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.