Caring for a dog can be difficult at times, especially since your dog is not able to tell you they are experiencing discomfort or pain. Fortunately, diagnosing many conditions is possible, since your dog may display some noticeable signs or symptoms. Even though it is a rather common disease, most people are not very familiar with the causes, signs, or treatment options for mange. This guide and your dog's veterinarian will help you learn the causes, signs, and treatments if your dog develops mange.
Mange is transmitted by tiny mites that infest your dog's hair and skin. These mites may microscopic in size and have a very light color.
Mange can be transmitted from a mother to pup after birth. However, the mites can be transferred from one dog to another as long as there is close enough contact.
The signs and severity of symptoms of mange will depend on the type of mites that have infested your dog. In most cases, a dog with range will have an intense need to scratch themselves. This excessive scratching will lead to skin irritations and bald spots.
Over time, the affected area may become so irritated and inflamed, it may become infected. The skin may bleed and start oozing fluid from the skin. Some areas affected by mange may develop a crusty patch over the skin.
If your dog is displaying one or more of the above signs, visit a veterinarian immediately. While it is not necessarily life-threatening, mange can be extremely uncomfortable for your dog. In addition, if an infection develops, your dog may become very ill. Your veterinarian will take a sample of the affected area, usually scraping some of the skin off your dog for testing. A urine test can also be effective for diagnosing mange.
It is important to note that some cases of local mange will improve without treatment. To make your dog more comfortable, consider massage and acupuncture to reduce their anxiety and physical stress. Bathing your dog using a shampoo that contains benzoyl peroxide can alleviate their itching, as well.
If your dog is not improving, veterinarians will recommend an anti-parasitic medication. This medication is a liquid that can be taken orally by your dog. A few drops each day will kill any mites that are infesting your dog, decreasing the skin irritation and need to scratch.
As with any medication, there may be side effects. Some side effects including nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite, and lethargy. Talk to a veterinarian like South Seattle Veterinary Hospital if you are concerned about how these medications may affect your dog.
The mange is a very unappealing and uncomfortable disease that can affect your dog. This guide will help you understand the causes and signs so your dog receives the treatment they so desperately need.