Mange, also called ‘canine scabies’ is a skin disease on dogs, caused by many species of small mites that are often commonly found on your pet. Many of these mange mites are common residents on your dog’s hair follicles and skin, but sometimes, the problem goes out of control and causes this health issue. Luckily, there are remedies for mange in dogs that can solve the problem and provide relief to your pet.
What happens when your dog has mange? As the mites burrow through the skin, they cause intense irritation and itching. The resulting scratching causes the hair to fall off.
There are often large bald patches on the body, particularly around the mouth, eyes, elbows, and the front legs of your canine friend. The constant scratching makes it worse, as the dog can have a bacterial infection. The skin can get dry and rough, a condition, which is called ‘lichenoid’.
3 Forms of Mange
Mange in dogs is seen in 3 forms. They are –
- Localized – Here, the scars are noticed mostly in a single area, on the face or the ear. There could be just a few spots in the affected area. The symptoms are usually mild and they clear away on their own so you may not have to treat mange in dogs if it is localized.
- Generalized – In 10% of all pets, the localized mange goes on to become ‘generalized’. Here, the skin disease is seen in many locations, like the elbow, ear, feet, and the stomach and it may progress to cover much of your pet’s body.
Generalized mange is seen in both adult and young dogs. In an adult, it may be a sign that your dog has a significant health problem. There is a chance that your dog could be suffering from hypothyroid disease, heartworm infections, allergies, and even cancer, so you should get immediate medical help, apart from finding remedies for mange in dogs.
The infection can become more widespread and there could also be other health risks if you don’t get immediate medical help.
- Pododermatitis – This is a condition where only the paws or feet are affected. This also is a kind of localized mange. It is mostly seen in Bulldog varieties.
The signs and symptoms depend on which form of mange your pet has.
The 2 Types of Mange
Mange in dogs can further be classified into the following 2 types –
- Demodectic Mange – Caused by the Demodex Canis mite species, it is sometimes also referred to as puppy mange, follicular mange or red mange. This is the most common type of mange in dogs. Under a microscope, the mites that live within the hair follicles look like small alligators.
In most instances, dogs get Demodectic mange through direct contact with an affected animal. Usually, they get transmitted to a puppy from the mother in the first few weeks after birth. The mites move directly from one dog to another.
- Sarcoptic Mange – Caused by the Sarcoptes Scabei mite, this is a more serious condition. Dogs of all breeds and ages can get affected. The inflammatory response can be significant as the female mite tunnels into the skin and lays its eggs. The eggs turn into larva eventually becoming adults.
The itching and hair loss can be severe. In fact, the dog may even lose all its hair. This type of mange is very contagious and can infest not just other dogs, but also other animals.
The Causes of Mange
Here are some of the common causes of mange in dogs.
- Infestation – In most instances, dogs get mange when they are exposed to another infected animal. The mites (Sarcoptes Scabiei, Cheyletiella Yasguri, Demodex Canis) moves easily and quickly from one dog to another.
The exposure rate is very high at dog parks, animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and kennels because there is a higher risk that your dog may come in close contact with an infected animal in these places. The symptoms first begin to appear usually between 2 and 6 weeks of the exposure.
- From a Mother Dog – Infestation may also happen if the mites get transmitted from a mother dog to a puppy just after birth.
Not all dogs will have mange, though veterinarians say that almost all of them carry mites in their body, even the pets that are looked after very well.
- Genetic Factors – Many experts are of the opinion that genetic factors, like a suppressed or underdeveloped immune system could lead to a higher risk of developing mange. Young dogs have a higher risk because often their immune systems are not fully developed or matured yet.
Symptoms of Mange
- Itching – Dogs that have mange will itch. Often, the itching can even be uncontrollable. Actually, there is no other skin condition in dogs, which is quite as uncomfortable or itchy as mange. The itching, which leads to chewing, biting and licking is usually frantic and relentless as the infestation worsens.
- Behavior Change – Your dog will tend to be always irritated and in a bad mood because of all this itching. Eventually, this will interfere with his normal behavior, including sleeping and eating.
- Sleeping Problems – Your pet may have interrupted sleep as the mites are most active at night. Scabies mites are especially bad, because they will burrow aggressively into the skin and reproduce at night. This can cause skin inflammation and severe itching.
- Fur Loss – You will eventually begin to see your dog losing his fur because of the constant licking and itching, and eventually there will be big bald patches. You may see a red skin rash, which will gradually spread as the infestation worsens. Sores and scratches can become infected, producing oozing yellowish crusts.
- Bad Odor – There will be an unpleasant, musty smell that comes from yeast and bacteria’s feeding on sebum on your dog’s irritated skin.
- Poor Health – The overall health of dogs with advanced mange will deteriorate. Over time, this can lead to vision loss, weakness, fever, weight loss, and hearing loss. Even self-defense will weaken. Dogs have been known to die from the infections of mange and the exhaustion and starvation it can cause.
Be careful, because the mites that cause mange in dogs may also infest you and other pets. However, humans are usually not their preferred hosts and it’s a lot less serious too. Even then, it is a good idea to be careful and check for any signs.
If infested, you will have skin rashes or bug bites on your chest, arms and abdomen. There can also be a few small red bumps for a few weeks. This will go away once you have applied the remedies for mange in dogs and provided the relief your pet deserves. Once the mites go away from your dog’s body, they will leave you too.
Pets That Are Most at Risk
Dogs always are at a higher risk, though cats can also have mange. Among the dogs, the younger ones and puppies are at a higher risk.
The dog breeds that are more prone to get mange infections are –
- Pit Bull
- English Bulldog
- Boston Terrier
- German Shepherd
- Afghan Hound
- Doberman Pinscher
- Great Dane
- Old English Sheep Dog
- Chow Chow
Top Home Remedies for Mange in Dogs
Mange doesn’t just look bad it will also cause a lot of discomfort. Mange may even impact the overall health of your dog and weaken him considerably. So don’t delay.
You should always try to get rid of mange in dogs at the earliest. Any of these home remedies should be of help.
Oil, Fruit, and Nature-Based Home Remedies for Mange in Dogs
- 1. Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar – ½ cup
- Borax – ½ cup
- Warm water – ½ cup
- Medicated shampoo
- Clean towel
- First, give your dog a good bathe in clean water.
- Apply the medicated shampoo.
- Now mix the apple cider vinegar, borax and the warm water in a bucket.
- Dip the towel into this mixture. Rub it over the skin of your dog.
- Keep his face away. He should not lick it. Borax is harmful when ingested, so do be careful.
- Allow his fur to air dry.
You may also add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into the meal of your dog. Its acidic nature will create an acidic environment on his skin and kill the harmful mites and bacteria.
- 2. Lemon Juice
- Lemon – 1
- Water – ½ bowl
- Sponge – 1
- Cut the lemon into half.
- Squeeze out its juice on your sponge.
- Now slowly dab the sponge on the affected parts.
- Apply this remedy once every day till the mange is gone.
You may also squeeze and store the juice in the bowl with water in it and dip your sponge in the mixture before applying. Mixing with water is best, because raw lemon juice may irritate the infections in some dogs. So it is best to dilute it.
The acidic content of lemon juice will the kill the mites and microscopic parasites and promote quick healing. Fleas and mites are repulsed by its citrus smell.
- 3. Neem Oil/Azadirachta Indica
- Neem oil – 1 teaspoon
- Apple cider vinegar – 1 teaspoon
- Sponge or clean towel – 1
- Mix the 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and neem oil.
- Dip your sponge or clean towel in this mixture.
- Rub the mixture all over the body of your pet.
- Keep it for 30 minutes.
- Wash it off with warm water and soap.
Azadirachta indica or Indian Lilac, which is commonly called neem in India, has antifungal, antibacterial and anti parasitic properties. The fleas and mites and their eggs will be killed. The skin will be cleansed, nourished and soothed, and his immune system will become stronger. This solution will even help the fur re-grow on his body quickly.
- 4. Honey
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey
- A clean sponge or towel
- Warm water
- Medicated soap
- Pour the honey on a bowl.
- Dab the sponge or towel and apply the coat directly on the affected areas. Make sure that the coating is thick.
- Keep it for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Wash it off with warm water. Tap dry with a clean towel.
Honey’s viscous nature will form a thick layer on his skin and this will cut off the air supply, thereby suffocating the parasites. Honey will also reduce the soreness and itching and soothe the inflamed areas. The organic compounds of honey will also quicken the healing process. But remember, you must always wipe off the honey quickly, because otherwise, ants may bite your dog.
- 5. Olive Oil
- Olive oil – 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Glass bowl – 1
- A clean sponge or towel
- Warm water
- Medicated soap
- Pour olive oil into a glass bowl.
- Dab a clean towel or sponge and apply all over the body of your dog.
- Apply generously.
- Keep it for an hour.
- Wash off with warm water and soap. Tap dry.
Olive oil works in much the same way as honey. Its thick consistency will form a heavy coating on the body of your dog and block the air supply to kill the mites. Olive oil will also moisturize the bald patches that are dry and flaky and soothe the inflamed skin.
- 6. Aloe Vera
- Aloe vera – 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Glass bowl
- A clean sponge or towel
- Keep the aloe vera in a glass bowl.
- Dip a clean towel or sponge and apply directly on the affected areas.
- Leave it for up to an hour for air drying.
- Wash off with warm water.
Instead of a bottled gel, you can also cut a leaf from the plant and extract the gel. You can apply aloe vera for 4 to 5 times in a day. But don’t shower your pet that many times. In fact, you can leave the gel without a shower too if you want.
The anti-parasitic and natural antiseptic properties of aloe vera are good for the skin of your dog. Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory nature will soothe the itching and irritation and reduce the inflammations. The soreness will go down.
- 7. Yogurt
- Pure yogurt – 2 tablespoons
- Wet towel
- Pour the yogurt into your bowl.
- You can also dilute it a bit by mixing a little bit of water.
- Now insert your finger and rub it gently on the scabbed portion of his ear.
- Keep it for the entire day.
- Use a wet towel to wipe it off gently.
Often, there will be a discolored, crusty secretion from the ears of dogs with mange. This is a common side effect of the disease. The acidophilus bacteria strain in yogurt will eliminate this discharge, and also provide relief from the itching and discomfort.
You may also mix apple cider vinegar or honey with the yogurt. But make sure that you are using unsweetened and unflavored yogurt.
- 8. Herbal Tea
- Arnica herbal tea – 1 tablespoon
- Yellow dock herbal tea – 1 tablespoon
- Calendula herbal tea – 1 tablespoon
- Hot water
- Boil the water.
- Add all the three herbal teas.
- Simmer for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off.
- Strain tea from the water. Let it cool.
- Soak the sponge in this mixture.
- Apply the soaked sponge on the affected areas.
- Leave it for drying naturally. Don’t wipe it off.
- Apply twice every day till the mange is cured.
Herbal tea will soothe the irritated skin of your dog and promote quick healing. Calendula will soothe skin inflammations. Arnica promotes the healing of bruises, scabs and swelling, while yellow dock has the healing properties of both calendula and arnica. The three teas when combined, will give the healing process a powerful kick.
Mineral-Based Home Remedies for Mange in Dogs
- 1. Borax
- Hydrogen peroxide 1% solution
- Borax – 3 tablespoons
- Warm water
- Moisturizing lotion
- Prepare your solution by mixing equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide.
- Add the borax. The solution should be fully saturated.
- Give your dog a thorough wash.
- Lather the solution all over his body while he is still wet.
- Allow it to air dry. Do not clean or rinse off with a towel.
- The lather will turn into a chalky dry layer. You can brush it away.
- Now apply the moisturizing lotion.
Borax is a mineral that is comprised of boron, sodium, water and oxygen. It reaches into the skin’s epidermis layer where the mites reside and kills them. But borax by its own is very powerful so it’s best to mix with water and hydrogen peroxide.
You can apply this 2 to 4 times. Do not allow your dog to ingest the mixture.
- 2. Colloidal Silver
- Colloidal silver – 2 tablespoons
- Olive oil or vinegar – 1 tablespoon
- Clean towel or sponge
- Cotton bud – 1
- Warm water
- Mix the colloidal silver with olive oil or vinegar.
- Dab your sponge or towel into the mixture and apply directly on the skin.
- Using a cotton bud gently clean the inside of his ears.
- Keep it for 30 minutes.
- Give your dog a shower in warm water. You can also add a couple of drops of the mixture in the bath water.
Colloidal silver has been used for a long time for treating scrapes, infections and burns. Its antimicrobial properties will kill the mites that cause mange and heal your pet. This is very effective home remedy in treating bad cases of mange in cats and dogs.
Chemical-Based Home Remedies
- 1. Hydrogen Peroxide
- Hydrogen peroxide 1% to 3% solution
- Clean towel
- Damp your towel with the hydrogen peroxide.
- Now rub this towel on the fur and skin of your dog.
- Be careful while you are rubbing around his paws, ears, and eyes.
- Do not apply water. The peroxide won’t give you the best results if you do.
- Make sure that your pet does not lick the peroxide from his body.
- Apply the peroxide for up to 2 weeks.
Hydrogen peroxide is made up of oxygen and water. It destroys parasites and mites through oxidation. You can also mix borax and apply throughout his fur and skin.
- 2. Benzoyl Peroxide
- Shampoo with benzoyl peroxide – 1
- Warm water
- Clean and dry towel
- Buy the shampoo and give your apply it on his body.
- Give his body a thorough rub.
- You can use the shampoo every day till the mites are all gone.
The benzoyl peroxide treatment is very effective in killing the Demodectic mites. This industrial chemical can remove the protective layers the mites create on the follicles and pores. In fact, the chemical can go 5 to 6 layer deep down and kill the mites there. Secondary infection risks are also reduced.
Mange is not just a cosmetic problem. It can be a very serious health issue that may even cause death. Mange will give your dog a lot of discomfort, make him irritated and can also change his behavior. So never neglect the condition. Luckily, there are many remedies for curing mange in dogs.
Over-the-counter medications might work, but there can be harmful side-effects. A natural remedy will always work better. The home remedies for mange in dogs mentioned here are nature-based and work without any side-effects. They are very effective in treating the condition. Your pet’s immunity will also be improved.