Mange and Your Dog

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 11:49 AM.

Veterinarians often use therapy or the pet's history and clinical signs to diagnose mange.

"Sarcoptes mites can be very difficult to find as they live very superficially on the skin and are typically only present in very small numbers," said Diesel. "Skin scrapings may help to identify the mites, however often we do not find the mites on our patients. A positive “pinnal-pedal response” (where the veterinarian folds the ear flap on itself, rubs the two surfaces together, and watches for the hind limb to exhibit the classic “Thumper” or scratching response) can be supportive of the suspected diagnosis."

Your dog’s veterinarian will recommend the most appropriate therapy given your animal’s specific needs and preferences. Typically therapy lasts between 6-8 weeks.

"Thankfully, Sarcoptes mites are pretty wimpy, said Diesel. “Several topical, oral, and injectable treatments are available for treating them. Certain breeds (e.g. Collies, Shetland sheepdogs, Border collies) need to be specially considered as some of the therapeutic options can be toxic and cause severe side effects including seizures."

Unfortunately, sarcoptic mange can also be spread from dogs to their owners. 

"If a pet owner is concerned they may have contracted scabies from their pet, particularly if their veterinarian diagnoses scabies, they should contact their primary care physician for recommendations and let them know their dog is being treated for scabies," said Diesel.

The best prevention from mange is to keep dogs away from known infested environments including coyote dens and fox burrows. 



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