What is the mange? Canine Demodectic mange in dogs is a disease that causes hair loss without itch. It is caused by a tiny parasitic mite and occurs in dogs three to twelve months of age. It is too small to be seen without a microscope. It is sometimes called the red mange. Dog mange can be seen in all breeds. The mange on dogs can be difficult to cure.
Most dogs have some Demodex mites living in the pores of their skin. They are acquired early in life from their mothers. The dog mites are usually present without causing symptoms. The mange mites are able to produce a substance that lowers dogs’ natural resistance to them, allowing them to multiply on the host.. It has been observed in kennels that certain females have a higher incidence of Demodex mange in their litters than other mothers. This suggest that in some purebred dogs there is a lowered immunity to the mite. Dogs with Demodectic mange should not be bred, because it is a genetic problem.
The disease is more common in dogs with oily skin that are short-haired. Symptoms of mange appear at puberty. At this time the sebum, which the mite feeds on , is increasing in amount.
Demodectic canine mange may take one of two forms:
Localized form – It occurs in dogs up to a year old. The first sign is the thinning of the hair around the eyelids; the corners of the mouth or on the front legs, which give a moth eaten appearance in these areas. It progresses to patches of hair loss about one inch in diameter. It can be confused with ringworm. If five patches or more are present, the disease could be progressing to the generalized form. The hair begins to grow back after one or two months. The majority of cases are healed in three months. Treatment of mange involves dipping with an insecticide dip. This must be done at least 3 times with 10 day intervals between dips. The dip will kill all parasites, but not the eggs. That is why several dips are required.
Generalized form – The disease begins as a localized case, but instead of improving it gets worse. You will see numerous patches on the legs, head and trunk. The patches coalesce to form large areas. Hair follicles become plugged with debris and mites. The skin breaks down to form sores, crusts and draining sinus tracts. It can be a severe and disabling condition.
Treatment of the generalized form is prolonged and response is slow, which requires frequent changes in medications. You should clip away the hair to facilitate topical therapy of the skin. A betadine shampoo can be used to wash the whole dog to remove scales and debris.
This form of Demodectic mange should be treated by a vet. Treat until skin scrapings are negative. Cultures from infected skin sores will determine the most effective antibiotic. Cortisone can be used to treat severe skin irritations. However, it may depress the dog’s immunity to the mites making the dog’s condition worse.
Canine Sarcoptic mange in dogs is a disease caused by a microscopic spider-like creature called a mite. Your vet can make a diagnosis by examining skin scrapings under a microscope in which he look for sarcoptic mites. Any breed can get dog mange. Parasitic mites, which are external parasites that cause the mange in mammals, embed themselves in the skin and hair follicles in the animal.
This skin disease causes your dog to scratch and bite at himself very intensely. The intense itching is caused by the female dog mites tunneling a few millimeters under the skin to lay their eggs. A mite egg hatches in three to ten days. The immature mites then develop into adults and begin to lay eggs too. This cycle takes on 17 to 21 days. A mite is a round parasite with four pairs of legs.
What does mange look like? Symptoms of mange are small red bumps that itch. The bumps look very much like insect bites, which they are. The skin breaks down which allows serum to seep out, which is caused by scratching, rubbing and biting at the itch. You can see scabs, crusts, and patches of hair loss. The skin becomes thick and darkly pigmented in the last stages.
The mites prefer the skin of the ears, elbows, legs and face. Crusts and early hair loss are seen in these areas. Intense itching and crusty ear tips, make the diagnosis certain. Most home remedies do not cure mange on dogs.
What is scabies? Scabies in dogs is a common name for Sarcoptic mange. Canine scabies is highly contagious. If your dog has scabies, they can be transferred to you. The first sign is an intense itching of the skin at the belt line. Mites do not live on human skin over three weeks. The problem is self limited if the dog is treated.
How to treat mange? Treatment of Sarcoptic mange includes clipping scabies affected areas on long haired dogs and bathe the entire animal in an insecticide dip. At least three dips are required at intervals of ten days each. A fourth dip may be needed to catch late hatching eggs.
Dandruff shampoos can be used between insecticide dipping to loosen scales.
Cortisone will help relieve severe itching. If the dog has sores that look infected, they can be treated with a soothing topical antibiotic ointment.
What is giardia? It is a single cell parasite that lives in the intestine of dogs. Canine giardia is caused by a microorganism present in contaminated feces and bodies of water. Giardia in dogs is a common health problem. Symptoms of parasitic infection include dog diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lack of appetite. Some parasites can cause intestinal upset. Fecal samples can be examined for the presence of giardia, and a drug called Flagyl is commonly prescribed to treat it. Dogs with giardia do not always show symptoms. It can be especially fatal in puppies under six months of age.
The dog giardia vaccine is not recommended because it only prevents spreading of the disease through fecal matter and not the disease itself.
Dogs, cats and all animals can get this disease. It has the potential to infect humans too. They are too small to be seen by the naked eye. It is spread by feces of infected animals. Some dogs can be carriers and show no signs of the disease. Humans that have giardia have diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, and sometimes fever and nausea.
The best way to diagnose the disease is by a trichrome stain of fresh feces. The cysts may not be seen on a regular fecal examination.
Treatment of giardia is done by giving the antibiotic metronidazole or Furazolidone. Kaopectate can be given to help control diarrhea in dogs.
Since the dog parasite is spread by fecal contamination of food, water, and the environment, prompt disposal of waste is very important.
The best way to prevent giardia infection is to make sure your dog has clean drinking water.