides in the hair follicles and sebaceous glands and Notoedric mange (cats) are closely related to Sarcoptic mange mites of dogs.

Sarcoptic mange in dogs is an ectoparasitic, itchy disease caused by superficial burrowing skin mite- Sarcoptes Scabiei. These are also called pseudo scabies, animal scabies, and canine scabies. While extremely contagious, it is rarely dangerous but it can cause extreme discomfort as it elicits a strongly pruritic hypersensitivity reaction.

The mange typically affects parts of the bodies of dogs that are devoid of hair, such as the face, neck, ears, head, abdomen, chest, hocks, and elbow. The pruritic, papular lesions are associated with oozing, crusting, scaling, and formation of scabs. There is a noticeable weight loss and alopecia. There may be a secondary bacterial infection, causing severe morbidity in these dogs.

The Sarcoptic mange mites also get transmitted to humans in close quarters with infected dogs, leading to irritation and intense pruritis. The mange runs a prolonged course in humans who are immunocompromised, in young children, or in patients treated with immuno-suppressants. Although the infestations are typically self-limiting, they can be extremely itchy and annoying.

Symptoms Of Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

  • Crusting, Scaly, or leathery appearance
  • Redness/Discoloration
  • Sores
  • Infections
  • Loss of hair in patches
  • Pustules
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Tiny track marks from mites burrowing
  • Wrinkling
  • Irritated, Reddened sections of skin

Treatment Options For Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

  • Topical medications: selamectin, ivermectin, doramectin, imidacloprid, and moxidectin.
  • Selenium Sulphide shampoo USP 2.5% for Dogs - weekly once for three weeks.
  • Benzoyl peroxide special shampoos are used as the best deep cleaning agent to cleanse and degrease a dog’s skin.
  • Ivermectin injection: broad-spectrum antiparasitic. Before initiating therapy, dogs must be heartworm negative. This should not be used in shelties and collies.
  • LymDyp- This is a sulfurated lime solution applied every 6 days for 6 dips. The solution should be diluted as directed on the label.

Home Remedies For Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

  • Use medicated wipes containing a skin disinfectant; keep the fur/jowls/mouth clean which is usually twice a day. Always dry the area thoroughly after cleaning.
  • Several types of tick collars, oral medications, and topical treatments are available; check with your vet and decide what is best for your dog.
  • The dog's skin folds should be cleaned at least twice weekly with clean paper napkins (or cotton washcloths), veterinary formula shampoo (e.g. vetMD medicated shampoo), spray, wipes, and skin cleanser.

How To Prevent Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs?

  • Mite hotspots are bedding, mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture, curtains, or carpets in your home. Wash the linens in very hot water (+55°C) and put them in a dryer for 15 minutes at least once to kill dust mites.
  • Use special air filters that can stop the spreading of dust mites. Special high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filters in the vacuum cleaner, carbon filters, and Molekule air purifiers effectively trap mites, dust, and skin cells.
  • When the dust mites’ infestations in your home are very high, commercial powders and pesticides can be used for dust mite control.

Affected Dog Breeds Of Sarcoptic Mange

There is no breed disposition

Causes And Types For Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

1. Causes:

Sarcoptes scabiei var cannis

Adult female: 0.3 x 0.4mm in size

Male: 0.25 x 0.2mm

2. Types:

Demodicosis: Demodex Canis is the main causative agent of Demodectic mange. Demodex Cornei and Demodex Injai also contribute to this condition. Also called red mange’ or ‘Demodex’, Demodectic Canis is the most prevalent type of mange in dogs. When a dog has an immature immune or weakened immune systems system, Demodectic mange mites increase rapidly. This disease is more prevalent in dogs less than 12 - 18 months of age and older dogs. Demodectic mange is not infectious to other pets or humans. However, mother dogs transmit Demodex mites to puppies during the first few days of life. As the mite is common on almost all dogs, contact of a healthy dog with dogs with demodectic mange is not dangerous.

Sarcoptic mange: on close contact with infested dogs, this type of mange is transmissible to humans. Humans, who are infected by animal scabies, present a completely different picture from humans who are affected by human itch mite (Sarcoptes Scabiei Var Hominis) infection. Each mite species prefers one specific type of host and when it happens to infect other than its preferred hosts, it does not live long and the severity will is lesser. So, canine sources cannot cause full-blown scabies in humans. The symptoms are transient, the incubation period is shorter with self-limiting infestation.

3. Mortality:

There is no reported mortality due to sarcoptic mange infection.

4. Diagnosis:

  • Complete blood profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Cutaneous cytology- the skin sample from the dog is examined microscopically

5. Prognosis:

Most cases of sarcoptic mange are treatable. Immunosuppressed Dogs will be much more vulnerable to other diseases and conditions as well as relapses of sarcoptic mange.

When To See A Vet For Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs?

Contact your vet right away, if you notice any of the following:

  • Crusting, Scaly, or leathery appearance
  • Redness/Discoloration
  • Sores

Food Suggestions For Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

  1. Whole, unprocessed foods or Nutrient-dense and biologically suitable foods.
  2. 2 part cooked rice + 1 part boiled lean hamburger.
  3. 2 parts rice or cooked macaroni + One-part boiled egg or cottage cheese.
  4. Pumpkin seeds, Mashed boiled potatoes, carrots, Bananas, Apples, and Seaweed.
  5. Probiotics (yogurt, kimchi, kefir with live cultures, fermented vegetables).


When pet owners begin to notice a sudden onset of extreme itching and discomfort in their pet, they should immediately contact a veterinarian and isolate the affected dog.

If treated promptly and kept away from sources of re-contamination, almost all dogs make a quick and complete recovery from sarcoptic mange. Sometimes, mites are a life-threatening danger only in severely immunocompromised dogs.

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