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Mites: All About Demodetic Mange

Mites are very tiny parasites that can only be detected by means of a microscope.  There are two common types of mites that can produce skin and hair problems on your dogs: the demodex canis mite and the sarcoptes scabei mite.  Both types of mites can lead to serious problems and will require immediate treatment from your vet.

The first common type of mite; the demodex canis mite, causes a skin disorder called Demodectic Mange.  The demodex canis mite is an elongated eight-legged parasite that is commonly believed to occur naturally in all dogs.  Dogs carry around these mites that are living in their hair follicles.  Puppies also often acquire these mites from their mother.

Demodectic mange (also known as red mange) usually results when the mites begin their intense period of propagation.  Demodectic mange (from the demodex canis mite) is categorized in two forms: localized or generalized.

Localized Demodectic mange: Usually affects dogs during their first year of life.  The term localized is used because the mites that are responsible for causing the infection are only confined to specific areas of your dog’s body.

You can tell that your dog has localized Demodectic mange if you notice small bald patches on his face, his forelegs, and around his eyes.  Although this type of mite problem usually goes away by itself and without any medical help, it is still ideal to consult the situation with your vet. 

The symptom of this mite disorder is very similar to the symptom of ringworm and it is very easy for most people to get confused between the two skin problems.  In addition, if your puppy experiences an outbreak of Demodectic mange, it is possible that he has a weak immune system and therefore should be seen by a vet.

Generalized Demodectic mange:  This type of mite disorder affects both puppies and dogs and can occur at any age.  The term generalized is used because in this case, mites spread all over your dog’s body.  This can lead to a more serious and sometimes life threatening problem to your dog.

The sign that your dog is suffering from this type of mite disorder is a rapid growth and widespread of bald patches throughout his coat.  The patches soon become infected with pus formation.

Immediately consult your vet as soon as you notice the symptom of this mite problem.  A skin soaping will reveal the occurrence of generalized Demodectic mange.  Your vet will then prescribe anti mite treatment and antibiotics.  

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Mites: All About Demodetic Mange


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