How do Dogs Get Mange?
The onset of mange and dogs begins with mites. Tiny mites burrow themselves in the skin of the dog, where they live off the nutrients that the dog provides. The mites lie on the skin of the dog and lay eggs, reproduce and begin to multiply. The mites multiply at a very fast rate. The continued activity on the dog causes major itching and results in the dog scratching so much that he suffers from bald spots, infection, redness and hair loss.The two most contagious types of manage are cheyletiella and sarcoptic. These are spread from one dog to another or to another animal. Sarcoptic mange is life threatening and very serious because it can spread to all areas of the dog’s body. The mites cannot be seen by the eye, they are totally microscopic.
The cheyletiella type of mites is visible to the eye because they are much larger. Dogs do not have to come in contact with another dog that has the mange to get the mange. If either of these two types of mange is present anywhere, a dog that has any type of contact with an item or bedding that has the mange can become infected with the mange. Dogs that get infected with the mange should be kept away from any other type of animal until they are seen by a vet and treated. Both of these types of mange are very contagious, and they can affect humans as well as other animals.
A little less worrisome is the demodectic mites that cause mange. This type of mange occurs when a mother dog passes the mites along to her puppies. The mites thrive on the hair follicles of the puppy and are “part” of the puppy. In most cases, these mites can live on the dog without engendering many symptoms. In some conditions, such as a comprised immune system, the mites can cause a lot of stress, scratching and significant amount of hair loss. Dogs with this type of mange do not necessarily need separating from other humans and animals because it is not considered contagious.Proper hygiene for your dog is needed to prevent mange. Everyone who owns a dog should provide it with clean bedding, keep their vaccinations up-to-date, initiate worming and flea prevention on a consistent basis and always have the female spayed so that birthing and pregnancy do not add stress to the dog.
If you do suspect that your dog might have the mange, you should visit your veterinarian to have a diagnosis and treatment plan initiated as soon as possible.