How do I know my dog has mange? Before we go into discussing that, it is important that you know that mange is a skin infection that is caused by a mite infestation. Now, mange can be caused by two kinds of mites and the type of mange each kind causes differs in cause and presentation.
Before we go into that, allow us quickly point out that mange is rarely ever fatal. Provided things aren’t left to go on for an ungodly period of time, both you and your dog should be fine.
Types Of Mange
As earlier pointed out, there are basically two kinds: the demodectic kind (also called demodex mange) caused by demodex canis mite and the sarcoptic mange (also known as scabies) caused by the sarcoptic scabiei mite (source).
Of the two kinds of mange, this could probably be referred to as the less severe one and we’ll tell you why.
First off, demodectic mange is not contagious. In fact, your dog could actually have a harmonious coexistence with the demodex canis mite on their body. It is almost impossible to get rid of every single demodex canis mite.
The mites only begin to constitute a nuisance when they begin to ‘over-breed’ and your dog’s immune system is either overwhelmed or too weak to fight them off.
Secondly, your dog might not need medication to get rid of this kind because it has been known to phase out on its own. However, this is not saying that you should allow your dog go undiagnosed.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Demodectic Mange?
The two most common signs that your dog has demodectic mange are skin redness and hair loss. By hair loss we do not mean that clumps of hair will just start falling off your dog all willy-nilly. But you’ll notice that in certain areas of your dog’s skin, hair just seems to be missing.
That said, there are different kinds of demodectic mange and this classification has to do with spread. With localized demodectic mange, you’ll find the hair loss to be limited to just a few spots.
The generalized kind has a wider spread. And some say that dogs who have the generalized kind probably inherited the predisposition to this infection (and not the infection itself) from a parent.
Scratching could also be a sign of any kind of demodectic mange. However, it might not be something to look out for and if you do see this, it will probably be pretty mild.
While the sarcoptic mange could be said to be more intense, it is still not exactly fatal. However, it is very contagious and can even be contracted by humans.
So, if it has been confirmed that your dog has scabies, you’ll need to really consider decontaminating your home to get rid of mites.
Furthermore, while the demodectic has been known to affect mostly puppies, sarcoptic mange can affect any dog of any age that has come in contact with an infected dog.
Another way that scabies differs from demodectic mange is in the fact that a dog who has scabies will look and actually be sick.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Sarcoptic Mange?
One tell-tale sign that it is sarcoptic is severe itching. And while hair loss isn’t a function of the scabies, with intense and continuous itching, your dog could actually experience hair loss.
In some severe cases, you might notice some red spots on your body or on other humans in your home where the mites have gotten to you.
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This Video Tells A Bit More About The Signs And Symptoms
Seek Professional Help
Now, while we have pointed out some warning signs to look out for, it is important that you do not try to carry out any kind of treatments on your dog without a diagnosis.
If you suspect that your dog has any kind of mange, take them to the veterinarian for a diagnosis. Because, aside the fact that only veterinarians are trained to provide solutions to these issues, these symptoms could be indicative of something else that you wouldn’t know unless your dog got a diagnosis.
What You Can Do
Most of the personal interventions are in relation to the sarcoptic mange. So, if your dog has been diagnosed of sarcoptic mange,
- Separate them from other dogs. Remember that this kind is really contagious. So, you do not want an infected dog mingling, sleeping or even eating with other non-infected dog.
It might seem harsh but it is necessary if you do not want a full blown epidemic on your hands. And this just has to be for the period of treatment.
- Decontaminate everything that the infected dog might have used during this period. Everything from beddings to clothes and even bowls should be properly rid of mites.
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- Do not use anything that has been used on an infected dog on a dog that isn’t. Because, not only can the scabies be passed from dog to dog, it can also be passed from something that has been used on an infected dog to another dog.
- Finally, as much as is within your power, keep your dog away from places that have been known to harbor mite infested dogs.
How do I know my dog has mange? We are sure this article has answered that question. Mange is definitely a cause for alarm. However, early detection will make things a lot easier.