Here’s How To Tell If Your Itchy Dog May Be Suffering From Mange

Here’s How To Tell If Your Itchy Dog May Be Suffering From Mange

“Get out of here you mangy mutt!” Sound familiar?

But what exactly does mangy mean?? Well, mange is a skin disease caused by mites and parasites, primarily in dogs. According to the ASPCA, some mites are normal to your dog’s skin and hair follicles, and there are some that aren’t.


Don’t freak out! Today, it’s easily treated with effective medication. Now, there are two types of mange: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. Both can cause intense skin itching, hair loss, and can lead to skin infections.

Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) is caused by mites that tend to be oval-shaped and light brown. They are so small they can only be seen under a microscope.

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Signs your dog has Sarcoptic Mange

If you think your dog has sarcoptic mange, be on the look out for intense scratching along with restlessness. Redness, hair loss, body sores and scabs are also signs of sarcoptic mange. Symptoms tend to appear a week after exposure. Sarcoptic mange is contagious among dogs and humans. If you suspect your dog has mange, isolate them from other people and pets and go to your veterinarian to get them examined.

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When passed on to us hoomans, you will see a red rash with bumps.

Signs your dog has Demodectic Mange

As for demodectic mange (Demodex canis), it is transferred from the mom to the pup the first few days of life and it comes in localized and generalized forms.

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Localized Demodectic Mange occurs when mites infect one area creating a polka-dot look from bald spots. According to ASPCA, approximately 90 percent of these cases get better without treatment.

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Generalized Demodectic Mange is the complete opposite from localized mange. It affects more of the dog’s skin. This form comes with bacterial infections and hints toward an immune system that isn’t working properly, hereditary or endocrine issues.


Signs your dog has demodectic mange

One of the first signs is itching along with hair loss, bald spots, scabbing and bacterial infections. When your pup has demodectic mange, it is highly unlikely it can be transferred to other dogs, humans or cats even when it is at its most severe state.


Treating Mange

Once you take your dog to the vet, they do a physical exam, get a skin scrape and determine the type of mange your dog has. Depending on the type of mange and the breed of your dog, medication might be given orally or applied topically, by injection, or you might be given special shampoo or dips.


It can be prevented by taking necessary precautions. For example, if you suspect a dog nearby has mange, keep your dog away and go to the vet and get them examined as soon as possible.  If your dog has had sarcoptic mange before, replace everything from their collars to their bedding. Make sure to go in for bi-weekly skin scrapes to determine there is no evidence of mites.

Featured image via Lindsay Attaway/ Flickr