MangeYour dog is losing hair and scratching, chewing or licking the balding area.  Does your canine pal have a flea problem, allergy, or infection or has Fido somehow contracted mange?

True mange is caused by skin mites and comes in two varieties. The less serious type, which is known as Demodectic mange, involves skin mites crawling into and living in a pet’s hair follicles.  This condition is typically seen in puppies or immune-suppressed animals and is localized to a small area, such as a spot on the leg or around the eyes. Sometimes, though it can be generalized and cover most or all of an animal’s body. This form of mange is not contagious.

The second, more serious type is called Sarcoptic mange and can be passed between animals and to humans as well. It can be just at the ear tips causing uncomfortably itchy scales or it can be all over a dog’s body. The mites that cause Sarcoptic mange live directly on the skin or just under the skin cells, which makes it difficult to diagnose the disease.  Sometimes vets have to make an educated guess and do a trial mange treatment if Fido doesn’t respond to allergy therapies.

Treatments for either kind of mange usually involve some form of topical medicine designed to eliminate the mites and/or any secondary irritation and infection. Sometimes, a veterinarian will also use injections or pills to help with the healing process.  The approach will vary from dog to dog and will depend upon such factors as the severity of the disease and the overall health of the afflicted animal.

If the hair loss and irritation don’t clear up on their own, you need to make an appointment at Austin Pet and Bird Clinic. Our veterinarians will give your dog a thorough checkup and run any necessary tests to determine what’s eating Fido. The sooner your canine pal gets seen, the better. Let us help your pet today!