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How Do I Get Rid Of My Dog's Mange?

puppy with mange

If you notice your dog scratching themselves uncontrollably you might think it's allergies, or fleas, but another possibility is that your pup has mange. Dog mange is a parasitic skin disease caused by mites that can affect both dogs and cats. is a very common skin disease that both dogs and cats can both suffer from.

There are several types of canine mange - sarcoptic and demodectic, with demodectic being the most common. Although both dogs and cats can get mange, dog mange does not typically pass to cats as cats have a different type of mange called feline scabies which comes from the sarcoptic mites called Notoedres cati mites. 

Both cat scabies and dog mange is extremely itchy, causing dry skin and the hair loss. While this disease looks very severe and painful when you earn how to spot the symptoms and understand the causes of dog mange, you can learn to get rid of your dog’s mange and restore them back to health.

Types of Dog Mange

There are two main types of microscopic parasitic mites that cause mange: Demodex mites which live on the skin and hair follicle and cause Demodectic Mange or red mange are circular with eight short legs; and small circular white mites called Sarcoptes scabiei which live just under the skin's surface and cause Sarcoptic mange. Sarcoptic mange is not as common, but it is more dangerous.

Demodectic mites are most often present on the puppy's fur at birth as this form of mange is passed on from the mother to their young, but these mites do not always harm the dog. As demodectic mange affects dogs with a weak immune system, puppies and senior dogs are most at risk. There is little danger of a healthy dog getting mange from exposure to the mites. Demodectic mange is not spread from dogs to humans.

Sarcoptic mange, on the other hand is extremely contagious and can even pass from animals to people. Similarly to demodectic mange, dogs with a compromised immune system are more likely to get scabies. The mites live and mate on the dog, feeding off the skin which can cause allergic reactions, itching, bumps on the skin, rash, hair loss and scabs.

How Do Dogs Catch Mange?

As mentioned above, demodectic mange is a disease that most dogs are born with but it only really affects dogs when the immunity is low, such as in young pups and dogs suffering from underlying health conditions. It is not contagious, aside from transmission at birth, and cannot be transmitted to other healthy dogs or humans.


Demodectic mites live on the skin of both animals and humans and typically don't cause any harm. However, when the host animal has a suppressed immune system, the mites that live on the dog's skin overgrow at the hair follicle causing itching and mange. This is why it is important to boost the immune system of puppies, sick and older dogs.

Mites that cause sarcoptic mange typically move from infected animal to a healthy one through direct contact. These mites are often found in areas inhabited by foxes as well as places where lots of dogs gather together such as doggy day cares, kennels, dog parks, and shelters. 


Sad Dog

Scabies is a very dangerous disease as it affects people if these mites pass from animal to human.

Although mange is most often found on the chest, back, and around the ears, the mites tend to spread all over the body. If the ear mites start at the ears they can cause start out as a dog ear infection but then spread from the ears down to the rest of the body.



Signs that a Dog has Mange


Symptoms of demodectic and sarcoptic dog mange are not exactly the same but both typically cause extreme itchiness, redness on the skin, and hair loss (alopecia). Dogs with mange may also shows signs of depression, decreased appetite, weight loss and lethargy.

Symptoms of Demodectic Mange in Dogs

Demodectic mange may be generalized and present all over the body or localized and focused in one place. In puppies the infection often starts around the face and head but can quickly spread to other parts of the body. The mites can also infect the ear canal causing ear infections and lesions around the ears.

Most puppies live with this type of mange without any symptoms. But in puppies with weakened immune systems, it starts to become a problem. Older dogs and those who have diabetes or cancer are also more likely to suffer from demodectic mange.

Here are some common signs and symptoms of demodectic mange:

  • Severe itching
  • Scab formation on skin and crusting of sores
  • Hairless patches of skin
  • Oily skin with bumps
  • Discolored or thickening skin
  • Bacterial infections that have an unpleasant odor

Dogs Symptoms of Sarcoptic Mange

Symptoms of sarcoptic mange may appear anywhere between 10 days and 8 weeks after exposure. The first signs may appear on the chest, stomach, and elbows and spread quickly if left untreated. The most common symptoms are:

  • Redness and rash on the skin
  • Extreme itchiness
  • Patches of hair loss
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Yellow crusting of the skin
  • Bacterial infections
  • Yeast infections
  • Inflammation of lymph nodes
  • Emaciated appearance

If you suspect that your dog has scabies they must immediately be isolated and kept away from other pets in the house. Begin treatment as soon as possible as delaying treatment can cause it to spread rapidly and become even more complicated.

How Doctors Diagnose Mange

Mange can be diagnosed by taking a scraping of the skin, or getting a hair sample and examining it under the microscope. Some mites can also be found through fecal testing. Demodectic mange is more common and symptoms are slower to be seen on the body while scabies is suspected when the symptoms come on suddenly.

Dog scratching its ear with back leg

Start treatment as soon as possible with BestLife4Pets Mange Relief, and try one of the solutions suggested below for immediate topical relief. 

Treating Dog Sarcoptic Mange (Scabies)

One of the first things in the treatment of scabies in dogs is to keep the dog isolated to avoid the spread of the infection. Second the weakened immune system needs to be supported, and any other skin infections, compromising diseases and health issues have to be addressed.

Depending on the severity of the mange, treatment can takes from a few days to several months before the skin begins to heal. Monitor your dog closely to watch for signs of improvement. Once the treatment starts working the itching and redness should decrease, and your dog will feel more at ease and will be able to get some rest. 

A dog may need different treatment options to eliminate the disease completely.

Woman kissing horse

Natural Remedies to Treat Dog Mange At Home

Here are some ways to manage mange at home:

Apple Cider Vinegar

One cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup of warm water can be applied with a sponge onto the dog's coat, making sure to avoid the mouth and eyes.

Allow the solution to air dry without using a towel. You can put the solution in a spray bottle and use it for local applications as well. Adding some diluted apple cider vinegar to the dog's meal or water is also effective as apple cider vinegar has antiseptic properties and creates an optimum pH level in the body.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax

A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and borax may be applied to the dog's body to treat mange. This is a very popular method of getting rid of mange mites and healing skin sores, outlined in this article.

A typical recipe uses 3 tablespoons of borax, 4 cups of warm water, and 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to completely dissolve the borax in the water. You can apply this mixture by slowly pouring or sponging it over your dog’s body after a shampoo and rinse, avoiding the eyes and mouth, then letting them air dry afterwards. The dog should be prevented from licking off the mixture, as borax can be dangerous if they ingest it.

Natural Homeopathic Mange Treatment

Treating your dog's scabies or skin issues with BestLife4Pets Mange Relief for Dogs is the perfect natural alternative to harsh medication that may only eliminate mites without holistically treating your pup's skin and fur. Our homeopathic formula contains only plants and minerals, so there are no side effects or adverse reactions like those seen in mainstream veterinary practice - just relief from pain so your fur baby can feel better in no time.  

Powerful ingredients such as: 

  • Manganum Aceticum helps in the treatment of skin conditions that cause ulcerations and pustules on the skin as well as thickening of the skin similar to eczema; 
  • Mezerium helps to manage intolerable itching and burning, as well as relieving inflamed skin; 
  • Psorinum also helps reduce itching and eczema behind the ears, as well as relieving sores and crusty eruptions on the skin; 
  • while Bovista and Cicuta both help to restore the thick crusty skin back to normal.

Together, these remedies combine to help relieve symptoms while also making the dog's body unfavorable to the host mites causing them to leave.


Honey has excellent antiseptic and anti-oxidant properties, which can help to heal and treat the sores caused by my mange mites. Honey can directly be applied to the sores for a soothing effect and can also cleanse the skin of bacteria and dirt.


Olive Oil

Olive oil may help to soothe the itchiness of the skin caused by sores and rashes. Simply apply a thin layer over the red or itchy spots, and it can kill some mites and replenish the skin’s moisture, leading to less scratching and pain.

Untreated Mange

If mange goes untreated for a long time, the rashes and sores spread across the entire body.

They eventually start crusting and begin to ooze. They can cause swollen lymph nodes and thickening and wrinkling of the skin. Such dogs can become emaciated and extremely sick, which can become a life-threatening condition for the dog. 

However, if you catch your pup or senior dog itching and get them treated soon enough, your furry friend will soon be pain-free and back to normal.

Child with cat

The Bottom Line

It is also imperative to rid the environment of mites in order to prevent reinfestation or spread of the mites, as they are very contagious to  other pets as well as humans.  Mites love to hide in carpet and upholstery.  Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth sprinkled into fabrics, and left for at least a day to kill the mites, then dry vacuuming, followed by steam cleaning (the heat is needed to kill any who may survive the diatomaceous earth treatment) is recommended as a step in cleansing the indoor environment. Diatomaceous earth is also highly effective in outdoor places a pet frequently relaxes. 

Scabies or mange is a fairly common disease in dogs, and can make an infected dog extremely uncomfortable or may even interfere with their daily routine and eating habits. It can easily be noticed because it causes intense itchiness, rashes, and loss of hair in patches. The faster this disease is diagnosed, the more successful its treatment will be.

Nowadays, there are many different treatment options available. Some people choose to use natural remedies while others buy baths, dips, and shampoos specifically made to treat mange mites.  Whichever remedy you use,  pay attention to your dog and do your best to reduce their symptoms, so they many be happy and healthy again in no time.

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