Demodectic Mange

Demodectic mange, or demodex, is caused by a cigar-shaped mite, Demodex canis. The difference from sarcoptic mange is that these are a normal part of the skin flora, always present, and usually harmless. They are passed to pups from their mothers in the first few days after birth, but it is not contagious to humans. The mites take up residence deep in hair follicles and stay there, causing no trouble. A normal immune system keeps their numbers in check. But in a dog with a weakened immune system, they can grow out of control. Dogs at risk of demodectic mange include: Puppies who inherit a weakness in their immune systems will be prone to a particularly serious form of demodex, known as juvenile onset. Young healthy dogs may develop some patches of demodex, which sometimes go away on their own or with localized topical treatment. Elderly, sick, neglected, or stray dogs with weakened immune systems often develop demodex.

Symptoms:

  • In localized cases, it shows up as patches of hair loss and red, scaling skin. In generalized cases, the entire body may be covered with redness, infections, scaling, swelling, and crusts. Often the dog loses most, if not all, hair.
  • Common Causes: 

    Demodectic mange, or demodex, is caused by a cigar-shaped mite, Demodex canis. The difference from sarcoptic mange is that these are a normal part of the skin flora, always present, and usually harmless. They are passed to pups from their mothers in the first few days after birth, but it is not contagious to humans. The mites take up residence deep in hair follicles and stay there, causing no trouble. A normal immune system keeps their numbers in check. But in a dog with a weakened immune system, they can grow out of control. Dogs at risk of demodectic mange include: Puppies who inherit a weakness in their immune systems will be prone to a particularly serious form of demodex, known as juvenile onset. Young healthy dogs may develop some patches of demodex, which sometimes go away on their own or with localized topical treatment. Elderly, sick, neglected, or stray dogs with weakened immune systems often develop demodex.

    Natural Remedies: 

    Massaging your dog with oils containing neem can greatly help, as neem is known to destroy mites. It is necessary to boost your dog’s immune system, with the help of supplements, so that the infestation does not spread. Use shampoos that soothe and relieve itching. You must clean the bedding of your dog regularly to prevent further infestation.

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