Scabies in dogs - Symptoms, treatment and contagion

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Mange in dogs is a Skin illness caused by various types of mites, which can have serious consequences if not treated properly. Generally, it is given by direct contagion with another affected animal or with objects that have been in contact with it. Although there are several types of mange that dogs can suffer, the most common in them are democecic mange and sarcoptic mange. These mites are found all over the planet and can affect many animal species. Therefore, it is not surprising that dog guardians, or future guardians, are interested in this common skin condition.

Excessive itching, hairless patches, rash, inflammation of the skin and skin scales are some of the main signs of mange in dogs. As soon as we detect them in our dog, we will have to go to the vet to diagnose what type of scabies it is and treat it as soon as possible. For more information, keep reading this AnimalWised article and discover how to know if your dog has mange, all the symptoms, how it is spread and the treatments.

You may also be interested in: Scabies in cats - Symptoms, treatment and contagion Index
  1. Types of mange in dogs and the parasites that produce them
  2. Ways of contagion of mange in dogs
  3. Symptoms of mange in dogs
  4. Treatment for mange in dogs
  5. How to prevent mange in dogs?
  6. Home remedies for mange in dogs
  7. Is mange in dogs spread to humans??
  8. Videos of mange in dogs

Types of mange in dogs and the parasites that produce them

Scabies is a dermatological infection caused by ectoparasites, specifically by mites. Depending on the type of mite that causes this pathology, we will have one type of canine scabies or another and, therefore, a specific treatment. When our dog is infested by these mites, they lodge in their skin and fur. They quickly begin to feed on skin, sebum and keratin, proliferating at high speed. Due to this infestation in the skin, the dog suffers a great itch that causes him to scratch and rub against almost everything until he injures himself. Early detection of symptoms is very important for the final result, since this way we will avoid contagion to other pets and the severity of the particular case..

Mites are microscopic ectoparasites, like small spiders, found in animals and plants as part of a normal ecosystem. There are many different types and each type can cause different diseases and problems in some animals..
Like we have already said, There are different types of mange that affect dogs, caused by different types of mites and its treatment is more or less easy depending on the origin and moment of the process in which we start it and the cures. We must bear in mind that scabies is perfectly treatable, although very annoying and cumbersome for those who suffer from it, but if proper treatment is not carried out, infections and secondary diseases can occur and even death of the animal.

Next, we present a classification of the types of mange in dogs more common:

Demodectic mange

It is one of the most common scabies in dogs. It is also known as red scabies, demodectic scabies or demodicosis and is produced by the mite Demodex canis. This mite lives normally on the skin of our dog, but when the defenses are lowered a lot, this mite reproduces uncontrollably and develops the disease. It occurs very frequently in dogs with depressed immune systems, that is, with very low defenses. In addition, another of the most common forms in which this type of scabies appears is during childbirth; when the mother gives birth she passes it on to the cubs. Sometimes if it is very mild, the problem can be resolved only with a recovery of the animal's defenses based on providing it with a good diet. There are several types of demodectic mange:

  • Localized demodectic scabies: usually occurs mainly on the head, especially on the face and ears. This localized mange is most common in puppies under one year of age and will usually go away on its own after a short time. The first symptoms are hair loss around the eyes and mouth. If it occurs in other parts of the body, bald spots will appear on the legs, feet and back and can reach three centimeters in diameter.
  • Generalized demodectic scabies: This level of demodectic mange can begin to be seen when there are five or more bald spots on the affected dog's body. In addition, large completely hairless areas can occur.
  • Demodectic pododermatitis: it is the most resistant form of demodectic scabies, difficult to diagnose and treat. It appears only on the legs and always carries bacterial infections, which give off an unpleasant odor..

Sarcoptic mange

Is the most common mange in dogs, even more so than demodectic, and in fact it is also known as canine mange. The mite that produces it is called Sarcoptes scabiei and, therefore, this type of scabies is also identified as scabies. This mite reproduces at high speed and it is not part of the environment of our dog's skin. Is highly contagious, its contagion occurs by contact and also can affect humans. Therefore, we must handle infested animals with latex gloves..

Symptoms usually begin to show a week after infection. This scabies is what more itchy rampant, which can lead us to mistakenly think at first that it is a flea infestation. The ideal is to detect it as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading and worsening, since then it will be more resistant to treatment.

Otodectic scabies

This scabies is produced by the mite Otodectes cynotis and it is more common in cats than dogs. It is spread by contact and affects the ears and ears of our pets. In addition to the usual clinical signs in mange, this ends up producing secondary otitis in the animal. These mites are visible inside the ear and if we look closely we see some moving white dots.

Cheyletiella scabies

It is also known as cheiletiellosis or walking dandruff. This scabies is produced by the mite Cheyletiella spp. Although it is more common in cats, it is highly contagious between dogs and especially puppies. It can be transmitted to humans producing a red, patchy rash.

Scabies pneumonyssoides

The responsible mite is called Pneumonyssoides caninum Y it occurs in the nose of dogs and other carnivores. It is not very common and usually does not cause serious symptoms. In case of massive infestations it can cause chronic sneezing, nosebleeds and nasal secretions. It is transmitted from one dog to another by contact of the nose.

Notohedral scabies

Plus common in cats that in dogs, this type of mange, called Notoedres cati, develops mainly on the affected animal's face and ears. As it expands and reproduces, it reaches other areas of the body.

Ways of contagion of mange in dogs

The main form of contagion is through direct contact with any dog ​​with mange or its objects, which may also be infested with mites. However, it is not the only one, and it is also common for dogs to become infected when they suffer a significant drop in defenses. In these cases, the common mites on the skin of dogs seize the opportunity and spread uncontrollably. Another way of contagion of scabies is during childbirth and lactation of puppies if the mother is infested.

If the animal is healthy and strong, the chances of contracting this pathology are lower, but we will see it present very frequently in already sick and malnourished individuals with low defenses. Contact can occur between dogs or with objects and places infested with mites where an animal with this parasitic disease has been..

¿How to avoid the spread of mange in dogs?

There are factors that make our pet more prone to scabies, for example lack of hygiene, an unhealthy environment, poor health that leads to low defenses, malnutrition, constant contact with many dogs outside, among others. For this reason, prevention involves ensuring optimal hygiene, an equally healthy environment, adequate nutrition and regular visits to the vet..

On the other hand, in the case of demodectic mange there is more propensity in short-haired specimens and in some breeds such as beagles, dalmatians, dachshunds, dobermans, boxers, English bulldogs, English pointers, shar pei and others. In these cases, hygiene measures must be even more strict, as well as regular visits to the specialist..

Symptoms of mange in dogs

To detect canine scabies we must look at several symptoms that occur which, luckily, are quite specific signs of this type of skin condition and immediately catch our attention. The most common symptoms of mange in dogs are:

  • Itching and burning of the skin.
  • Redness and inflammation of the skin.
  • Constant scratching.
  • Rubbed against objects and the ground for relief.
  • Stop eating (anorexia).
  • Great weight loss.
  • Hair loss and thinning with completely hairless areas.
  • Skin rashes (red spots).
  • Skin scales.
  • Wounds and sores on the skin.
  • Bad skin odor.
  • Dry, crusty and thick skin in the later stages of scabies.

If we detect some of these symptoms in our pet, we must act quickly to prevent the spread of the condition. Although we can alleviate symptoms of mange in dogs with some remedies that we will see later, it is vital that let's go to the vet and we follow the appropriate treatment for each type of scabies as indicated by the specialist.

Treatment for mange in dogs

Mange in dogs can be cured. Thus, if our dog has symptoms of scabies, we should go to the vet as soon as possible so that you can diagnose whether or not it is this pathology, and what type it is in order to offer us the best solution. The treatment to be followed will not only depend on the type of scabies that our dog suffers from, but will also depend on the breed and age, among other factors..

¿How to cure mange in dogs?

The treatment for mange in dogs that the specialist will prescribe can be composed, mainly, by a oral, topical, or injectable acaricide, usually with ivermectin, selamectin, moxidectin, and milbemycin oxime. In addition, it will provide us pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, some shampoo or powders for baths with soothing products for the skin, with acaricides and a more specific medicine for a secondary skin problem, such as a possible infection by bacteria (bactericidal or antibiotic) or fungi (fungicide).

In the case of ear scabies, the acaricidal medicine will be one of special topical use for the ears and we will administer it to our dog by putting a few drops in the ears and massaging it to penetrate. It will be vitally important that, whatever scabies it is, let's do the full treatment every day for the time indicated by the vet and we never finish it before, even if at first glance the dog seems to be cured.

If we withdraw the treatment early because it seems to us that the problem has passed, it is most likely that in a few days or weeks the scabies will reappear, since the few mites that may have remained will recover and proliferate again.

Injection for mange in dogs

Although it is true that there are injectable treatments to cure mange in dogs, it is not always the treatment of choice for veterinarians due to the side effects that they produce in certain dog breeds. Today, we have tablets and syrups that offer good results without being so aggressive for the dog's body. Nevertheless, the specialist will determine the best treatment depending on the type of canine mange and its severity.

How to prevent mange in dogs?

As they say, Prevention is better than cure and in this case it is no less. The most effective way to combat scabies in dogs is to prevent it, although we also know that this skin disease can be cured with the proper treatment and necessary care. It is a slow process that makes our pet suffer from extremely annoying symptoms.
To prevent mange in dogs we will follow the following guidelines:

  • We will maintain a good daily hygiene of our faithful friend, in addition to providing monthly baths with a suitable shampoo and daily brushing.
  • We will also maintain proper hygiene of your environment.
  • We will avoid his contact with animals that may be infected with scabies and, if we suspect that ours suffers from it, we will also avoid his contact with others so that he does not transmit it to others.
  • We will respect the schedule of veterinary reviews, external and internal deworming, and vaccination. This will give an early detection of the problem and will avoid infestations and diseases that can weaken our dog and make it more prone to contracting scabies..
  • It is very important to prevent the reappearance of scabies, which occurs very easily, to extend the treatment as long as possible and to go to the vet for several follow-ups until it is possible to confirm with great certainty that the problem has disappeared..
  • We will also treat all other animals that may have been in contact and we will disinfect all things such as blankets, beds, collars, feeders, drinkers, among more objects that have been in contact with the sick dog.
  • We will provide a adequate food and heal our dog so that he and his immune system are strong.
  • To avoid ear scabies we must provide a good ear care and hygiene to our pet.

Home remedies for mange in dogs

Reduce symptoms of scabies in dogs and accelerating the healing process is possible thanks to the use of natural remedies such as vegetable oils, medicinal plants such as chamomile or fruits such as lemon. There are no home remedies to cure scabies in dogs, but there are remedies to alleviate such annoying symptoms, which help our pet to overcome the process. Before proceeding with any of them, it will be advisable to consult with our trusted veterinarian to indicate which are the most appropriate remedies for our dog's case..

Below we see a series of home remedies for mange in dogs that help to complete the veterinary treatment:

Baths for dogs with mange

Baths are vital for treatment and to relieve itching disproportionate that our partner feels. We can bathe our mange-sick dog every week or two with a white, neutral and / or acaricidal soap prescribed by the vet, with warm water and very gently. We must let the soap act for a few minutes before rinsing it off, preventing the dog from licking it. We will have to use latex gloves whenever we handle our sick pet. We will never brush it, but gently massage its fur and skin with our hands. We must let it dry on its own or dry with a towel with gentle touches and we must never rub the skin with the towel.

Proper diet and vitamin supplements

A change for the better in the diet of our dog, together with vitamins, will help to regain strength to its immune system, being able to fight mites and helping to eradicate scabies..

Raw food

It is very good during the mange healing process for the dog to eat raw food such as vegetables and herbs. The most suitable are kyolic garlic, cat's claw, and olive oil extract. We will chop the vegetables very small to feed them more easily and provide this home remedy for mange in dogs.

Honey, the key to promoting the cure of scabies

It is something that may seem strange, but a lively dog ​​that feels loved and accompanied will be a happier dog and, therefore, it will be easier to heal than a sad and depressed dog.

Oils for mange in dogs

The olive oil It is one of the most effective natural remedies for mange in dogs, since it can help to weaken the mite deposits and eliminate the weak ones. In addition, you can combine lavender, almond and neem oils that will serve as a topical treatment and also weaken the mite nests. You can put it on the affected areas twice a day, always after bathing. With the oil we will prevent the skin from drying out more and we will hydrate it. We will never use motor oil, which has become quite popular for treating scabies and doesn't really help improve the skin and we run the risk of the dog getting seriously intoxicated if licked.


Some herbs and plants are very beneficial and can be applied as a home remedy for scabies in dogs mixed with oils or in food. These herbs are the neem, the cymbopogon and the niaoli, that due to its antiseptic, antibacterial and regenerative properties of the skin are ideal against canine scabies.

Garlic, antiseptic and healing

Garlic is a natural antiseptic very effective as well as healing. We can grind a couple of garlic cloves and mix them with olive oil and apply it directly to the affected areas. We can leave it to act overnight and in the morning we will remove it with a damp cloth with gentle touches.


It is a natural remedy for mange in dogs and a very effective repellent for insects. We will boil a few leaves in a liter of water and when the infusion is warm we will bathe our partner carefully. We should do it a couple of times a week.


The infusion of chamomile is very good to disinfect the areas affected by scabies. It will serve for clean wounds and it will greatly relieve skin irritations. We will apply this natural remedy for scabies in dogs about three times a week.

Oatmeal, ideal for relieving mange in dogs

Either with a oatmeal shampoo or with oatmeal mixed with water, we will apply it to the skin of our dog with gentle and circular massages in the affected areas. Let it act a little to calm the dog's skin and rinse it gently.


To use this natural remedy we will have to gently rub some lemon slices in the areas affected by scabies or with water with homemade lemon (we can leave some lemon slices in hot water overnight to use it in the morning). Using the lemon we will disinfect the skin of our dog.

Yogurt for healing

It is good to apply one or two tablespoons on the wounds to promote their healing. It is often used a lot on the ears, putting a thin layer that covers the skin well.

Is mange in dogs spread to humans??

If your dog suffers from scabies, it will be essential to exercise some caution when handling him until he receives the diagnosis, since some types of scabies are transmitted to the people. It is a zoonotic disease but, ¿what types of mange in dogs stick to humans?

  • Demodectic mange: DOES NOT spread to humans.
  • Sarcoptic mange: it DOES spread to humans.
  • Ear scabies: it DOES spread to humans.
  • Cheyletiella scabies: it DOES spread to humans.
  • Scabies pneumonyssoides: DOES NOT spread to humans.
  • Notohedral scabies. YES it infects humans.

Find out more about the transmission of scabies to humans on a HOW TO.

Videos of mange in dogs

In the following video, Alfonso Fernández, a veterinarian at the San José Clinic in Barcelona, ​​talks about the most common types of scabies in dogs, the parasites that produce it and the most common treatments for each of them. Likewise, images of these parasites and the symptoms they produce are shown..

This article is merely informative, at we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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