Sarcoptic mange is caused by theSarcoptes scabieimite which can pass from dog to dog and can even pass to people and other animals. Therefore, your dog may be at risk for developing sarcoptic mange if he goes to public areas such as shelters, kennels, dog parks, groomers, and vet clinics. Once a female mite jumps on your dog, she will burrow and lay eggs in your dog’s skin which causes intense itching.
After anywhere from one to eight weeks, you may start to notice that your dog is losing hair on his face and legs. He may also develop red, scaly skin with crusts on the edges of his ears. His skin may appear very red in some areas. You should also be concerned if you start feeling itchy after coming into contact with your itchy dog. If this is the case, then make sure to avoid sharing a bed with your pup and contact your own doctor right away if you develop a skin rash.
There are a few ways to treat sarcoptic mange. One of the oldest methods is by using a type of shampoo known as lime dip. This is a sulfur-based topical rinse that has a bright yellow color and a foul odor, but it is very effective at treating mange. It is recommended to bathe your dog in lime dip at least once a week for four to six treatments. Because it can stain clothing very well, make sure to wear old clothing and use old toweling when using this treatment for your dog. Lime dip is one of the safest methods and can be used on very young puppies.
Certain topical and oral medications can also be prescribed. Topical products containing the ingredient moxidectin are very effective and should be applied every two weeks for at least three treatments. This is considered an off-label use, especially if your dog is younger than what is recommended on the packaging, so be sure to only use this kind of treatment under your veterinarian’s supervision. The same rule applies to oral medications in the class of drugs known as isoxazolines. These medications are labeled for flea and tick prevention, but there are new studies that demonstrate their efficacy against skin mites.
It is rare but possible for dogs to become infested with sarcoptic mites when they come into contact with items like beds, collars, harnesses, etc. Therefore, make sure to wash or dispose of these items. It is also a good idea to keep your dog separated from other pets and children in the household while he is undergoing treatment for sarcoptic mange.