Every now and again we all have an itch we have to scratch. Your pets do the same. If you see them having a good scratch it’s most likely just a random itch or a tickle. However, if they are constantly scratching or biting the same area and seem to be in discomfort it may be something serious.
Mange is an unpleasant skin disease caused by several different species of tiny mites that burrow beneath the skin. There are a variety of mites that can cause the disease, but only a handful of them affect your pets. There are two common types of Mange
Sarcoptic Mange – (also known as canine scabies) is an extremely itchy skin disease that is common in dogs. The mite burrows into the skin to lay eggs and the spread of the mites can cause irritation and inflammation. As the dog continues to scratch or bite it can injure itself causing lesions and cuts to appear. It is very common in foxes and they are the commonest source of infection in dogs in the UK. Mange is highly infectious to other dogs and to humans
Demodectic Mange – This is a common variety of Mange most often seen in young dogs. The mite lives and feeds in the hair follicles and oil glands of the skin. In most cases dogs with this form of Mange will only get a few isolated patches on their body. The most common signs of Demodectic Mange are hair loss, a greasy or damp look, and red crusty skin. Itchiness develops once the skin becomes infected due to the mange
Many people try over the counter remedies to treat their pet at home. However, some of these will not work as they may have been formulated for a particular type of Mange and without knowing what form your pet has you cannot guarantee results.
If you suspect your pet may have Mange it is important to let your vet take a look and diagnose which form of Mange it has as each variation may require a different treatment. The vet will perform a physical examination and will take a look at a skin sample under the microscope. It can be difficult to identify Mange mites if they are burrowed deep under the skin so the vet may rely on clinical signs and the pet’s history.
Remember, if your pet starts scratching it’s probably not down to Mange. In the majority of cases they probably have a tickle or a general itch. However, if you think your pet may have Mange, contact us at the clinic for more information. If you have any questions regarding this subject or any other questions you may have please leave a message on our Facebook page and one of our team will get back to you asap.