Mange in dogs is a situation you don’t want to experience. Mange in dogs can spiral out of control quickly without the proper treatment, and it’s a problem you cannot deal with if you don’t know where to start. Your dog’s health and wellbeing should be of the utmost importance to you, and that means noticing skin issues with your dog quickly so you can have them treated efficiently. Mange itself cannot kill your dog, but your dog’s health can deteriorate and fail if you do not treat mange quickly.

The problem with this condition is many people are unaware of what to do when mange appears. It’s not uncommon for pet owners to assume their dog has a rash or some other skin issue that will clear up over the course of a few days. It’s not until they notice the skin issues becoming more of a concern that they tend to call the vet and ask what to do. The trick to treating mange is to prevent it. These tips and tricks can help you avoid mange in dogs, so you aren’t left wondering what to do and how to keep your dog healthy.

What Is Mange?

sick dog lying


Mange is a skin issue that can affect your dog. It’s caused by mites that are so small they are parasitic. They make themselves at home on your dog’s skin and live there comfortably. While these small mites feel comfortable at home on your dog’s skin, your dog feels uncomfortable. This discomfort turns to pain as the mange gets worse. There are five types of mites that cause mange in dogs. You must know what you’re dealing with, how to avoid these types of mites, and what you can do to ensure your dog’s good health. These five different mites can cause different variations of mange.

Demodex Canis Mites

When these mites are present on your dog’s skin, it’s called demodectic mange. This type of mange is unlike the rest because it doesn’t itch. This kind of mange in dogs is common as they live in the sebaceous glands. The dog’s body is accustomed to their presence and your dog’s immune system works to keep the population under control so that infection does not occur. If your dog has a weakened immune system, these mites can cause itching and problems.

Sarcoptes Scabiei Canis Mites

These are the mites you want to watch for as they cause canine scabies. They are exceptionally contagious, and they cause serious itching. What makes this kind of mite more dangerous is that they are contagious to people as well. You can catch these mites from your dogs and suffer from this particular type of scabies, which is spread through direct contact.

Otodectes Cynotis Mites

These are ear mites that are more common in cats than dogs, but they can infect dogs. This kind of mange in dogs is not as common, but it’s painful in their ears and it must be treated. They can find their way deep into the inner ear, and they also live on and around the flaps of the ears. If you have a cat and your cat has this type of mite, your dog might also find itself infected.

Trombiculid Mites

Canine mange is less common when it’s caused by these mites, which are sometimes referred to as chiggers. They live in old vegetation that is almost dead, and they appear to look like small spiders you almost cannot see. They can infect your dogs by attaching to their skin, laying their larvae, and sucking their blood before eventually falling off.

Cheyletiella Yasguri Mites

If you’ve heard of walking dandruff in dogs, this is what causes it. These mites are contagious, and they cause very noticeable scales on your dog’s skin. It doesn’t always itch, but some dogs do scratch while others do not. This is another type of mite that can not only cause mange in dogs but also infect the people who live with dogs as well.

What Causes Mange in Dogs?

veterinarian checking dog


Mange in dogs is most commonly caused by direct contact or some type of exposure to another dog who has mange. All mites that cause mange in dogs are quick and able to move from dog to dog in a matter of seconds. It takes just one mite to lay eggs or larvae on the skin of a dog to create an infestation that can take weeks to get rid of. Here are some of the most common places dogs pick up mange from other animals:

  • Kennels
  • Dog parks
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Groomers
  • Animal shelters
  • Visits with other dogs in their home or yard

Once your dog is exposed to mange from another dog, it can take anywhere from two weeks to six weeks before you notice mange has set in. This is because it takes a while for the host animal to exhibit signs as eggs are laid and the population grows on or in their skin.

Preventing Mange in Dogs

collie on the couch


The easiest way to manage mange in dogs is to prevent it from occurring. Mange is not something you want to deal with, so prevention methods are the best possible way to handle mange in dogs. Older dogs are more prone to lasting effects from mange that can alter their health. Young dogs who experience mange are more likely to make a full recovery with no side effects, but prevention can save the life of an older dog or a dog with a compromised immune system.

Avoid Contact with Infested Dogs

The best way to avoid mange in dogs is to prevent your dog from spending any time or coming into contact with infected dogs. This means keeping your dog close to home and not putting your dog in the kennel when you travel. It means not allowing your dog to play with other dogs at the dog park. It means fencing in your yard to prevent other animals from entering to play with your dog even if your dog is trained not to cross the fence and go into the street or another yard.Do not take your dog to visit other dogs. Leave it at home. Unfortunately, you never know which dogs are infected. A clean, healthy dog you know lives in a clean, well-kept home might have come into contact with mange when it played with another dog at the vet or the kennel. It’s always better to be safe, and this is one way to prevent your dog from becoming infected with mites that might alter the course of its health.

Keep Your Dog Healthy and Sanitary

One way to prevent mange is to keep your dog healthy and sanitary. This involves keeping your home and yard clean, and it involves making sure your dog is bathed regularly. Try feeding your dog a healthy diet to ensure his or her immune system is strong, and you can help prevent mange in dogs by raising a healthy dog without any health issues.

Look for Signs of Mange

The only way to prevent mange is to keep your dog away from other animals and to stay away from other animals yourself. However, you can also prevent mange from becoming worse by taking note of the signs of mange as they occur. If you know which signs to look for, you are more likely to catch mange early and treat it before it becomes a more serious issue. Some signs to look for include:

  • Hair loss
  • Bald spots
  • Scabbing
  • Sores
  • Itching
  • Discomfort
  • Red skin
  • Frequent scratching

If you notice your dog is scratching anywhere on its body more than usual or that the scratching seems furious and doesn’t stop, it might be a sign your dog has mange. It’s one of the earliest signs, so you should take heed and call your vet right away.

Treat Mange

If you cannot prevent mange, you can treat it quickly. Call the vet and let home or her check out what’s going on with your dog. It takes seeing the dog and diagnosing the mange to figure out which type of mange is present. Your vet will then devise a treatment plan for you to use, and you must follow through completely with this plan. Your dog’s mange might not go away or might come back if you don’t follow-up with your vet.


portrait happy young man with his dog


Mange in dogs is not uncommon, but it’s not so common your dog is guaranteed to get it at any point in its life. If your dog is well fed, well treated, and kept close to home, the chances of it catching mange from another animal are slim. If your dog is allowed to roam, plays with neighborhood dogs, or is known to get out and run off for hours or days at a time, there is a higher chance your dog might contract mange from another animal. It’s up to you to ensure your dog does not catch mange by keeping it clean, healthy, and away from other animals. It’s easier to prevent than it is to treat, and it’s important to remember that it may be possible to spread certain forms of mange to humans.