Demodectic mange is the most common form of mange in dogs. The condition is mostly seen in dogs under eighteen months of age but it can affect dogs of any age. Demodectic mange is caused by tiny mites called Demodex Canis that live in the hair follicles deep in the skin and are present in small numbers in all dogs. As long as the body’s immune system is functioning correctly, these mites are normally harmless. Demodectic mange occurs when a dog has an immature or compromised immune system and the mites breed to large numbers, damaging the skin and hair follicles, causing pimples, scabs, and inflammation and hair loss. Secondary bacterial infections are common and can make dogs itchy, uncomfortable and smelly. Demodectic mange is not contagious to other animals and humans.
Combined with a physical examination, demodectic mange is diagnosed by performing a skin scrape and examining the sample under a microscope.
Treatment of demodectic mange usually involves a course of injections. Topical treatments are also available. Some pets with demodectic mange also require medicated shampoos and antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial skin infections.
If you’re concerned your dog may be suffering from Demodectic mange or would like further information, please contact us for an appointment.