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What May Be Behind Your Dog's Constant Scratching

Dogs can get itchy-scratchy, however, one of the most common reasons why this happens is mange. If your dog is insanely itchy, constantly scratching, and his skin is inflamed, then he might have one of the two types of mange: demodectic or sarcoptic.


Demodectic Mange

Demodectic mange is also known as red mange, follicular mange and puppy mange, because it's most often seen in young dogs. The cause of this is the mite species called Demodex Demodectic mange is also known as red mange, follicular mange and puppy mange, because it's most often seen in young dogs. The cause of this is the mite species called Demodex canis, which lives inside the hair follicles. It is usually a result of a weak or undeveloped immune system.

Demodectic mange is also known as red mange, follicular mange and puppy mange, because it's most often seen in young dogs. The cause of this is the mite species called Demodex canis, which lives inside the hair follicles. It is usually a result of a weak or undeveloped immune system.

Demodex mites die without a host, so they transfer from one dog to another through direct contact. Typically, these mites are transferred from a contracted mother dog to her puppies shortly after giving birth. All dogs naturally have a small population of these mites that normally don't cause any problems.

Every mother dog ends up transmitting Demodex mites to her puppies. Most puppies have no reaction to them, however, puppies with inadequate and weak immune systems can react differently to them. Thus, developing demodectic mange.

Below are the three types of demodectic mange.

  • Localized demodectic mange - A type of mange that only affects a few body parts, commonly in the face. The contracted host usually have less than five small, isolated lesions on its body and/or face. 
  • This condition is commonly seen on puppies. Most cases don't need any treatment as it revolves on their own. Puppies get a much stronger immune system.
  • Generalized demodectic mange - A type of mange that affects larger areas of the skin or even the whole body. This often develops into bacterial infections causing intense itching. A foul odor can also occur and can be a very challenging condition to resolve.
  • Demodectic pododermatitis - A type of mange that affects the foot of the host. It creates bacterial infection in between the toes and the pads of the feet. Getting rid of this is quite challenging. 

 

Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic mange (commonly known as canine scabies), is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. The cycle of these mites happens when a female mite burrows into the skin of the dog, laying eggs in the tunnel behind her. The eggs hatched and soon turns into adults and the cycle continues. This creates an allergic response in the skin, causing inflammation and itchiness.

Sarcoptic mange is the itchiest type of mange. It is also highly contagious and can be transmitted to other dogs, cats, other animals, and even humans too.

 

Symptoms of Mange

Below are some of the symptoms of mange that can help you determine if your dog has it.

  • Tremendous itching especially in areas such as the elbows, armpits, ears, belly, and hocks
  • Bacterial and/or yeast infections
  • Hair loss
  • Scabbing and sores on the skin
  • Bald spots
  • Skin inflammation
  • Red spots
  • Infected, waxy or yeast ears
  • Shaking their ears frequently
  • Skin discoloration
  • Smelly or yeasty odor
  • Skin lesions
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite, fever and become lethargic
  • Weakened immune system
  • Inability to sleep well at night

If you noticed that your dog have some of these symptoms, then go to your veterinarian to get a clear diagnosis about your dog's condition.


Conventional Treatments for Mange

A common conventional treatment for mange is by dipping your dog's entire body in a powerful pesticide that kills off the mites. Unfortunately, this method can cause some side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, loss of appetite, restlessness, and a decrease in body temperatures.

Another method is by administering medications, orally or by injection. Also, a medicated shampoo can also be recommended. It is important that as a pet owner, you should know about the pros and cons of involving your dogs in these treatments. Discuss it with your veterinarian and you could also do your own research.


Natural Treatments for Mange

If you don't want your dog to undergo treatments that involve chemicals, then you might want to check the other alternative natural treatments.

Your dog may or may not need the conventional treatments as the treatments can vary depending on the severity of the case of your dog. You can consult a holistic veterinarian and explore other natural options.

Some of the natural treatments are the following:

  • Lime sulfur dips. It might be stinky but it is an excellent natural option to get rid of both types of mites without using chemicals
  • Homeopathics like sulphur, silicea, and psorinum
  • Topical remedies such as neem, lavender oil, and cedar oil. These can help soothe and heal your dog's lesions
  • Vitamins and other dietary supplements, such as coconut oil, probiotics, and omega 3 fatty acids. This helps relieve itching in the skin and can help improve your dog's overall immune system
  • Herbs that fight bacterial infection such as arabinogalactans, echinacea, olive leaf, neem, oregano, colostrum, pau d' arco, beta glucans, thymus extract, and garlic
  • Reika massage and Acupuncture as it can help reduce your dog's anxiety


Please note that the results of these treatments may vary depending on your dog reaction and condition.


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