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Does the word “scabies” get your skin crawling? It should! Scabies are rotten little mites that burrow into your skin to feed off of your blood and lay sometimes thousands of eggs inside your dermis! Truly the stuff of nightmares. To make matters worse, the evil little parasites cause a horrendous itch - so bad that you may be unable to sleep. They can easily travel from person to person, and will sometimes hang out on bedding and other fabrics, waiting for their next host. If you come down with a case of scabies, is your canine compadre at risk? Let's find out!
Can Dogs Get Scabies From Humans?
Dogs can get scabies from humans. But there is a catch: human scabies can't reproduce on a dog host. This means that a dog will not become infested with human scabies mites, although they may get a small rash. The bugs will die off on their own, unable to complete their cycle of life. That being said, there is a dog-specific form of scabies that you've likely already heard of - mange! It can cause a really big problem in your beloved pup, leading to terrible skin irritation a even a full blown infection.
Does My Dog Have Scabies?
When your dog starts to scratch more than normal, often a little bug is the cause. Scabies are too small for the human eye to see, so you'll need some veterinary help to diagnose the problem.
Mange makes dogs terribly itchy. You may notice your dog is missing patches of hair from all of the scratching, and the skin in these places is quite red and inflamed. Sores may form, bleed, and then crust over. Too many sores can lead to a whole body infection!
Contact with another dog who has scabies, or mange, is the most common reason that your dog would become infested. A human with scabies may cause a dog to have a very small outbreak. Dogs with weakened immune systems are at higher risk than healthy pups.
To confirm a case of scabies, your vet will likely take a blood sample, a skin scraping, and a fecal sample for examination. Once the sample is magnified, the mites should be easy to see.
If you'd like to brush up on your scabies knowledge, head on over to Scabies in Dogs.
How Do I Treat My Dog's Scabies?
It's no fun learning that your four-legged friend has a parasite. To rid them of these pests, a vet can offer treatments to get rid of the itch once and for all.
Special shampoos, medications, injections or a combination of all three may be used to get rid of scabies in your dog. You'll probably have to apply the treatment multiple times for it to work. If your dog got scabies from you or some other person, no treatment is necessary. All of the mites will die in a week or so.
You'll need to stay on top of things to get rid of mange. All of your pooch's blankets and bedding will need to be washed in bleach. If you have any other dogs, start treating them as well. Try to keep your dog contained until the infection is gone.
If you'd like to get advice from a vet and hear stories from people who've actually dealt with these mini-villains, check out this article: Scabies in Dogs.
How Is Scabies Similar in Dogs and Humans?
Mites cause some of the same symptoms in all of the creatures they infest. Signs to watch for on you or your pup include:
Secondary bacterial infections
How is Scabies Different in Dogs and Humans?
Dogs react a bit differently to scabies than their owners do. Some of these differences are:
Dogs bite at their skin when it itches, people usually do not
Hair loss is way more obvious on those with fur
Humans usually get mites where clothing covers their skin, but dogs seem to get them everywhere
Using a few different treatment methods at once offers the most success when getting rid of mites. One poor pupper was diagnosed with a bad case of mange. His vet acted fast and prescribed special cream, medication, and a topical spray all designed to eradicate scabies. The owners also made sure that their fur-baby had the best possible food during this rigorous regime, as strong medications can strip the body of its good bacteria and other important nutrients. By attacking the mites on multiple levels, they were able to kill off all of the mange on their boy, for which he was extremely thankful.
Scabies in dogs can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your dog is at risk of getting scabies, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!