Mange infections occur in dogs when Sacoptes mites take up residence in an animal's skin. These tiny parasites can live their entire lives on a single dog. Unfortunately, they can also spread from one animal to another through physical contact with an infected dog. Mange mites also spread through bedding, toys or any other item the dog has been in contact with. Signs of mange include itching and hair loss. Mange should be diagnosed by a veterinarian before treatment begins. The veterinarian will take a small skin scraping to check for the presence of mites and any secondary infection.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Lime-sulphur shampoo additive
- Dog shampoo
- Rubber gloves
- Lime-sulphur dip
- Large tub
Add a liquid lime-sulphur additive to dog shampoo. Shake the bottle to mix well. Lime and sulphur are the most effective way to poison the mites without poisoning the dog. There are dozens of additives on the market. Your veterinarian can help you choose the right product depending on the severity of the infestation, the size and general heath of your dog and the presence of a secondary infection. Follow the instructions on your product.
Put on rubber gloves before washing the dog. Mange mites can spread to humans.
Wash the dog in a well-ventilated area. Use great care when washing around the dog's eyes. The medicated shampoo cleans the skin and coat, removing some of the adult mites. Rinse well.
Mix lime-sulphur dip with water in a bucket according to package directions. Most cases of mange require treatment with both medicated shampoo and medicated dip. The shampoo is rinsed away, but the dip is designed to dry on the dog. It coats the hair and skin, poisoning young mites as they hatch. A wide range of liquid and power products that mix with water are available. Your veterinarian can help you choose the right product for your dog.
Stand the dog in the large tub. Sponge the lime-sulphur dip over the dog's body. Allow the dog to stand in the dip. Since a dog uses its claws to scratch, mites tend to collect around the toes. Allow the dip to dry on the dog.
Repeat Steps 1 through 5 every two weeks until the dog's coat is clear and healthy.
Tips and warnings
- Treat bedding, toys and floors and furniture that the dog uses. These can become sources of reinfection. Check with your veterinarian for the right kind of lime-sulphur spray to use on upholstery and carpet.
- Check with your veterinarian to treat any secondary infections that might arise after a mange infection. When they break the skin, dogs can develop yeast or bacterial infections.
- Do not use corticosteroids on an itchy dog. Dogs can ingest the drug when they lick their fur.
- Humans can contract mange infections, and they should seek medical attention if they develop an itchy rash while the dog has mange.
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