Maximus wrote:Pitbulliest, mange is an infestation of microscopic dermal mites. The two main culprits are sarcoptic mange mites and demodectic mange mites, and they manifest and are treated very differently.
Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious between dogs (like fleas) and causes terrible itching/scabbing/scaliness. Sarcoptic mites can also affect humans, though our folicles aren't ideal for their life-cycles, so they can't sustain and reproduce. It's highly treatable, though, and if you use something like Revolution for heartworm prevention, chances are your dog's protected against it.
Demodectic mange (or demodex) is trickier. Demodectic mites are present in all dogs, but dogs with healthy immune systems can keep them in check, so to speak, so it's not really considered contagious. So if a dog's immune system is compromised (or not fully developed, which is why it's much more common in younger dogs), the mites wreak havoc. Sometimes it's very localized (it showed up as a nickel-sized bald circle on my Chico's face), and sometimes it can be very generalized, causing hair loss on very large portions of the body. It's tricky because you have to deal with the infestation and the underlying problem (a weak immune system) at the same time. And, though localized demodex is pretty common in pups, if it gets bad enough it could be an indication of a life-long problem.
*Clears throat and steps down from podium*
jcd410, if your pup's demodex (it is demodex, right?) is localized, I'd be very wary of doing a dip right away. What you need to do is kick-start your puppy's immune system (salmon oil is very good for this). And if he's itching a lot, there could be a secondary infection that may need to be treated with antibiotics. How much hair loss has there been?
Like I said, Chico had demodex a few months ago, and it showed up as a small, round bald spot on his face. The vet gave me Goodwinol, a topical ointment for it, which I used for about a week. Then I just watched him carefully. It went away on its own. Maybe Jessa will see this and join in the conversation. I know she's been dealing off and on with a much more difficult case with Baloo.
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