How to Wash a Dog with Mange

Hard
20 - 30 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Mange is caused by mites, which are tiny arachnoid parasites. There are two types of mange found in dogs, demodectic, with is not contagious to humans and causes less severe symptoms, and sarcoptic mange, which is contagious to humans and causes more intense itching and hair loss. Mange occurs when these parasitic mites burrow into your dog's skin and take up residence in skin pores and hair follicles. Once embedded, they secrete a substance that forms a barrier protecting them inside your dog's skin. Topical medications to treat mites will only work if the medication can come in contact with the mites. Bathing your dog with medicated shampoo to open up pores and expose the mites, so you can treat them with topical medications and dips is required to get rid of these nasty little bugs. Bathing may also provide some relief from symptoms of mange, by removing scaliness and greasiness that accompanies mite infestation and by soothing irritated skin.

Dog's Perspective

Mange is itchy and irritating to your dog's skin.  Not only will your dog's skin be uncomfortable, but where bald patches have occurred, it will be especially sensitive, and even downright painful, especially if secondary infections have occurred. Be gentle when applying shampoos and handling your dog so as not to cause further discomfort. Giving out bribes is always appreciated by food motivated canines as a treat for tolerating bathing itchy skin.

The Medicated Bathing Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Shampoo
Step
1
Wear protective clothing
Protect your skin and clothing from medicated shampoos. If your dog has sarcoptic mange you will want to protect yourself, as it can be contagious to humans. Wear long sleeves, rubber or latex gloves, and wash your clothing after bathing your dog.
Step
2
Use benzoyl peroxide
Wet down your dog and apply a medicated shampoo containing benzoyl peroxide. Knead your dog's skin to really get into the skin and make sure you get in hard to reach areas like under limbs. Lather and massage skin to press materials to the surface. Grip and slide your hand along loose folds of skin to help squeeze mite debris to the surface.
Step
3
Leave on shampoo
Allow the medicated shampoo to sit on your dog for 10 minutes so that the medication can open pores and follicles.
Step
4
Rinse aggressively
Rinse shampoo off, with a handheld shower, with good pressure. Hold the shower close to skin to get intense water flow on the skin surface. Use very warm, not hot, water. Aggressive rinsing removes debris from mite infestation, and stimulates pores. Warm water aids in opening pores, while cold water closes them, which is counterproductive. You want to remove shampoo residue and mite infestation from the skin with intensive rinsing. Work against the grain of the coat and apply to small sections. Flood the skin to remove as much debris as possible .
Step
5
Treat mange
If your dog has sarcoptic mange you can now use a sarcoptic mange scabicidal dip to treat mites, if your dog has demodectic mange, topical medications can be applied. Follow medication instructions carefully.
Recommend grooming method?

The Demodectic Mange Remedies Method

Effective
2 Votes
Spray
Shampoo
Step
1
Determine type of mange
If your dog has demodectic mange you can use home remedies to help in treatment to kill mites and cleanmite debris.
Step
2
Shampoo regularly
Regularly shampoo your dog with a hypoallergenic shampoo to relieve irritated, itchy skin. Massage the skin to move all mite crusts and debris to the surface, and slough them off. Rinse off with powerful spray to remove all debris and open pores for medications. Use one of the following home remedies to help fight demodectic mange.
Step
3
Make medicated rinse
Dilute ½ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of water, add 2 tsp borax. Rinse your dog with this solution 2-3 times daily for 1 week. Apply to all areas of your dog, even those not affected by mange. Avoid eyes, ear canals and mouth.
Step
4
Listerine spray
Or, mix 1 Tbsp water, 1 tbsp baby oil and 1 Tbsp Listerine mouthwash. Put in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray areas affected by mange 2 times a day for 1 week.
Step
5
Vinegar spray
Or, dilute raw organic apple cider vinegar with water in equal amounts and put in a spray bottle. Part hair on your dog, and spray directly on the skin 2-3 times a week.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • If your dog has mange, make sure you know what type you are treating.  Sarcoptic mange is more serious, requires medication, and can be contagious to humans. Get a skin scraping from a veterinarian to diagnose mange.
  • You can use soothing shampoos on irritated skin, but be careful not to wash off medications. Make sure you bathe before applying medications or wait a suitable time after using topical medication.
  • Be sure to identify and treat secondary skin infections, which may need veterinary care.
  • When washing a dog with mange, be sure to protect his eyes, mouth, and ears from medications. You will, however, need to treat the face area in many cases, so apply with a cloth and be careful when shampooing and rinsing.
  • Wear protective clothing when washing a dog with sarcoptic mange.

Conclusion

Mange is unpleasant for your dog, and besides being irritating, creates sores that can secrete messy substances and form crusts and scabs. To successfully treat mange you need to be able to apply medications to the infecting parasites, which can be a challenge if they are burrowed in the skin. Aggressive washing with very warm water, medicated shampoos, and a little elbow grease is necessary to bring debris and mites to the surface of the skin, where they can be treated and washed away. There are several commercial shampoos and medications available for successful treatment of mange, containing benzoyl peroxide. Some home remedies can also help with combating these pests. Remember, some mange can be contagious to humans, be sure you know what you are dealing with and take precautions.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Finn
Retriever
10 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Finn
Retriever
10 Years

Have been washing with flea and tick shampoo by Hartz. What is a good rinse to help ease discomfort, but still help kill the critters, I can probably make any mixtures if you know of a diy kind. Haven't seen any rinse at pet store.
I did find a spray on solution for hot spots. Is that good for this purpose?
How often should I wash and reapply the rinse or spray.I want to help him heal, but not sure how often to do this without making him irritated.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hi Djanae! A major concern with mange is the risk of secondary infection. Additionally, some types of mange can be contagious (even to you)! Because of this, I would see a veterinarian to get a definitive diagnosis for Finn. The vet will be able to prescribe the right treatment that will not only eliminate the mange but provide relief for the discomfort that you are rightly concerned about. The vet can also tell you what to use to clean your house to guard against reinfection. This should put you on the right track to Finn's recovery. Good luck!

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