|Skin problems don't just happen to humans. Pets can also experience the same condition on their skin and fur. For them, it's usually what is known as mange, which can cause bald spots, lesions, and severe itching / Photo by: Easy Morning via Shutterstock|
Skin problems don't just happen to humans. Pets can also experience the same condition on their skin and fur. For them, it's usually what is known as mange, which can cause bald spots, lesions, and severe itching. According to Patch, an online resource for anything you need around you, mange or demodicosis is an inflammatory disease in dogs that are caused by the Demodex mite.
Mange is a generic term that describes a hair loss and skin condition caused by microscopic parasites. These mites can live on or in the skin, and these are similar to insects but they are said to be closely related to spiders, according to The Spruce Pets, a website that provides articles about pets' health issues. Canine scabies is also another type of mange caused by mites in dogs, while ear mites are those that can live inside your pet’s ear canal.
The worst part is that this skin problem of your pet can be passed on to you. The pet with whom you share your home can transfer their skin disease to you. Cats and dogs can carry different diseases like zoonoses that they can pass on to their owners. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to make sure that your pet is free of these diseases, such as having them get regular veterinary care. Also, always check your pet's skin to see if something's out of the ordinary. If you do notice something, make sure you take them to the vet asap.
Symptoms of mange
For example, demodectic mange in our canine friends can be found in specific areas of the pet’s body. This is where the mites are located, while some can be generalized and it can usually affect the entire body. If localized, the symptoms are usually mild, but there are instances where mange lesions can happen in patches, especially on the face, torso, or legs.
Localized demodicosis is usually common in puppies, and it is usually a mild disease that goes away by itself. There are times when it typically consists of one to five small, circular, red, and scaly areas of hair loss around the eyes and lips or on the forelegs. Dogtime, an online resource for dogs, shared that there are mites that prefer dogs with hairless skin and they tend to burrow into the ear flaps, elbows, and the belly.
Pet owners must check areas of the dog's skin for red, scaly skin and in later stages, if they are untreated, the ears might get a crusty edge. This is why pet owners must always check their pets because eventually, the mites will burrow anywhere on the dog’s skin and their whole body will be soon affected.
|Localized demodicosis is usually common in puppies, and it is usually a mild disease that goes away by itself / Photo by: Todorean-Gabriel via Shutterstock|
What causes mange?
The Demodex mite is a common but dangerous inhabitant of your dog’s skin. If they are present in normal numbers, these mites might cause no symptoms and might even serve an important role for your dog’s normal skin. These mites are similar to the healthy bacteria in the intestines of humans and help in our digestive health.
There are three species of mites that have been identified as causing mange in dogs. Demodex canis is a species of mite that is commonly associated with demodicosis, and these inhabit both the skin and hair follicles and can be transmitted from mother to newborn during the nursing phase. However, there is some controversy about whether mites might transfer between dogs because evidence support such transmission is rare except in chronic severe mange.
Demodex canis mites could be due to genetic factors or a compromised immune system. Older dogs with weaker immune systems can also develop mange from these mites and can even cause pododermatitis, an inflammation of the skin of the feet than can be red and itchy. If not treated, it may lead to painful sores.
Treating mange in dogs
The diagnosis is based on signs of the disease. It is also important to find the parasite in skin scrapings and biopsies. There is generalized demodicosis, which requires aggressive therapy, such as the pup being shaved to offer better access to the skin. The dog is also given weekly or every-other-week whole body dips with a miticidal preparation prescribed by the veterinarian.
“Holistic veterinarians use a variety of flower essences, essential oils, herbs, Chinese and Western herbs because they naturally reduce inflammation, relieve the itch, and calm the skin,” Christina Chambreau, DVM, CVH mentioned in an article published by PetMD, an online resource for pet health and articles.
Other holistic treatments include Reiki massage and acupuncture, which can help decrease anxiety and induce calm in distressed animals. It can also alleviate excessive itching. But if the natural remedies don’t work, there are long-term topical or oral medications that pet owners can use to control the condition.
Female dogs should be spayed, to manage the fluctuations in hormones that can exacerbate the disease. Canines with generalized chronic mange should not be bred because the condition will be more likely to be passed to their offspring.
Mange may look like a simple condition in dogs, but if not treated immediately can lead to more serious issues. As with most things, taking immediate action should be the norm. After all, it's your furry friend's health that 's on the line.
|Mange may look like a simple condition in dogs, but if not treated immediately can lead to more serious issues. As with most things, taking immediate action should be the norm / Photo by: Pressmaster via Shutterstock|