Can Dogs Get Mange?

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Mange is a skin disease caused by mites on the skin. These parasitic mites can cause skin problems for humans and dogs, as well as other animals. They are usually a result of poor hygiene. Every species has skin mites living on their skin. But when allowed to grow and feed continuously, these parasites can cause mange. This horrible skin condition is painful and itchy. It is also highly contagious. If mange is not treated, the body can become covered in welts, scabs, and infection. This condition is sometimes seen in people who do not have access to showers or a clean environment. If your dog is exposed to a human or another animal with mange, you might wonder if your dog is at risk.

Can Dogs Get Mange?

YES!

Because these mites can thrive on many different species, mange can be found on dogs as well. If your dog is exposed to a human with mange or to another dog with mange, these mites can pass to your dog. Some mites are specific to dogs and some are specific to humans, however, they can cross from dogs to humans and from humans to dogs. If mange mites from a human pass to your dog, it might not last as long or be as miserable as mange from other dogs.

Does My Dog Have Mange?

Dogs with mange will have dry and itchy skin. As mange progresses, this dry skin may flake off like dandruff. Your dog may also have sores and scabs on their skin. Your dog may also be experiencing hair loss on those areas of itchy skin. Mange can cause bacterial skin infections which can make oozing sores on your dog’s skin. These sores can also put off a bad smell. Most dogs who have mange suffer from immune deficiencies as well, so if your dog is healthy and exposed to mange, there is always a chance your dog won’t suffer from the symptoms of mange. Healthy dogs exposed to mange can sometimes incorporate the mites causing mange onto the population of mites already living on their skin.

If you think your dog has mange, you can read more about skin parasites and then contact your veterinarian for treatment.

How Do I Treat My Dog’s Mange?

Mange can be treated with a veterinarian-approved shampoo or a sulfur dip, but your dog may also need antibiotics depending on the type of mites he has and how severe the mange is. You will also need to treat your dog’s bedding, toys, collars, combs or brushes, and the areas where your dog sleeps or plays such as the carpet in your home. Disinfecting these areas will help rid your home and the dog’s spaces of the mites which cause mange. If your dog’s mange is more severe, your veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic and potentially a skin cream or ointment to help with pain and discomfort and skin lesion healing. If you have other pets in your home, you may need to treat them with a sulfur dip or mite shampoo bath to rid their skin of any problem causing mites. Keep your other pets away from the infected dog, if possible, to keep contagious mange from spreading.

Read and learn more about mites and chat with an in-house veterinarian.

How is Mange Similar in Dogs and Humans?

Any animal with skin can carry skin mites. Some of these mites will live their life out on the skin of animals without causing problems. Others cause the itchy red skin and other problems over time. Mange in people is usually called scabies, but it is caused by mites on a human's skin. Each species typically carry a different mite unique to that species. No matter the animal, mites multiply on the skin and burrow under the skin causing mange or scabies. This condition can cause problems other than dry and itchy skin. Scabs, lesions, tender skin, and possibly infection can also occur as a result of mange or scabies.

How is Mange Different in Dogs and Humans?

Mites from other animals can find their way onto the skin of your dog or even yourself. These mites might cause the same itchy red skin, but many mites are not able to live for long on the skin of a different animal. These mites are usually unable to reproduce on the skin of a different species, so though they will be uncomfortable, the condition won’t last long enough to cause serious issues. Mites specific to dogs won’t cause the same troubles on cats or humans as they do on dogs.

Case Study

A puppy was adopted from a shelter. After she was home with her new family and their current dog, her hair began falling out, and she was scratching incessantly. Upon a trip to the veterinarian, the new owners learned the puppy had skin mites and mange common in puppies under the age of eighteen months. The owner was able to treat both the puppy and the older dog with a sulfur dip and two shampoo treatments. Within two weeks, the puppy’s skin was healthy and normal.