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What is demodectic mange and how you can treat it

PetSmart Written by: Banfield, the Pet Hospital®

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Demodectic mange is caused by a microscopic insect, a mite, which lives under the skin around hair shafts. The mite can be present in small numbers on healthy pets and cause no problems. For several reasons, often including immune system suppression, individual Pets may develop symptoms of mange that include: hair loss, skin redness or swelling, occasionally itching, crusting and secondary bacterial infection in the affected area(s).

Demodectic mange often appears around the eyes, over the top of the skull, or on the feet. It is not considered to be contagious under normal circumstances.

Diagnosing it
Mange is diagnosed by a combination of symptoms, examination findings, and laboratory testing. An important skin test, a "skin scraping," is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Mites can be observed microscopically in the test sample.

How to treat it
There are several treatment options. A veterinary prescribed multi-treatment bath/dip product is commonly used product for the treatment of demodectic mange. It is highly effective in most cases. Rare side effects or reactions to demodex treatment are possible. Be sure to consult your vet or Banfield doctor. Several other treatments are available and may be used alone or in conjunction with a bath/dip. Multiple treatments are usually required to control mange. This is bath/dip product is best administered by the professionals at a veterinary hospital.

A small percentage of dogs may relapse and require repeated treatments. Due to hereditary predisposition, it is recommended that with generalized juvenile onset demodectic mange be spayed or neutered.

Important points
Complete all prescribed medications as prescribed by your veterinarian.

Additional skin testing by your veterinarian will be needed to confirm that the mites are gone.

Monitor your pet's progress carefully and have him/her rechecked as recommended by your veterinarian.

If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your vet or Banfield, The Pet Hospital today.
 

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