If you have found a stray dog that you think has mange, it may be in a lot of pain. This is because mange will create sores on their skin over time. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help this dog feel better. Below is some information about what mange is, what causes mange, what the different types of mange are, and how to help the dog.
What Mange Is
Mange is also known as scabies, and is a skin disease that is caused by tiny mites. If a dog has mites on their skin it will lead to a mild or severe skin infection if the problem is not treated. The mange can cause the dog to itch and when they itch the skin becomes infected.
If you look closely at the dog's skin with a magnifying glass you may see these mites, which are light-colored and shaped like an oval. You will have to use a magnifying glass because the mites are so tiny and you will not be able to see them with the naked eye.
Causes of Mange
Mites are transferred from one dog to the other. In some cases, a dog can get mites and it will not bother them at all. In other cases, however, they will start showing signs of mange not long after the mites get on their skin.
If a mother dog has mange they can transfer the mites to their puppies. This often happens because the puppies are constantly cuddled up next to their mother in the first few days after birth.
Types of Mange
One type of mange affects only small areas on the body and is much easier to treat. There is one type of mange, known as demodectic mange, that affects a much larger area of your dog's body, and over time the entire body will become affected. Once the skin is infected the dog's skin will also become very smelly. This type of mange can be caused by a low immune system or could be hereditary.
Another type of mange is known as demodectic pododermatitis and is hard to treat. If the dog has this type they will only have sores on their feet and the sores will become infected. The only way a veterinarian can diagnose this type is to do a biopsy because the mites are generally deep in the skin
See a Veterinarian
There are home treatments for mange but they generally do not work. The best thing you can do is to take the dog to your local veterinarian. They can determine the type of mange the dog has and then provide it with the proper treatment. This treatment may include giving the dog a shot, as well as washing it with a special type of shampoo.
The veterinarian will put the dog on antibiotics for a certain amount of time if their skin is infected.
If you do not want to keep the dog, ask the veterinarian if they know of a local no kill shelter that can find the dog a home for you. Contact an animal hospital, like Northwest Animal Hospital, for more help.