Sarcoptic Mange or “Scabies”

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Posted by ron1945 | Posted in Sarcoptic Mange - Scabies | Posted on 15-08-2010

Sarcoptic Mange

The microscopic Sarcoptes scabei mite shown to the left is the culprit for the cause of Sarcoptic Mange in your dog.  These mites have a short life span–3 to 4 weeks.  The female mite, after matting, burrows into the skin of dogs to lay their eggs.  This burrowing and laying of eggs is the cause of the irritant your dog dislikes.  The mite’s life cycle process is an itchy proposition for your dog . . . thus they spend a great deal of time licking and scratching the affected areas seeking relief for the itch.  A prime dog hair loss agent.

These pesky little mites prefer to live out their lives on their host dogs, but that can live for a substantial time away from animals–in fact–for days.  This means your dog could be infected by the mite without ever having come into direct contact with another infected dog or animal.

The elbows, ears , armpits, hocks, chest and belly of the dog are the preferred areas for the mites to do their egg laying.  These are areas of minimal hair growth, and thus have more open skin which the mites like.  This form of mange is often mistaken for food or airborne (Atopy) allergies.  Because the mites are microscopic and not visible with the naked eye, skin scrapings are usually taken and reviewed under a microscope to determine if the mite is present, and could be the cause of the dog hair loss problem.   The discovery of mites under the microscope is the best way, but has a low level of success, as the dog often kills the mite in the scratching process.

Treatment for the dog has progressed from clipping the dogs hair and giving it a serious shampoo or dip with agents to rid them of the mite infestation.  Today there are topical agents that can be used, as well as some inoculation with various serums.  In most cases where the severity is significant, and it appears the dog’s natural immunity will not take care of the problem, consulting with your veterinarian is recommended for prescribing the appropriate medication.

Hygiene is equally important in almost all dog hair loss issues.  Treating the dog’s bedding areas and bedding with a residual insecticide is helpful.  Isolation from other dogs can reduce the transmitting of the mite, both for your dog from and infected dog, or from your infected dog to other dogs.  <<< Return to Dog Hair Loss Overview

The information contained in the articles on this website is provided for information purposes only. The articles are not written by veterinarians per se. As such, the information should not be considered as a replacement for the advice of a veterinarian. Great care is made in the creation of these articles; however, we cannot guarantee their accuracy and/or omissions. In all cases where doubt may exist, we recommend seeking appropriate professional veterinary advice and assistance.

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