Mange is a skin disease caused by parasitic mites. Common signs you will notice are hair loss, scaly or scabby skin, and red or irritated skin.
There are two common types:
Demodectic mange: Caused by Demodex mites that usually live in the hair follicles but cause a problem due to weakened immune system or other skin diseases.
Sarcoptic mange (Scabies): Caused by non-resident Sarcoptic mites compared to Demodex. They burrow into your dog’s skin where they cause a problem.
It is important to note that both types of mites can be transmitted to human (zoonotic) and while Demodex mites won’t cause any health problem, Sarcoptic mites cause significant problems. Hence the need to treat mange in dogs early.
There are home remedies that can be used to treat mange, but they are only effective for a localized lesion with no secondary bacterial or fungal infection.
HOME REMEDIES FOR MANGE IN DOGS:
- Olive oil: The oil is helpful in re-moisturizing the dog’s skin and reducing itching. It can also help to suffocate the mites. This is effective for minor and localized mange. In generalized or widespread mange, it is not cost-effective and it will mess up your home as the dog moves around.
- Yoghurt: Plain unsweetened yoghurt is safe for dogs and its effect of smothering the mites on your dog’s skin and moisturizing it makes it a good remedy for mange. You can rub it on the affected area till you see improvement.
- Honey: The thick nature of the honey can help kill the mites on your dog’s skin and its antifungal and antibacterial properties help to prevent secondary infection. It is the safest home remedy to manage mange but not without a limitation. It is best used for localized mange lesions because too much honey on your dog’s body makes the body sticky with dirt and debris adhering to the body.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: The acidity of the Vinegar is suggested to be the mechanism of killing mites on a dog’s body. Topical application has more success than oral usage but there is no record of the success of this therapy.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera extracts helps to calm the skin while reducing irritation and itchiness caused by mites. The antibacterial property of the extract also helps to prevent secondary infection. The extract should be applied to the affected area daily till the mange resolves. However, you need to prevent your dog from ingesting or licking the extract because it is toxic and can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and even muscle tremors. Hence, an Elizabethan collar will be needed during this period to prevent ingestion.
Mange can be mild to severe in dogs and can spread from a localized lesion to widespread infection in a short time. If your dog is not responding to any of the home remedies, please see your veterinarian immediately. Furthermore, placing your dogs on good vitamins and cod liver oil supplements helps to strengthen their skin immunity and prevent mange.