Sarcoptic mange is a skin disease caused by tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabei. The mites, which are tiny eight-legged parasites, are highly contagious and easily transferred between animals. The mites can and do infect humans and other animals, but they prefer dogs when seeking hosts.
"It may take one or more months before a significant improvement in sarcoptic mange infections is noticeable."
Signs of Symptoms of Sarcoptic Mange Infections
Sarcoptic mange typically causes intense itching that leads to scratching, restlessness, and skin damage. Other symptoms of infection include redness, hair loss, sores, and scabs. The elbows, ears, legs, and face are the most commonly affected areas on dogs, but the infection can occur anywhere on the body and may even spread to cover large areas. On humans, sarcoptic mange causes a rash of red bumps that appear similar to mosquito bites.
Exposure generally occurs two to six weeks before symptoms occur, making it difficult to determine the source of infection in some cases. Because the mites are transmitted from animal to animal, pets that spend time in shelters, kennels, dog parks, groomers, and clinics have a higher risk of infection than other pets.
Treating Sarcoptic Mange in Dogs
Before treatment can begin, your veterinarian will need to examine your pet to confirm the diagnosis. He or she may gather and analyze skin scrapings to look for sarcoptic mange mites under a microscope. Sometimes, the mites may be located beneath your dog's skin. In these cases, your dog's symptoms and medical history are important clues in making a diagnosis.
As soon as sarcoptic mange is suspected or confirmed, isolation of your pet becomes necessary to protect other animals and humans from catching the infection. In addition to antiparasitic medications, such as Revolution, that work to kill the mites responsible for sarcoptic mange, your veterinarian may prescribe other medications to ease your dog's symptoms. Topical or oral medications can help relieve itching and inflammation while the antiparasitic takes effect, and antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent or treat secondary skin infections. It may take one or more months before a significant improvement is noticeable.
To prevent a recurrence of the infection, you must thoroughly wash your pet's bedding and disinfect cages, collars, and other items your dog has come into contact with. Continue bringing your pet to the vet for repeat skin scrapings to check for a return of the mites, and keep your dog away from all other animals that show any symptoms of sarcoptic mange.
The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition.
This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not
be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of
your pet. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners.