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Dog Mange

Parasites and Rabies are not the only things that your dog has to be protected against. Dog mange ranks right up there with one of the worst diseases for dogs to endure. Mange is basically a chronic disease of the skin that appears in mammals of all shapes and sizes. Your first of many questions is most likely, how can my dog get infected with mange?

First off, mange is a highly contagious disease that breaks down into three types. The three types of dog mange are as follows: Demodectic, Cheyletiella and Sarcoptic. Dog mange is essentially caused by varying types of eight-legged creatures, known as mites.

One type of dog mange, Demodectic, is caused by a microscopic organism known as the Demodex mite. It is usually found in puppies and is known to cause hair loss around the legs, eyes and mouth. This could disappear on its own or it could have to be treated. A more severe case of this type of dog mange will result in a large loss of hair and hard, oozing skin sores. Interestingly, if your dog happens to be infected with this type, once it is eliminated, most dogs develop a natural immunity against future infections.

The lesser of the three evils, Cheyletiella mange is cause by a reddish colored microscopic mite. I will say this form of dog mange is milder because it is comparable to dandruff in humans. Note that it will appear in spots around the dog’s body such as the head, back or neck.

Finally, you have your Sarcoptic mange. This might be more recognizable when referred to as scabies. Some common symptoms of scabies are intense biting or scratching, crusty ears, oozing skin and hair loss. Beware if you identify any of these signs because this particular type is contagious to other animals and humans. Fortunately, it can be treated with medication and dips. However, spots of hair loss may take months to regroup and regenerate itself.

As usual, your best measure of prevention is regular check ups with your veterinarian. Bathing your animal and paying close attention to his skin on a regular basis will ensure early recognition of any problem he may have or be in the process of developing. It is important to pay attention to these signs and symptoms because you don’t want this spread to your family and throughout the neighborhood. Dog mange is uncomfortable for any pet and should be treated as soon as signs appear.

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