Demodectic mange is a serious skin condition that affects dogs of every age and breed. Demodectic mange is typically treated with chemical pesticides, although these can cause adverse reactions in many dogs. Natural remedies for demodectic mange can clear up the condition without exposing the dog to hazardous chemicals.
Dogs can be affected by three different types of mange, with demodectic mange being the most difficult type to treat. The mites that cause demodectic mange live in the base of the hair follicle, and are present on most dogs. Mange occurs when there is an excessive population of mites on the skin. The mites feed on the dog and an outbreak occurs when its immune system is not able to fight them off.
Demodectic mange can occur in three forms: localised, demodectic pododermatitis and generalised. Dogs suffering from a localised infestation will have small, itchy patches of hair loss scattered around the body. Demodectic pododermatitis is confined to the paws and makes the hair on the feet fall out as the dog bites them to relieve itching. Generalised demodectic mange affects the entire body, causing widespread hair loss with underlying scaly skin.
According to Dr. Jeanette Thomason of The Whole Dog, dogs with demodectic mange should be placed on a course of immune-boosting supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin A and probiotics. Dogs should also be placed on a raw meat and vegetable diet, since mites thrive on the carbohydrates in commercial dog kibble. Combine one part yellow dock extract, one part Echinacea extract, and four parts distilled water and sponge over the dog to ease itching and heal the skin.
Natural treatments for demodectic mange are much more economical than chemical pesticides. A full course of chemical treatment, including vet visits, can cost well over £325 as of 2010. The initial vet visit and diagnosis costs approximately £48, and essential oils and extracts can be purchased at your local health store for under £6.
Demodectic mange is a serious condition that needs to be diagnosed by a veterinarian for proper treatment. It affects not only the skin but also the immune system of the dog, and can be deadly if left untreated. Never breed a dog with demodectic mange, as the stresses of mating and whelping can trigger a flare up. Make sure you wear rubber gloves while handling the dog to prevent mites from possibly infesting you.