Mange in the dog (scabies): types, symptoms and care

A disease not to be underestimated regarding our dogs is scabies, also called scabies: let’s see what it is.
Scabies in dogs is certainly one of the most known and feared diseases of the dog world. It is not an excessively dangerous or deadly disease, but it can be very troublesome and should not be taken under the skin.

What is it exactly? An enormous irritation of the skin. Let’s go into more detail. First, a note related to the name of the disease: you can often hear scabies called scabies.

This pathology of the dermis affects different animal species, fundamentally different from what happens between dogs. If it is not maintained properly, it can also cause serious damage to our four-legged friends. We said it was a skin infection or a dermatological disease. Who are the evil creators of this “plague”? Mites Wanting to use the term more scholarly and scientific, we could talk about ectoparasites.

The latter is hidden in the animal’s hair, then reaches the epidermis directly. Once they reach the dog’s skin layer, they begin to “gnaw” at it: they feast on the sebum and keratin present on the epidermal layer of our furry friend and – if they are not embarrassed – they get multiply like a stain of oil.

If you try to imagine this scene, we can tell you that under the microscope, the situation is this: there are these “little spiders” (mites) that normally live in our ecosystem and that, when they “stick” to an animal, literally start to eat. And that’s when the itching happens.

But take a step back: how do mites end up on the “battlefield” (or maybe it would be better to say “at the restaurant”)? In this article, we will try to give an overview of canine scabies, its modes of action and dissemination, as well as contagion and care. As always with regard to our platform, we would like to point out that our indications can not be considered on an equal footing with the official instructions of the veterinarian (to whom we always recommend and in any case to contact you) .

Returning to the analysis of this annoying pathology, we continue to say that Scab / Scabies is widespread around the world. Generally, it is transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, but it can also affect only by the touch of objects affected by the patient.

Eat in the dog: types

We have said that the “vectors” of the disease are these microscopic ectoparasites better known as mites. However, it should be noted that there are different types of scabies, as there are slightly different types of mites. What are the most common types of scabies?

Basically, there are five: there is the demodectic (also called “red”, hereditary and demodecis) which can in turn be divided into three subcategories (localized podermatitis, generalized or demodeptic). Next is sarcoptic mange, perhaps the most common in all dogs: very fast in its diffusion, resistant to environmental factors and easily contagious even for human beings.

There is also a type of mange specifically related to the dog’s ears: scabies or mange. In this, you will see only the “white dots” that move in the ears of our four-legged friend. As for the ears, there is a specific mange for the nasal cavities: it is called “Pneumonyssoides caninum”. Even scabies cheyletiella involves those “white granules” that walk on the skin of the animal even though this is more common in cats.

Scabies is often transmitted directly at the time of delivery and breastfeeding: the infected mother passes it on to the puppies. Beyond this case, scabies is more commonly transmitted by contact between different specimens. Obviously, a weak immune system will be fertile ground for mites.

But several factors can “contribute to the invasion”: poor animal hygiene, environmental living conditions or the diet of our furry friend. In general, there are certain dog breeds genetically more prone to contract this dermatological pathology: bulldog, pointer, shar pei, terrier, beagle, dalshien, dachshund, doberman and boxer.

Scabies in dogs (scabies): symptoms and treatment

In general, these are fairly obvious “gestures”: redness of the skin, itching and burning, rashes and scales (in the absence of wounds or real wounds), dry and smelly skin, loss of appetite, weight and hair.


How to treat dog scabies? First, maintain a good level of general hygiene: this concerns both our dog and our house (or any environment where the animal “lives” like a house). In practice, a monthly bath is really a panacea, especially if quality products are also used to lather our furry friend.

Then, it is good to carry out with some regularity disinfestations and vaccinations by our trusted veterinarian. If you have more animals taken care of, you must be careful to divide the “objects” of the two so that you do not continue to infect each other.

Last but not least, in order of importance: treat with care the feeding of our dog. A balanced diet improves the entire immune system! (Raw food in this way is particularly suitable: vegetables and herbs, but not only.Also suitable: kyolic garlic, cat’s claw extract and olive oil extract).

We all agree that prevention is better than cure, okay, but what to do in case of infection? Contact your veterinarian immediately. In medicine, it will almost certainly prescribe oral, topical or injectable acaricides. The most popular are ivermectin, selamectin or moxidectin.

Obviously, anti-inflammatory analgesic drugs will also be included. Some home remedies that can not replace the veterinarian’s intervention but can temporarily relieve the suffering of the animal (by spreading extracts or ointments on the most infected parts) are, for example, chamomile, oats, lemon or yoghurt.
Always remember that even the effect and sweetness shown to your friend – even if they do not solve the situation – will certainly be comforting.