Dog Skin Parasite: Sarcoptic Mange Treatment (Scabies)


Sarcoptic mange treatment (another term for Dog Scabies) is necessary when a female Sarcoptes scabei mite burrows under a dog's skin. The mite lifecycle  takes place entirely on the skin with eggs hatching in 3 to 10 days and maturation within 17 to 21 days. One home test for scabies is to rub the dog's ear flap between your fingers and then see if the dog immediately goes to scratch the area you just touched.

Sarcoptic mange mites causes intense itch, hair loss and crusting skin, particularly the tips of the ears. The ears, front legs, chest and abdomen are the areas of the body most often affected. If the disease isn't treated it can result in wrinkled skin and hair loss all over the body.

sarcoptic mange
Picture of Chronic Sarcoptic Mange Symptoms - Hair Loss All Over Body

Canine Sarcoptic Mange Symptoms

Symptoms of sacrcoptic dog mange include:
  • Itch (pruritus)
  • Scratching the severe itch causes:
    • red skin (erythema)
    • appearance of red bumps on skin  that do not contain pus (papules)
    • skin sores
    • skin crust
    • bacterial infection (caused by itching)
  • Wrinkled skin
  • Hair loss all over the body (starts on the chest and abdomen, also frequently seen around the eyes, on the ears, elbows and legs

Diagnosis of Dog Scabies

If you take your dog to the veterinarian for a dog parasite skin problem, they will look for the clinical dog mange symptoms, do a skin scraping and look for signs of mites under the microscope. A mange diagnosis is only 50% accurate since your Veterinarian would have to scrape skin from the exact area where the mite is located,  or if the mites are gone due to scratching, the toxins left behind could cause the symptoms. This is why the veterinarian will take a skin sample from several locations. If the skin looks like mange, most Vets will begin treatment and diagnose mange if the condition starts to improve.

Sarcoptic Mange in Dogs Treatment

Every dog and cat in the home should be treated if canine sarcoptic mange is diagnosed. There are two treatment options for a mange dog parasite skin problem:

  • Prescription: Your Veterinarian will prescribe a prescription lime sulfur dip (LymDip) with the product applied weekly. An alternative is a spot-on topical product like Revolution (Selamectin). A veterinarian might also recommend the use of a antiseborrheic shampoo followed by the use of a dip such as Dursban or Amitraz. The treatment regimen is followed for 1x every two weeks until the dog is cured.

  • Mange Home Treatment: Home treatments for this type of dog parasite skin problem have been shown to be effective. You can purchase an over the counter dip or an easier to apply option such as Naturasil for Pet Mange which is a dip that mixes with your dogs shampoo. This helps the treatment process as it makes the treatment more familiar to your dog.  You can also use the herbal shampoo offered by the manufacturer of the dip.  Some veterinarian's recommend the use of a medicated Benzoyl Peroxide shampoo such as DermaPet prior to applying the dip (follow the manufacturers directions) in order to loosen any scaly skn and to allow for better penetration of the dip.

Any skin infection caused by scratching will also be treated with antibiotics. As part of the sarcoptic mange treatment plan in order to aid healing, a natural remedy such as Skin and Coat tonic can also be added to the treatment routine.

Sarcoptic Dog Mange and People

The sarcoptic mange mite can cause some itching on the arms. The condition will not last longer than several days.

References for Sarcoptic Mange Treatment

External Parasitic Diseases of Dogs and Cats
P.A. Payne1, M. W. Dryden2 and G.R. Carter3
Department of Diagnostic Medicine-Pathobiology
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, KS, USA

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