Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

Sarcoptic mange is a very contagious disease that is caused by a parasitic mite that burrows underneath the surface of the affected animal’s skin. The mites referred to as Sarcoptes mites burrow into the dog’s skin and can infect both adult dogs and puppies. Once they burrow into the skin, they feed on the material within the skin and on the skin itself.

This causes irritation in the area where it occurs, which leads to itching. Itching may be mild or severe depending upon how deep the parasites have penetrated the skin. If left untreated, sarcoptic mange will cause secondary infections such as bacterial dermatitis and pyoderma. Secondary infections are more difficult to treat than primary ones because bacteria from other sources get mixed with those already present in the infected areas.

An infestation of these mites causes intense itching and hair loss. The good thing is that there are several types of medication and oral medication that are available to treat and kill the Sarcoptes mites. Sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious skin disease that is mainly found within dogs. Treatment is extremely important to prevent further infection and the spread of the mites to other animals.

What Is Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs?

Sarcoptic mange in dogs is a highly contagious skin disease that is mainly found in our canine companions. The skin disease is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei mite. If a dog is infected with these mites, the mites will burrow down into the dog’s skin and cause intense itching and severe irritation.

As a result of the intense scratching due to itchiness, the infected animal’s hair tends to fall out, leaving hairless patches. The good news is that it is treatable with medication, but it is highly contagious, so fast treatment is essential. If your dog contracts this contagious mite, be sure to quarantine them immediately to prevent further spread to other animals while they are being treated.

Symptoms Of Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

There are several signs and symptoms that are signs of sarcoptic mange within dogs. The most common symptom is severe itchiness of the skin. In addition, more common symptoms include skin lesions and a thickening of the skin, as well as hair loss due to itching.

If the skin disease is allowed to progress further, there are other secondary symptoms that may become present. These secondary symptoms include hair loss, dandruff, redness, small bumps, and scabs on the dog’s body from lesions. Most commonly, these symptoms are found along the underside of the dog as well as on the elbows and ankles of the dog.

There are some cases in which your dog may even become lethargic and develop secondary skin infections leading to large lymph nodes. Secondary infection is typically caused by excessive biting, scratching, and chewing on the skin, causing open soars. This discomfort that the dog is experiencing can also lead to appetite loss and thus weight loss.

Cause Of Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

There are a variety of ways that a dog can catch sarcoptic mange. The main way that dogs develop this skin disease is through coming into contact with an infected dog. In addition, wild animals like coyotes and foxes can also carry the disease and pass it to our canine companions.

However, not all dogs that are infected with sarcoptic mange show symptoms. This means that it is sometimes difficult to tell if your dog picked up the condition and from where it acquired the infection. However, if you believe that your dog is suffering from a sarcoptic mange infection, be sure to keep him away from other animals and dogs to prevent the spread of the mite.

If your dog visits kennels or other shelters, it has an increased risk of contracting the disease due to more exposure to other dogs. In addition, the stress that your dog feels in these environments can cause a decrease in the function of its immune system, thus leading to the dog being more prone to infection.

How Is Sarcoptic Mange Diagnosed? 

There are a variety of methods that are used to diagnose a dog with a sarcoptic mange infection. Many times, the vet is able to examine the clinical signs that are present and make a diagnosis; however, there are additional tests that can be done for an accurate diagnosis. Skin lesions, hair loss, and other accompanying symptoms will likely lead your vet to collect a skin sample through skin scraping. This is then used to reach a definitive conclusion.

Additionally, the vet may look for mites, mite eggs, and the fecal material from the mites on the dog’s skin by doing a skin scraping test. This will allow them to confirm if your dog has sarcoptic mange. If the vet concludes that your dog is not suffering from sarcoptic mange, they will likely say that your dog is suffering from scabies.

There are other types of mange outside of sarcoptic mange; differentiation is important for proper treatment. Some of the other types of mange include demodectic mange, flea allergy dermatitis, and environmental allergy dermatitis. Your veterinarian will be able to provide a proper diagnosis as well as a treatment plan to manage your dog’s particular mange.

Even though you may not see any mites on your dog, that does not mean that your dog is not suffering from sarcoptic mange. These mites burrow into the skin and are sometimes not visible. That is why it is important to take your dog to the vet to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Treatment For Sarcoptic Mange In Dogs

There are a variety of treatment options for dogs that are suffering from sarcoptic mange. Often times the infected dog is treated with an oral medication that is comprised of anti-parasite medication. In addition, your vet may recommend that you apply topical therapy on a regular basis. These topical therapies often include sulfur dips, selamectin, and fipronal.

Your dog may also require treatment for a secondary infection if they have developed open wounds and skin lesions. They may have also developed bacterial infections or yeast infections as a result of scabies infection. Additionally, your vet may recommend that your dog wear an e-collar to prevent the dog from continuing to scratch at open wounds, depending on where they are on the dog.

Can Humans Get Mange From Dogs? 

Yes, humans can get mange from infected dogs. It is a highly contagious disease that also affects humans if they come into direct contact with an infected animal. The good news is that most human cases are very small and tend to clear up on their own. Humans are not the preferred host of the mite, so infection is not very common. However, you should still consult with your physician to see if you need to receive any treatment as well as prevent additional spread.

Is There A Cure For Sarcoptic Mange?

The good news is that there is a cure and treatment for sarcoptic mange. There are medications and other therapies that are available to manage the disease and eventually cure the dog or affected animal. This treatment can also help to prevent additional infections in other animals.

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