How to put a stop to dog skin problems (Canine Scabies)

Canine Scabies (Sarcoptic Mange)

This form of mange is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei var canis. This highly contagious parasite is found on dogs worldwide. It is often called canine scabies.
Although the mites that cause mange prefer dogs, humans and other animals that come in contact with an infected dog may also become infected.

canine scabies
cute dog

The entire life cycle (17 to 21 days) of these mites is spent on the infested dog. Females burrow tunnels in the skin to lay eggs. Mange is easily spread between animals by contact. Indirect transmission, such as through infested bedding, is less common, but it can occur.
The incubation period varies from 10 days to 8 weeks, depending on how severely the dog is infested, part of the body affected, number of mites transmitted, and the individual dog’s health and hygiene.
Not all dogs have signs when they are infested with sarcoptic mange mites. Usually, though, the animal will have intense itching that comes on suddenly. The itching is probably caused by sensitivity to the mites’ droppings.
Initially, infested skin will erupt with small, solid bumps. Because the dog scratches or bites itself to relieve the itch, these bumps and the surrounding skin are often damaged, causing thick, crusted sores. Secondary yeast or bacterial infections can develop in the damaged skin.
Usually, the sores appear first on the abdomen, chest, ears, elbows, and legs. If the mange is not diagnosed and treated, the sores can spread over the entire body. Dogs with longterm, recurring mange develop oily dandruff (seborrhea), severe thickening of the skin with wrinkling and crust build-up, and oozing, weeping sores. Dogs affected this severely can become emaciated and may even die.
“Scabies incognito” is a term used to describe hard-to-diagnose mange. If a dog is regularly bathed and has a well-groomed coat, the mites might be hard to find, even if the dog shows signs of infestation such as itching. The other typical signs of mange—crusts and scales on the skin—are removed by regular bathing.
If mange is suspected, your veterinarian will do a physical examination, including collecting skin scrapings and possibly a stool sample. Some clinics might also use a blood test to diagnose mange. If mites are not found, but the signs are highly suggestive of mange, trial treatment is warranted.
Mange is very highly contagious and can spread easily between animals of different species and even to humans. Thus, you should ask your veterinarian for advice on how to avoid contracting mange from your pet.


Treatment should include all dogs and other animals that have been in contact with one another. It may be necessary to clip the hair. The crusts and dirt should be removed by soaking with a medicated (ant seborrheic) shampoo, and an anti-mite dip applied. Lime-sulfur is highly effective and safe for use in young animals. Several dips may be required.
Alternatively, internal or topical medicines are also effective. Some internal mange medications are also used for heartworm prevention, so your veterinarian may want to test your dog for heartworms before treatment. Treatment for secondary infections may also be necessary.

Post a Comment

share your words ...

Last Article Next Article