Can Mange be Mistaken for Ringworm

(Vallejo, California)

Comparison of Demodectic Dog Mange (left) and Ringworm (Right)

Comparison of Demodectic Dog Mange (left) and Ringworm (Right)

Reader Question: Differentiating Ringworm From Mange in Dogs

I took my 10 week old puppy to the vet because I noticed 3 patches of missing fur which looked like dry skin to me. The doctor did a skin culture and said she thinks it is ringworm. I gave my puppy the lime dip bath, after it dried he lost lots of hair around where the spots first started, but he also looks like he has the mange - is there a big difference? are the side effects of the lime dip hair loss?

Veterinarian Suggestion for Treating Ringworm or Mange


It is impossible to tell the difference between ringworm and mange (demodectic or sarcoptic) just by looking at a dog. Diagnostic tests – a fungal culture for ringworm and multiple skin scrapings for mange mites – will usually lead to a definitive diagnosis. It is important to have that diagnosis because the treatments for the various conditions are very different.

I suspect that the hair loss you saw was caused by the dipping process removing hair that was going to fall out anyway due to ringworm. The most common side effects of lime sulfur dips are skin irritation and drying, stained fur, and a lingering odor.

If you continue to have concerns, bring your puppy back in to your veterinarian for a recheck.

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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