If your dog is suffering from mange, a common and painful skin disease caused by mites, you may be searching for effective home remedies to alleviate their discomfort. In this article, we will explore different types of mange that can affect dogs, their symptoms, and how to treat them. From Sarcoptic Mange, which is highly contagious and can quickly spread throughout your dog’s body, to Demodectic Mange, which affects puppies and dogs with weakened immune systems, we will cover it all. Additionally, we will discuss home remedies such as olive oil, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera that can assist in the treatment process. Don’t let mange disrupt your furry friend’s happiness – read on to discover natural remedies that can offer relief and help your dog recover.
What is Mange?
Dog ownership can be challenging at the best of times so the development of a health issue can be worrisome. Canine mange is a common skin disease that can strike unexpectedly. It can be irritatingly painful for your dog to endure so you may be wondering what the best course of action is to help soothe and treat your canine companion.
Below, we have everything you need to know about mange including the different types, symptoms, how your dog can develop it, and what home remedies you can use to help dogs suffering from skin disease.
Types of Mange in Dogs
There are two well-known types of mange that affect dogs. These are Sarcoptic Mange and Demodectic Mange which can have painful and irritating symptoms when your dog becomes infected. There is also a less common type of Mange called Cheyletiellosis Mange that can still affect canines although this is rare.
Otherwise known as canine scabies, Sarcoptic Mange is where Sarcoptic mites burrow beneath the layers of your dog’s skin to lay their eggs in order to reproduce. Often, they will reside on one area of your dog’s body but will quickly reproduce and infest the other areas if not treated quickly. Typically, these parasites will initially burrow into the skin of a dog’s ears or belly, as they tend to prefer hairless skin.
Highly contagious, the Sarcoptes scabiei canis can infest an array of animals and can even attack healthy adult people.
Sarcoptic Mange Symptoms
The primary symptoms of Sarcoptic Mange can include the following:
- Intense itching and irritated skin
- Hair loss
- Scabbing/crust formation
- Stubborn rashes
- Yeast/Bacteria infections
- Thickening of the skin (rare)
- Emaciation (rare)
Small bumps may also be visible in the areas that the mites have colonized. These areas are also the zones in which scabbing/crusting may appear.
Officially called Demodicosis, this type of mange is caused by mites known as Demodex Canis. Unlike Sarcoptic mange mites that burrow beneath the dog’s skin, these particular mange mites live within the hair follicles and often don’t pose a threat to canines. In fact, a lot of dogs already have a few of these parasites and do not even know it as their immune system protects them and keeps them at bay.
However, this doesn’t mean that the Demodex cannot cause problems at all. These mites will increase in number and begin to cause harm when a dog’s immune system isn’t performing at peak capacity. Therefore it’s common to see this type of mange in puppies when their immune system hasn’t fully developed.
Having said this, it can also develop if the dog’s immune system is compromised later in life too as it has been known to affect senior dogs whose systems are beginning to falter. Fortunately, unlike Sarcoptic mites, Demodectic mange is not contagious.
Demodectic Mange Symptoms
When the immune system begins to collapse, the mites will then start to reproduce causing inflammatory changes including:
- Hair loss (usually starting around the paws and eyes)
- Skin redness
- Rough/dry skin texture
- Irritated skin
- Pustules on the skin
- Warm skin
If left untreated these symptoms can become a lot worse. The itching will become more severe which will lead to more hair loss and the skin can become crusted which is painful for dogs. In addition to this, if the skin is frequently damaged and exacerbated by itching, scratching, and gnawing your dog could also develop a skin infection.
Cheyletiella yasguri mites are responsible for this type of mange and can have very similar symptoms to those previously discussed. This skin disease is also known as ‘walking dandruff’ as the mites are white in color and look like moving, flakes of dandruff.
With the current effectiveness of modern flea treatments, this type of mange has become somewhat rare. However, if it does occur it can simply be treated with over-the-counter medication.
Symptoms of Cheyletiellosis Mange
- Scaly skin
- Pruritus (variable severity)
- Itching (variable severity)
How Dogs Get Mange
This type of mange is highly contagious and can be passed from one dog to another. It could even be passed on by other warm-blooded animals such as foxes. When a female mite makes it to another host, she will burrow into its skin and lay her eggs. These typically take around three weeks to hatch. Soon after the symptoms will begin to become more and more apparent.
This is another type that can be transmitted between dogs and other animals. Luckily, it is rare and easily treated.
This is commonly passed to puppies from their mothers not long after they are born.
How to Tell If Your Dog Has Mange
With the symptoms of the different types of mange at hand above, you may be able to spot the signs of infestation easily. However, a veterinarian will be able to firmly identify the presence of mites and eggs by analyzing skin scrapings taken from your dog.
In some cases, the mites and eggs can go undetected by a vet however the symptoms will still point to mange. Appropriate treatments can be bought and applied including over-the-counter products. Having said this, there is a number of home remedies that can be sought out and applied to help eliminate the problem.
How to Treat Mange in Dogs
If mites are evident following your trip to the vet, dog owners will be able to purchase medications to help eradicate the problem. However, there are several things you can use at home to treat mange.
Home Remedies for Dog Mange
Below we have several dog mange home remedies that can help you get rid of the infesting parasites.
Although primarily used for cooking, olive oil has lots of other uses. Olive oil is beneficial when treating localized mange by applying a layer to your dog’s skin. By using a thin layer of oil, you will not only smother larvae and mites but can also help to soothe and hydrate the affected area of the skin.
Note: Olive oil is effective when treating localized affected areas and is not recommended to treat more severe cases. Not only will this be messy and expensive but you may also not guarantee that the problem will be completely eradicated.
Unsweetened, plain yogurt can also be applied to the affected area although it’s entirely possible that your pooch may get a sniff and want to lap it up. This isn’t a problem as plain yogurt is packed with healthy probiotics but it can prevent and slow down the recovery process.
Similar to treating mange with olive oil, yogurt should help to smother mites. However, it is recommended to treat small areas of infected skin only as it might be difficult and expensive to cover your dog’s entire body in yogurt.
Using Yogurt to Treat The Skin Irritation
Apply a tablespoon or two of plain yogurt to your dog’s skin and leave it for 15 minutes. After the duration has passed, wipe it away. You can use this multiple times a day although you may have to take steps to prevent your dog from licking it away.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has proven in the past to have some benefits when treating skin problems, with some referring to it as a ‘miracle cure’. In this case, it can also be used to treat mange, although it’s not proven to be the best method when compared to others.
Unlike the previous home remedies, this option can be used inside or out. However, some sources argue that applying apple cider vinegar is more effective than adding it to your dog’s food or water bowl. This is because it may take some time for the addition to start taking effect.
Using This Remedy
- Dogs over 30 pounds: Add one tablespoon to the dog food or water.
- Dogs under 30 pounds: Add one teaspoon to the dog food or water.
- Bathing: Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar with half a cup of borax and warm water. Ensure the mixture is dissolved and that your dog does not ingest any as the borax can be harmful internally. Keep the mixture away from their eyes and mouth when sponging in your dog’s coat and skin.
- The mixture detailed above can also be used for smaller affected areas without having to coax your dog into the bath. Simply use the same mixture and decant it into a spray bottle. Then use the bottle to apply the liquid to the areas of the affected dog.
How long does it take to cure mange with apple cider vinegar?
This can depend entirely on how often you use this home remedy and how severe the affected spots are. Due to the antibacterial properties of the vinegar, it could be sooner than you might anticipate but it’s always worth getting a second opinion. This may mean taking your dog to your vet to offer an additional skin scraping but it’ll be worth it to see your dog’s health improve.
To learn more about the uses of apple cider vinegar, take a look at our article found here.
Aloe vera gel can soothe the irritated and itchy skin caused by mange. Simply apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel to your dog’s affected areas. The cooling and moisturizing properties of aloe vera can help alleviate discomfort and promote healing. Make sure the gel is pure and does not contain any added chemicals or ingredients that could be harmful to your dog.
Mange can be a distressing condition for dogs, causing discomfort and pain. It’s important to identify the symptoms and seek appropriate treatment to alleviate your dog’s suffering. Home remedies such as olive oil, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera can be used in conjunction with veterinary treatments to help treat mange in dogs. However, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before trying any home remedies to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your dog’s specific condition. With proper care and treatment, your dog can recover from mange and return to a healthy, happy life.