Symptoms of Demodectic Mange
The most obvious sign of demodectic mange is hair loss. Beginning around the eyes and muzzle, the hair begins to thin in small patches and develops a raw, crusty appearance. The bald spots do not itch or bother the dog at first, but are unsightly. The discomfort begins as the spots begin to get irritated and the dog scratches the spots to alleviate the discomfort.
Young dogs acquire the mites from their mother usually as the pups nurse. Although many pups who acquire the mites never have mange, those with a weak immune system are most likely to have an outbreak. It is recommended that those that develop demodectic mange should be spayed or neutered to avoid passing on a weak immune system to the next generation of dogs.
Treating Demodectic Mange
A veterinarian can make an accurate diagnosis of demodectic mange. Using a microscope the vet will examine a scraping from the area where the hair loss is occurring. Presence of a large number of mites in the scraping coupled with hair loss will lead the vet to a diagnosis of demodectic mange.
There are three ways that your veterinarian will treat demodectic mange. One, ointment can be applied daily to each of the areas where hair loss is occurring. Two, oral medication can be given daily for a couple of months. Three, a dog can be dipped once weekly for several weeks in Mitaban. The ointment is an effective way to treat more localized outbreaks of demodectic mange. Though it can cause more hair loss—a temporary condition— the Mitaban dip smothers the mites. Oral medication or weekly dips are best for combatting a widespread case involving the body.
Because veterinary treatments can be expensive, there are websites that mention home remedies for treating dogs who have developed demodectic mange. Whether these home remedies are reliable and effective is unknown. Check out the links below for alternatives to veterinary treatment.