Mange looks bad, but it is treatable. If you consume television or news at all, you may well have seen images or videos of dogs in the horrific condition being rescued by benevolent animal rescues; such dogs are often missing fur in large patches, their skin covered in either sores or areas where the skin is hard, crusty, and thickened. These dogs are suffering from severe cases of mange. Of course, well-cared for and beloved dogs can get mange; the condition is by no means a sign of neglect. If you notice your pooch scratching like crazy until tufts or patches of fur are missing, there are home remedies to treat your dog.
What is Mange?
A skin disease that can infect other furry animals, plants, reptiles, birds, and even people, mange is caused by infestations of parasitic mites. These mites may burrow into the skin or the hair follicles, depending on which genus they claim. In humans, rather than being called mange, the first type or skin-burrowing type is known as scabies. The follicle-dwelling time is known as demodicosis. To be called mange, the mites infest domestic animals such as dogs and cats, livestock such as sheep, and wild animals such as cougars, bears, and coyotes. The term mange is derived from a word from the French language which translates either to eat or to itch. Mites are part of the subclass of arachnids Acari or Acarina; because of this, the infection is sometimes called acariasis.
What are the Types of Dog Mange?
Two types of mange can infect your dog. They are caused by the two types of mites, skin-burrowing and hair follicle-dwelling. The former is called Sarcoptes and the mange they called is known as sarcoptic. The letter mites are Demodex and cause demodectic mange. Demodectic mange is a type of inflammatory disease. The mite that causes it is present In the skin of almost all dogs and people, causing little to no harm. When a dog’s immune system is weakened, however, the mites multiply and become problematic. Known also as red mange, demodectic is the more commonly occurring form of mange and generally a less severe condition than sarcoptic mange. This variety of mange is, fortunately, not contagious. Sarcoptic mange, the other type, is a disease that is highly contagious. The mite at the heart of the problem creates an appearance on the dog’s skin that is moist, inflamed, red, and sometimes crusty where it digs in. It causes intense itching that leads to loss of hair and the appearance of sores and scabs. Spread by contact, your dog may pick it up at a location that is infested or from a mite-ridden animal.
Symptoms of Mange
The symptoms of sarcoptic mange include an extreme case of itchiness, rashes and redness, crusts that are thick and yellow, yeast infections, bacteria, and hair loss. Advanced cases can lead to a thickening in the skin and inflammation of the lymph nodes, while extreme cases can even lead to emaciation. Demodectic mange has fewer symptoms to list, but they are more encompassing. In localized cases, this mange shows up as skin that is red and scaling as well as patches of missing hair. In cases that are generalized, the dog’s whole body may experience loss of hair and be covered with infections, redness, swelling, scaling, and you may even see crusty scabs on your dog’s back. As the mange spreads and progresses, you see oily and bumpy skin, discoloration of the skin, and bacterial infections accompanied by a distinct smelly odor.
Diagnosing Dog Mange
For sarcoptic mange, a veterinarian takes one or several skin scrapings to check under a microscope. The veterinarian seeks the presence of mites or their eggs. Sometimes, neither is present, although the presence of symptoms gives a strong suggestion of an infestation. These infestations occur with the transmission of the circular-shaped, eight-legged mite Sarcoptes from dog to dog. Female mites then burrow into the dog’s skin for egg-laying. These hatch in roughly three weeks, when the young mites feed on the skin of their host. Similarly, for demodectic mange, the veterinarian takes skin scrapings and checks for mites, these being the cigar-shaped Demodex.
Potential Complications of Mange
When mange is not promptly treated, there are two main complications that can rise up. One such is the possibility of fungal and bacterial infections. The incessant scratching to relieve the intense itching of mange can irritate the skin of your dog, permitting fungal and bacterial infections to occur. These can cause complications in the treatment process. Another is the potential for zoonotic transmission. Demodex mites will not be the source of health problems, but sarcoptic mange mites can be problematic. It is definitely best for everyone’s sake to treat your dog promptly when the symptoms of mange arise.
Dogs at Risk for Mange
Any dog can pick up the mites for sarcoptic mange, but demodectic mange afflicts those dogs with a weaker immune system. Puppies are one such group at risk. They can inherit an immune system weakness from their mothers. If they do, they are prone to a form of Demodex that is particularly serious, referred to as juvenile-onset. Sometimes young ad healthy dogs can develop several patches of Demodex. These may go away on their own or with a treatment that is topical and localized. Finally, dogs that are elderly, neglected, stray, or sick who have immune systems that have been weakened by various factors have a frequency of developing Demodex. Diabetes or cancer can impact the functioning of immune systems in these dogs, leading to this type of mange.
What is the best home remedy for dog mange?
There is no single most effective home remedy for dog mange, but there are a few topical applications that are available at almost any home that you could try to help alleviate mild cases.
Some dog owners have found success in treating localized cases of quite mild mange with olive oil. You need only apply a thin layer of olive oil to affected areas of the skin. This oil may smother the mites in the area while moisturizing your dog’s skin, quelling the unceasing itchiness. Body-wide infections will not be helped by this treatment, however, and is impractical in several ways, not least of which is the cost of the chance of a cure. Do not let your dog consume a significant amount of olive oil, as stomach issues may follow.
Other dog owners have attempted extracts from the plant aloe vera for mange treatment. This extract helps in soothing the skin, causing a reduction in irritation and itchiness caused by the mange mites. It also boasts some antibacterial qualities, although mild, which can help prevent the occurrence of infections. Some sources hold that aloe vera kills ectoparasites, but any thick gel, liquid, or paste can cause suffocation in the mites living on your dog’s skin. An important note is that Aloe vera extracts are toxic to dogs. Do not allow your dog to ingest this substance. An e-collar or modern dog cone alternative may be necessary for this treatment. Not only vomiting or diarrhea may follow ingestion, but depression and tremors in the muscles may also follow. This is the most dangerous of the home remedies for dog mange.
Many owners try yogurt on their mange-afflicted canines, simply slathering the substance on small areas that are affected. Systemic mange should not be treated with yogurt. Like olive oil, yogurt that is plain and unsweetened is not only safe for dogs, it is healthy. Full of probiotics that are naturally occurring, if your dog licks it from its skin, it will cause no problems. While on the dog’s skin, the yogurt will smother the mites there. It may also help moisturize the skin. This home remedy may not work, but it will certainly do no harm.
Mixtures of lemon juice and water are occasionally recommended as home remedy for dog mange. The mixture is to be applied topically to the area that is affected. Different sources advise different amounts of lemon juice. The theory is that the acidic nature of the mixture kills the mites who dwell in your dog’s skin. Because of the antiseptic properties of lemon and other citrus fruits, it may assist in eliminating some amount of present fungi or bacteria. However, skin problems can be exacerbated by lemon juice, as beneficial bacteria that live on the skin may also be killed off.
Another home remedy to treat mange, honey is safe. Some dog foods even include viscous substances. Honey includes antibacterial and antifungal properties to combat infections. The liquid’s thick nature is also likely to smother those mites living on the skin of the dog, at least those found in small areas. From a perspective of safety and health, it is probably among the safest home remedy for mange employed by dog owners. That does not mean that smearing honey over much of your dog’s body is an idea that is great, or even good. Your dog may well cause a self-inflicted injury twisting about to reach all the areas and lick it off.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Like lemon, the acidity of apple cider vinegar is responsible for killing bugs on your dog’s skin. Some owners add the substance to the dog’s water bowl, but this is unlikely to serve any practical purpose. Many people put confidence in apple cider vinegar as a miracle cure, but ingesting it does not impact a case of mange. A topical application does some good, but if available, using a proper medication for mange is highly preferable to the various home remedies for dog mange.
Preventing Mange from Returning
A thorough cleaning of the areas in which the dog dwells is necessary to fully eliminate the mites causing mange and preventing a reoccurrence of problems. Vacuum thoroughly, followed by steam cleaning your carpets and upholstery. Mites thrive in these areas. Also, launder those fabrics that your dog contacts frequently, from their dog bed, covers, and blankets to any covers on the furniture, or throw blankets and accent pillows if your dog is allowed on chairs and couches. Brush your dog well, thoroughly, and regularly to rid your dog of loose fur, scabs, and dandruff, which can harbor yeast and bacteria, complicating the mange.
Veterinarian Treatments for Mange
Both types of dog mange require treatment for the skin and control of the mites (1). A mild case can grow quickly, so prompt attention is best. Treatments for each form of mange include clipping the dog’s fur, giving a dip to cleanse the skin and heal it on a weekly basis, and using topical applications of those compounds formulated to kill those mites present. Sometimes oral treatments are given for this last purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I treat my dog for manage at home?
For very mild cases of mange, mites can be killed with certain topical applications of home goods like olive oil and honey. These work by smothering mites and moisturizing skin.
Does olive oil help dogs with mange?
Olive oil helps in treating mange to some extent and does no harm. For very mild cases, apply a thin layer of the oil to your dog’s affected area. In theory, the mites are smothered and die, while the skin is rejuvenated with the oil.
Does Benadryl help dogs with manage?
Benadryl does not help the cause of the mange, or the mites, but it does ease itchiness. It is an antihistamine used to treat dogs’ allergies as it is allergies in humans. You can reduce the dog’s discomfort by reducing the present inflammation and itchiness.
Do baby oil Listerine and water work on dog mange?
As with other home remedies, this mixture should be used only in very small areas. The oil may smother the mites. Listerine may kill them. Do not permit the dog to ingest this mixture. It is the second most dangerous of the home remedies for dog mange, after Aloe vera extracts.