Dogs are prone to different diseases which are caused by parasites. Sometimes, these parasites may be passed on to another dog or, in rare cases, even to humans. The different diseases that may be caused by parasites may lead to the dog’s death. We must not let such issues get in the way of dogs’ healthy and happy living.
One of the parasites that may cause diseases to dogs is called “mites”. Mites are species which resemble ticks and cause skin irritations, eventually leading to skin diseases. They live in the fur and ears, and inflict pain and itchiness. As a result, dogs may experience hair loss or dry skin. Mites cause a condition named “mange”, which is a skin disease that affects dogs.
Mites can be contagious and, depending on the type, it may be passed to other dogs or animals. They cause a lot of skin discomfort to our furry pals and pose serious health risks. Regardless of whether mange ends up being contagious or not, mites are parasites that need to be avoided.
What is Mange? What types of mange are there?
Generally, mange is a skin infection caused by mites, which affects dogs. This infection may be caused either by Scabies mites, which lead to the so-called Sarcoptic Mange, or Demodex mites, which cause Demodectic Mange. Note that no one can tell which is which, but all we should know is that these mites must be prevented from entering the dogs’ skin in order to avoid skin diseases.
1. Sarcoptic Mange– This type of disease is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. It is highly contagious and can be passed on to other dogs, animals and even humans, though it will not feed on us. These mites burrow into the skin of the dog to lay eggs, which causes skin irritation and itchiness. If not treated with the proper medication, the condition also leads to hair loss.
These are some of the symptoms of the presence of Sarcoptic Mange:
- Hair loss
- Skin rashes
- Thick rough skin (crust)
- Skin inflammation
2. Demodectic Mange– The cigar-shaped mite called Demodex canis is what causes this type of mange. This condition is neither unusual nor contagious. It is usually passed from the mother to the child, the latter of which ends up being the host, while the immune system keeps the mite from growing. The demodectic mange usually appears when the immune system is weakened. A weak and immature immune system will not be able to keep the demodex mites in check.
These are some of the symptoms of the presence of Demodectic Mange:
- Skin redness
- Hair loss
- Rough skin (Crust)
Effects of Mange on Dogs
Although mange is a skin disease caused by parasites, it is usually not fatal or cannot directly cause any harmful effects or death to the dogs. As previously described, mange causes skin discomfort, like itching, as well as hair loss and inflammation. Its direct effects are skin-related, but no other organs will be damaged because of the diseases.
However, mange can indirectly cause or be a sign of worse diseases. A dog that suffers from demodectic mange also has a weakened immune system, which in turn may lead to other types of diseases. The discomfort experienced because of the mange may also lead to other fatal infections. Itchiness and inflammation may cause such discomfort that the affected dogs eventually stop eating or drinking water.
Home Remedies for Mange on Dogs
We cannot disregard any medication prescribed by veterinarians when such a disease occurs. Mange is a skin infection caused by parasites and could therefore lead to serious health risks if not treated carefully and appropriately. Always pay a visit to the veterinarian if you want to treat your dog properly. But how can we treat mange disease while staying at home? Here are some treatments that you can apply as home remedies:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar– An organic apple cider vinegar is one of the most used home remedies for mange treatment because of its antibacterial properties. It may be used as a food ingredient or as a spray, thus being applied on the dog’s body. Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with the dog’s food or add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to water, use this mixture as a spray, apply it onto the dog’s body, and let it dry.
2. Honey– Organic honey is one of the products used to treat discomfort, as it relieves skin-related issues. More precisely, honey moisturizes the dog’s skin, which helps avoid dryness and prevents itchiness. Basically, organic honey can help rebuild a dog’s skin by healing the dry areas caused by mange. It can also clean the areas that have been affected by mange and prevent any bacteria from spreading. Just apply this organic honey to the affected area of the skin and let it take effect.
3. Olive Oil– It is effective for treating mange because it cures and relieves some skin discomfort, like inflammation and itchiness. Olive oil can also help in curing mange by warding off the mites that cause it. Precisely speaking, it can reduce the number of mites living on your dog’s skin by suffocating them, regardless of whether they are still in a larva state or have already turned into adults. Like the honey, you can put olive oil on the skin area affected by mange. Just apply it for a couple of minutes and be sure to repeat the process regularly.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax– This treatment is one of the most common remedies for dog mange. It involves dissolving borax into hydrogen-water and applying it to the dog’s skin. You should keep on adding borax until it stops dissolving in the solution of hydrogen-water. When applying this treatment, be extra careful not to let any drops get into your dog’s eyes. Use a sponge when bathing your dog in order to apply the treatment on the skin. Then let it dry and keep your dog from licking its fur so as not to remove the treatment.
5. Garlic and Lemon– This combination of garlic and lemon is one of the best anti-mite remedies, as it will help in repelling mites and also give your dog a healthy skin when regularly applied. Garlic, with its sulfuric properties, and lemon, with its acidic properties, will prevent mites from entering and living on the dog’s skin. It also has an effect on eggs, larvae, and even on adult mites. You will need a couple of cloves of garlic; mix them with peels of lemon, sink them in water and let the mixture boil for a couple of minutes. The next day, you can apply this mixture to the affected area on the dog’s skin and let it dry.
6. Yogurt– Some bacteria can be helpful against these parasites and prevent the mange from worsening. Yogurt contains this type of good bacteria and helps in relieving skin discomforts and irritations like the crust formed because of mange. Apply the yogurt on the sore areas of the dog’s skin or where it is affected by mange for a couple of minutes or hours, then wash it thoroughly. This treatment is totally safe, but you should make sure that your dog does not lick the yogurt before it has taken effect.
There are many diseases caused by parasites and mange is one of these skin infections that can be either contagious or can be passed on from one generation to another. Mites are a kind of parasite that causes different types of skin infections, thus leading to different types of mage. Mites are small microscopic parasites which are unavoidable for dogs, but their negative effects can be contained as long as appropriate measures are taken. Scabies mites are the contagious type, which can be passed on from one dog to another, while Demodex mites are passed on from the mother to the puppy.
Mange is just one of the skin diseases that can be caused by mites. It is a skin infection because of which dogs experience skin discomfort and irritations, hair loss, itchiness and even pain. Mange is not a deadly disease, but may cause a worse skin infection due to the symptoms that bring about other health risks as well. It must be prevented at all costs to prevent your dog’s health from worsening.
There are certain home treatments that may be applied to the dog’s skin when affected by mange or even if symptoms are beginning to show. Seeing as products like apple cider vinegar or honey have natural organic properties, it is safe to say that the remedies presented do not pose a risk to the dog’s health. They are also easy to prepare and cost less than bringing your dog to a hospital.
Of course, proper treatment and medication should always come from a veterinarian. Don’t try giving any medication to your dog if the veterinarian did not prescribe it, as it can put your dog at risk. Should you notice any symptoms of mange, don’t hesitate to go to the doctor or apply some of the home treatments that were discussed.