Sarcoptic mange in dogs and Demodectic mange (demodeciosis) in dogs is quite different in appearance and symptoms. Demodex is also sometimes known as the red mange. Scabies or sarcoptic mange is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes. Sarcoptic mange is intensely itchy. Scabies causes the highest pruritis score in dogs. Scabies is a 10 out of 10 for itching. The poor dog is so itchy it can’t sleep. It scratches 24 hours around the clock.
If your dog is intensely itchy and is suffering from hairloss, it is worth doing a scabies trial. Simply treat your dog every fortnight with a product called Revolution or Stronghold. This Pfizer product contains selamectin. Use double the dose ie if your dog normally has the 5-10Kg dose, use the 10-20Kg dose. Apply the tube to the back of the neck every two weeks for three treatments.
Demodectic mange or the red mange is a more difficult condition to treat, or at least it can be. There is localised Demodex which will go away on its own. This is usually an isolated area of hair loss on a young dog that is not itchy. This often occurs around “puberty” in your dog ie 4 – 15 months of age. Sterilisation can help. You can use a topical product called Advocate that is applied every month for 3-4 treatments. Localised Demodex is not usually itchy.
Demodex also has a generalised form. This causes severe dermatitis, hair loss and pustules over large areas of your dog. This form of Demodectic mange can be itchy. Generalised Demodex is due to an inability of the immune system to control the Demodex mite. The mite breeds out of control and causes hair loss and severe pyoderma and pustules of the skin. This can be very challenging to control. You can try Advocate topical preparations but this may be ineffective against the severe form of Demodectic mange.
Many dermatologists use oral ivomec with good results but it needs to be administered every day. There is usually poor compliance from owners and the dog hates it as often large volumes of horrible tasting medicine is required. This can be dangerous and even fatal to collies.
We have started using Dectomax injections. We have had success with weekly injections but some severe cases need twice weekly injections. This regime has given us excellent results in our clinic. Infection also needs to be controlled. You can use a medicated shampoo for home treatments. Chlorhexidine is the active ingredient. We use Pyohex shampoo from Dermcare.
All information is of a general nature and copyright to Dr Rob.
For specific advice please consult Australind Vet Hospital.