Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy


or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Mange in Dogs


Demodicosis in Dogs

 

Mange (demodicosis) is an inflammatory disease in dogs caused by various types of the Demodex mite. When the number of mites inhabiting the hair follicles and skin of the dog become exorbitant, it can lead to skin lesions, genetic disorders, problems with the immune system and hair loss (alopecia). The severity of symptoms depends upon the type of mite inhabiting the dog.

 

The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the petMD health library. You can also learn more about the other common type of mange: sarcoptic mange in dogs.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

Demodectic mange may either be localized and affect specific areas of the body, or generalized, where it affects the entire body. If localized, symptoms are usually mild, with lesions occurring in patches, especially on the face, trunk, or legs. If generalized, symptoms will be more widespread and appear across the body. These symptoms include alopecia, a redness of the skin (erythema), and the appearance of scales and lesions.

 

Causes

 

While an exact cause of mange in dogs is unknown, many experts believe genetic factors, such as problems with the immune system, may predispose a dog to developing mange.

 

Three species of mites have been identified to cause mange in dogs. While the mode of transmission is unknown for two of these, it is known that one type, Demodex canis, inhabits the skin and hair follicles and may transfer from mother to newborn during nursing.

 

Diagnosis

 

Skin scrapings are used to find and diagnose demodicosis in dogs. Plucking hairs may also help identify the mite responsible for the condition.

 

If performed, a urine test will identify other possible diagnoses, namely those caused by a disorder with the dog’s metabolic system. Alternative diagnoses may include bacterial infection in the hair follicle.

 

Treatment

 

If localized, the problem is likely to resolve itself and disappear spontaneously, which happens in approximately 90 percent of cases. For severe generalized cases, long-term medication may be necessary to control the condition. Lime-sulfur dips to the affected areas may help relieve symptoms. In either case, the general health status of the animal should be evaluated.

 

Living and Management

 

Follow-up care should include skin scrapings, known as trichograms, to continually monitor the presence of mites and check the treatment’s progress. With chronic long-term cases, regular medication may be necessary.

 

Prevention

 

General good health may help prevent some cases. It also advised that dogs with generalized chronic mange not be bred, as the condition is likely to be passed to offspring.

 

 

Related Articles

Itchiness, Desire to Scratch, Chew or Lick ...
Pruritus is the medical term used to define a dog's sensation to itch, or the sensation...
READ MORE
Hair Loss in Dogs
Hair loss (alopecia) is a common disorder in dogs which causes the animal to have...
READ MORE
Mange (Sarcoptic) in Dogs
Sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious skin disease found in dogs, caused by the...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search dog Articles

 

Latest In Dog Nutrition

What Are Lean Proteins and How They Can Help ...
Protein is an important component in your pet's food, but not all proteins are the...
READ MORE
Five Life-Lengthening Health Tips for Your ...
Anyone who has ever had a dog or cat wishes just one thing — that he or she has a...
READ MORE
5 Tips to Keep Your Senior Dog Healthy
Senior dogs have different health requirements than younger dogs. Here are some tips...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM