Dog with Mange: Treatment and Prevention

Dog with Mange: Treatment and Prevention

Alpha Paw Sale

Dec 06, 2021

  • Mange mites are commonly seen in puppies and shelter animals
  • Hairloss and itching are the most common signs
  • Mange mites are microscopic and need to be diagnosed and treated by your vet.

What Is Dog Mange?

Mange mites are commonly seen in puppies and dogs who are strays. These mites will burry into your dog’s hair follicles causing your dog to itch and lose hair. There are two main types of mange that dogs can get. These are:

  • Demodex
  • Sarcoptic

Demodex is inherited from their mother and passed when your puppy is drinking milk. Sarcoptic mange is very contagious and usually acquired from other animals. Both of these types of mange will have the same symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of mange in dogs:

  • Hairloss
  • Itching
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Scabs on skin
  • Foul-smelling skin

If you notice any of these signs, it would be best to see your vet. They can determine if your dog does have mange or if there is something else causing your dog to have these symptoms.

What Causes Mange In Dogs?

Mange is caused by microscopic mites that are buried in your dog’s skin. These mites will lay eggs into these follicles and the next round of mites will be born. This cycle can take 2 to 3 weeks so you will have to treat your dog for at least 2 months to fully rid them of these parasites.
Dog with mange: treatment and prevention

How is Mange Mites Diagnosed?

Mange mites are microscopic. Demodex mange is a cigar-shaped mite while sarcoptic mites are more round-shaped. These mites cannot be seen with the naked eye and you will need a microscope to find them. If your vet thinks that your dog has mange mites, they will perform a skin scrape.

This is where they will scrape your dog’s skin with a dull blade to get some of the mites from the follicles. They can put this scraping on a slide and look for the mites under the microscope. If your dog does have mites, make sure to ask your vet if you can also see the mites.

How to Treat A Dog with Mange

There are a few different ways that your vet may want to treat manage. These are some of the most common treatments.

NexGuard or Bravecto

NexGuard and Bravecto are two commonly used flea and tick medications. These medications can also be used to treat mange. These medications will be given every 2 weeks for about 4 treatments will effectively kill mange mites.

Dog with mange: treatment and prevention


This is a cattle dewormer that will also help treat mange mites. This was commonly used before Nexguard and Bravecto were developed. While Ivermectin is very effective and very inexpensive, it can cause side effects in dogs. Dogs from the hearing group such as collies cannot have ivermectin due to a mutation in the MDR1 gene. This can cause severe neurological signs in these dogs.

Revolution or Selamectin

This is a topical flea and tick medication that can help treat mange. This medication is a derivative of ivermectin and works great at treating mange mites.

Dipping for Mites

Many dips for mites are not commonly used due to their horrible smell. These dips are usually lime sulfur and your dog will need to be dipped very often. Inbetween the dips they cannot have a bath and you are left with smelling the sulfur smell on your dog.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog has Mange?

If your dog has hair loss and is itching, it would be best for your vet to check them for mange. Your vet can take a skin scraping and look at this under the microscope to see if your dog does have mange. Your vet will be able to prescribe the appropriate treatments for your dog to help them get rid of these mange mites.
Dog with mange: treatment and prevention

Can People also get mange?

Yes, you can catch sarcoptic mange from your dog. This is a zoonotic disease meaning that it can be passed from animals to people. This will also cause a rash and extreme itching if you catch this type of mange. You will need to see your doctor for medication to clear the mange on your skin. If your dog does have scabies mange, it would be best to wash your hands and wear gloves when handling them until your dog is fully healed.

Final Thoughts

Mange mites can cause your dog to be very itchy and lose hair. If you notice any hair loss in your dog, especially if they are a puppy or recently acquired from a shelter, have your vet examine them. They can quickly perform a skin scrape to look for mites. If there are mites, there are many different treatment options depending on the breed of the dog and your vet’s recommendation. With proper treatment, your dog can easily get rid of these mites and their skin will return to normal.

Alpha Paw Sale
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Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Member of Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts

Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM is a board-certified, licensed, and USDA-accredited small animal and exotic animal veterinarian. Dr. Sara graduated from St. George's University in 2015 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Following veterinary school, she joined the team of pet experts at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she treats all species that walk in the hospital. Dr. Sara’s professional interests include surgery and exotic animal medicine. She enjoys developing positive relationships with her clients, sharing her passion for animals, and helping pet parents provide excellent care for their fur babies. She is passionate about helping our four-legged family members return to a happy and healthy life - making her a perfect fit for Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts!

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