Mange Demodex explains the major reasons your dog would have that itchy scratchy and Contagious Dog Mange, Demodex or as it is often called Red Mange.
Most dogs have some mite parasites on the skin; some are even transmitted from the mother to the pup within a week or so after birth. The Demodex mites are normally controlled by the dog’s immune system. Both old dogs and puppies often have weaker immune systems and therefore are at a greater risk of getting the infections brought about by the mites burrowing under the skin. These mites are basically living off the tissue and defecating under your dogs’ skin which causes the hair loss and rash-like symptoms that your dog is likely experiencing. Dogs that are healthy, have good nutrition and are kept clean will likely have good immune systems. Simply buying high priced dog food does not mean that the food the dog is eating is good for them. Remember that it is made from products that were deemed unfit for human consumption and were sold to dog food manufactures. Some dog food brands that are high priced are actually not very good for your dog. If you would like a list of foods that might be better go there is a separate book included with the Mange Dog Report.
Demodex or Dog mange can be contagious to other dogs or to yourself. Your Dog playing with other dogs that can have the Mange and mere contact with your dog may be enough to transfer the mites to your pet. If your dog is kept clean, well fed, and with a good immune system it reduces the likelihood of them allowing the mites to grow out of control but it certainly is not a guarantee that they will not get it.
Dog mange mites can be transferred from dog to dog and for a short time to humans as well. Most of the mites can only live off of a dog for 2 to 5 days but they can be on your skin and let you be a carrier during that time. In general the mites do not transfer to people but there are several different types of mites and some can.
If you take your Dog to the Vet this is likely what he will do to check and see if your dog has mange and what mites are causing it there are three basic kinds of Demodex mites.
A Demodex infestation is also called demodicosis. Three species of Demodex mites have been identified in dogs: Demodex canis, Demodex injai, Demodex injai the large-bodied Demodex species mite, is larger in all life stages than D. canis and these mites reside within the sebaceous glands.
A new species has been identified Demodex cornei it is a short-bodied Demodex species of mite. Unlike the rest of the canine Demodex species mites, D. cornei is able to reside in the most superficial layer of the epidermis. The signs and treatment of so far appear to be similar to those of D. canis, and Demodex injai.
The most common mite of demodectic mange is Demodex canis. Most or all dogs raised normally by their mothers possess this mite as mites are transferred from the mother to puppies when they are cuddling or nursing during the first few days of life. Most dogs live in balance with their mites, never suffering any consequences from being exposed to parasites. If however, conditions change to upset the natural equilibrium (such as some kind of suppression of the dog’s immune system), the Demodex mites may flourish and begin to mites proliferate and can cause serious skin disease.
When you take a dog to the vet he may choose to isolate the dog since any contact with other dogs could spread the infestation to other dogs with weak immune systems. Think of it like kids in school when one kid has head lice the whole class can get them. The vet will use a microscope and find out which kind of mite your dog has and pick a pesticide or medication for that mite. Your dog may be kept for observation, stay on the premises, and may be dipped in some rather harsh chemicals to try and kill the mites if they are present. Some of these treatments can be as harmful to your pet as the mites themselves are.
Blood samples will often be taken since the mites can change the blood chemistry in your dog it is an easy way to see which kinds of mites are infesting your pet.
Dog Mange is a serious skin disease for your dog friend. The Demodex mites can easily cause unbearable suffering and cause damage to skin of the ears, legs and face of your pet as they burrow into the flesh and the numbers constantly increase.
Your pet may also begin shaking its head in an effort to dislodge the mites and shake them off. The mites love to inhabit the ears forelegs, and face.
Coat Hair loss can be seen in patches all over the body in the more severe forms along with crusting sores, skin infections, and enlarged lymph nodes.
Some breeds of dog especially the West Highland White Terrier are especially susceptible and something that simply looks like a relatively minor skin irritation may be Demodetic mange.
In most cases some Mites are normal residents on the dogs’ skin. It is only in some dogs that mites can cause problems.
The primary signs of Dog Mange or Dog mites are:
You begin to see hair loss from face, forelegs, and ears often with red blisters and sores showing on the now exposed skin. The thinning hair will often let you see patches of skin simply do not look normal.
When the dog is bathed and the crusty skin is removed it often leaves a pink or red colored skin which makes it look red and that is how it became known as Red Mange.
The Skin of your dog can be darker, thicker and crusty sores begin to develop. This is a response of the skin from the mites burrowing in your dog and causing pain and damage to the skin.
Your Dogs odor can change when it is suffering from Mange and can begin to have the odor of cheese or stinky feet.
Your Dog may begin to scratching different parts of the body trying to get some relief but that only helps to spread the mites to other parts of the body.
This scratching can aggravate Sores, blisters, and pustules can begin forming on the body and begin spreading to other areas of your dog as the itching gets worse and the dog spreads them by scratching more and more often.
When you see your dog scratching his ears frequently there is a great chance that your dog has the mites attacking his ears.
When your dog stands or walks around with his head tilted to one side often he can be trying to get rid of mites on his face and ears. The Mange mites are difficult to find and are often smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. A vet will use a microscope and multiple skin scrapings to try and find if the dog has mites and which variety they are.
Demodex can infesting your dog in one to four locations like the muzzle and leg can still be classed as localized Demodicosis. Local Demodex often goes away in dogs and in 90% of dogs will not require treatment. The dogs’ immune system can get back on line and begin controlling the mites without a lot of help. In the remaining 10% it will continue or spread to other locations of the body and become Generalized Demodex. Antiseptic ointments and creams can be used to keep bacteria out of the mites’ tunnels and infections down. If the lymph glands begin to enlarge then it is likely that the immune system is struggling and the likelihood of it becoming generalized Demodex is much higher.
If it is going to clear up by itself it likely will happen in the first one to three months.
Generalized Demodex has more than the 1 to 4 small areas on the dog.
In generalized demodicosis much more of the dogs’ skin is involved with the infestation. Larger areas of the skin can be seen and be red and raw or become black, crusty and flakey. Much of the fur has been scratched off and pustules are more common along with secondary infections from the open sores and bacteria and feces from the mites burrowing in the skin and hair follicles. This form of Demodex does not heal itself and is a threat to the dog. It can continue indefinitely and cause sore and open areas all over the dog which are subject to infection. This is normally not only treated topically but often antibiotics are used as well to keep the infection down and help the immune system. Sometimes these antibiotics can shut down the immune system and it may stay depressed for some time. The immune system can be depressed by as little as giving multiple shots instead of single immunizations over the course of time.
The last form of Demodex is specialized in that it is simply confined to the paws. The foot is an easy target for the mite since it is difficult for the dog to lick or scratch the mites from between the toes and under the nail. The same mites cause the infestation they simply bury themselves in places the dog cannot reach and make it difficult to cure.
It is very likely that some sort of antibiotic or topical bacteria killer will be used to stop the infections in the skin from the open wounds of the dog. Medications like cortisone should not be used since it can suppress the immune system and allow the mites’ rapid re-growth the minute the medication is stopped.
Amitraz is an anti-parasite rinse (pesticide) used for treating canine demodicosis. It must be applied for several weeks either weekly or biweekly, until frequent scrapings of the dog’s skin will reveal no more mites. Unless the fur on the animal is so far gone that it simply does not exist then the hair will need to be trimmed short to make sure the dip covers all the hair and skin. Puppies younger than 4 months should NOT be dipped they cannot handle the poison on the skin for the time it takes to kill the parasites. Many poisons need to be left on for 14 to 24 hours. Diabetics should NOT self administer Amitraz to a dog it has properties that will harm you.
Ivermectin, Doramectin and Milbemycin are drugs used to kill Demodetic Mange also called Red mange. These are drugs that are given orally daily. Ivermectin can be dangerous to collie and other herding breeds of dogs and likely should not be used. There can be a defect in the brain blood barrier with these breeds that can cause harm to the dog. Also a heart worm check must be made before using this medicine since those animals that have heart worm and have this medication have been known to die within a few days.
If my Puppies have had the Mange can I still breed them?
If the puppy was meant to be for breeding purposes then it can be a good idea to see if the Demodex will run its course and the dog will get over the Mange itself. If the dog is unable to heal itself or the mange then it may be unwise to breed the dog since the likelihood of the dog getting mange is much higher since it is an inherited trait. It can indicate that the puppy has a weak immune system and puppy breeders (not puppy mills) do care about the quality of the dog and the likelihood of the puppies inheriting the tendency to get mange. For example if the puppy has demodicosis then the likelihood of the puppy getting over it drops from 90% down to 50% if it has inherited the trait.