Symptoms and Treatment of
Dog Scabies (Sarcoptic Mange)


Sarcoptic mange is a contagious condition passed by mites from dog to dog or wild animal such as a fox to a dog. The condition can occur in a specific or localized areas of the body, or if left untreated, the condition will spread into a "generalized" form which affects areas all over the body.

Symptoms are red bumps or papules, itch, and a scaling or hardening of the skin.  If your dog scratches the bumps, it results in hair loss occurs and possibly skin infection.

Dog Sarcoptic Mange

Dog Scabies causes extreme itch, red irritated skin, pimples, skin sores and crusts.

Treatment options include a lime-sulfur dip that can be purchased over the counter, a spot-on such as Frontline (Fipronil), or a prescription topical that contains Selamectin (Revolution). Other treatments such as Ivermectin based medications have side effects in some dogs such as herding breeds, so they should be avoided.

Scabies mites can spread from dog to dog, and dog to human, however, humans are not a good host for the parasite and quickly die.


Scabies are characterized by papules (red bumps on the skin) and crusty areas that can be seen on the ears, ankles, face and elbows.  If a dog is well groomed, it is possible that a dog has scabies, but does not have the red bumps or papules in a condition called scabies incognito. The condition can cause thick and wrinkled skin.

Dog Scabies Skin Ulceration

Dog Scabies and Skin Ulceration Due to Itching and Scratching



Your veterinarian will make a diagnosis based on a review of your dog's symptoms and history.  Skin scrapings may be helpful in making a diagnosis, however it is accurate 100% of the time.  Other tests are also available, but if your veterinarian suspects scabies, she may recommend proceeding with at least treatment with a lime-sulfur dip.

A time honored test for scabies is to rub the ear flap in your fingers. If your dog scratches on the same side then scabies are probably present. For a definitive diagnosis your veterinarian will scrape the skin and analyze the result.

Sometimes the symptoms of scabies remain even when the mites are gone since mites leave behind a toxin that causes dog's to itch.

Have A Dog Scabies Related Question or Story For Our Vet?

Do you have a Dog Scabies or Mange Question for our Vet or a Helpful Story to Share?

Please include information such as dog age, sex, breed, medical history, symptoms, medications your dog is taking, changes in behavior, illness in other pets in the household or anything else that could help our Vet help you.

We will do our best to get back to you quickly (it depends on how many questions we receive each day). If you do require an immediate response we suggest using this online dog veterinary service that is available now.

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

 submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Scabies and Infestation of other Pups Not rated yet
Reader Question: Scabies and Risk to Other Puppies How long is a pup with dog scabies contagious to other dogs when treated? There is a pup in desperate …

Can Mange be Mistaken for Ringworm Not rated yet
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 …

Click here to write your own.


Superficial Mite Infestations Ralf S. Mueller DipACVD, DipECVD, FACVSc Medizinische Kleintierklinik Veterinaerstr. 13 80539 Munich, Germany

Dog Health Handbook

Researched by:

Ask a Vet Online

12 veterinarians
are online now.
Ask a question,
get an answer ASAP.