Mange

The most common types of manges are: Demodectic mange or "red mange," and Sarcoptic mange or "scabies." Demodectic mange caused by demodectic mange mites is mainly a problem in dogs. Demodectic mange mites are microscopic, cigar-shaped, and not highly contagious. However, a dam may pass the mites to her puppies. Dogs suffering from demodectic mange usually do not scratch. Localized demodectic mange tends to appear in young dogs as patches of scaliness and redness around the eyes and mouth and, perhaps, the legs and trunk. Unlike other types of mange, demodectic mange may signal an underlying medical condition, and your pet's overall health should be carefully evaluated. Less commonly, young and old dogs experience a generalized form of demodectic mange and can exhibit widespread patches of redness, hair loss, and scaliness. Your veterinarian will discuss treatment options with you. Treatment of dogs with localized demodectic mange generally results in favorable outcome. Generalized demodectic mange, however, may be difficult to treat, and treatment may only control the condition, rather than cure it. Microscopic sarcoptic mange mites cause sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies. Sarcoptic mange mites affect dogs of all ages, during any time of the year. Sarcoptic mange mites are highly contagious to other dogs and may be passed by close contact with infested animals, bedding, or grooming tools. 

Sarcoptic mange mites burrow through the top layer of the dog's skin and cause intense itching. Clinical signs include generalized hair loss, a skin rash, and crusting. Skin infections may develop secondary to the intense irritation. This type of mange is contagious to people as well as to other dogs. People who come in close contact with an affected dog may develop a rash and should see their physician. 

Dogs with sarcoptic mange require medication to kill the mites and additional treatment to soothe the skin and resolve related infections. Cleaning and treatment of the dog's environment can be beneficial. It should be remembered that mange is more serious than a simple skin irritation or abrasion or a source of discomfort to your dog. Both of these manges are serious skin diseases that can lead to complications such as severe skin infections. Veterinarians usually treat mange by clipping, medicated baths or sprays, as well as oral medication or injections. If you think your dog or cat is showing any of these signs, please contact your veterinarian immediately.