Sarcoptic Mange and its Itchy Symptoms
PetSmart Banfield, The Pet Hospital®
Sarcoptic mange or scabies is caused by a microscopic insect, a mite, which infects dogs, cats and other mammals, including people.
The insect burrows under the skin causing very intense itching. Pets are often so itchy they may chew, rub or lick at their skin until open wounds develop.
- Intense and constant itching
- Self-mutilation from chewing and
- Hair loss
- Skin redness or swelling crusting
- Secondary bacterial infection in the affected area
The infection can occur anywhere on the body, especially elbows, ear tips, face, hocks and chest.
Diagnosis is attempted by a combination of symptoms, examination findings and laboratory testing. An important skin test, a "skin scraping," can sometimes detect the parasite microscopically. However, this type of mange can be very difficult to confirm by laboratory testing.
There are several treatment options including medicated dips and injections. Rare side effects or reactions to treatment are possible and some can be breed specific. Be sure to consult your vet or Banfield doctor. Multiple treatments are usually required to control mange.
If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your Banfield hospital today.
If your pet is being treated for sarcoptic mange, follow these tips:
- Complete all prescribed medications by your veterinarian.
- Additional skin scrapings may be needed to confirm that the mites are gone.
- It is important to monitor your pet's progress carefully and have him/her rechecked as recommended by your veterinarian.