Dogs scratching is normal. Scratching is even associated with dogs in terms of characteristics. However, excessive scratching can be a sign of sarcoptic mange or Scabies. But unknown to many, Scabies is not a disease caused by bacteria or virus but rather a skin parasite called Sarcoptes Scabiei mite or called the burrowing mite. Since ancient times, Scabies have existed. They are highly contagious and not so easily removed.
- Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange life cycle
- What are the signs and symptoms of Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange?
- How is Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange transmitted to dogs?
- What is the treatment for Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange in dogs?
- How can Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange be prevented?
- Can Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange from dogs be transmitted to humans?
- Is dog scabies or Sarcoptic Mange transferrable to other pets or animals?
Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange life cycle
Sarcoptes scabies mites have a life cycle of no more than around 21 to 25 days. It starts when an adult female mite burrows into the skin and lays eggs. These eggs will hatch after five days. Once hatched, the eggs become a larva and goes into a molting process while still burrowed under the skin. It then became a nymph and later on an adult. Once a mite reaches its adult stage, it goes up into the skin and mates with a male Sarcoptes scabies mite. The female Sarcoptes scabies mite lays eggs by burrowing them into the skin.
What are the signs and symptoms of Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange?
Scabies mites are so tiny that they are hard to see without a magnifying glass. But other than looking into your dog’s skin up close using a magnifying glass, you can look out for the signs and symptoms of Scabies in your dogs below.
Dogs love to scratch. But if they have Scabies, they scratch almost all the time because they are irritated with the mites burrowing onto their skin.
Rash, red skin, inflammation, and wounds
Due to excessive scratching, you will see some red skin, rashes, and in some cases, inflammation. If your dog has rashes and wounds, consult a vet as soon as possible. It may be a sign of Scabies or other parasites.
Scabs and hair loss
Because of the wounds, you will see scabs on your dog. As the mites multiply, they will eventually spread if not treated immediately. Hair loss is also very common to dogs with Scabies. Most of the time, that part of the skin will also look dried and damaged. Sometimes, the skin will have pus in them because of wound infections.
Thickening of skin
Due to the damage done from wounds and scabs, you will also see dried and thick skin spots. The thickening of skin can spread if not treated correctly. Dogs with severe Scabies shed all their hair and in place are flaky, dense coat that even from afar looks scary and itchy.
Weight and appetite loss
Because of the stress the dog is experiencing, it will eventually lose its appetite and lose weight. And it could even lead to death if not treated.
How is Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange transmitted to dogs?
Your dog may get Scabies by having close contact with other dogs that have it. In addition, as Scabies are zoonotic (meaning it is transferrable to other animals), it is also possible that your dog has contact with other animals that has Scabies.
Aside from close contact, grooming tools and beddings are also culprits. Your dog can get infected if you use grooming tools that have Scabies. If you are going to a grooming center, make sure that the equipment they use is clean.
What is the treatment for Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange in dogs?
There are many treatments for Scabies nowadays, and all of them have a high percentage of success. You may consult your veterinarian for advice on how to treat Scabies in dogs. Aside from scabies treatment, your veterinarian may also provide medicine for itching, infection, and other related issues concerning Scabies.
Some treatment includes removing the dried, crusty skin through medicated shampoo and applying lime sulfur products into your dog skin. Please note that before using any products, it is best to consult your doctor first. Treatment could last up to 6 weeks, depending on how severe the case is.
How can Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange be prevented?
Many people believe that prevention is better than cure. And it is no different on this one. Proper grooming and hygiene are the keys to prevent Scabies in your dogs. Here are some tips to avoid it.
If you are going to use grooming tools, you need to sanitize them first. E.g., Blades should be sprayed or wiped with tissues with alcohol. Always clean combs with soap and water before and after use.
If you have multiple pets at home, make sure that each pet has its beddings. Then, make sure to wash them and replace them with a new one often. It is best to remove your dog’s beddings and other belongings and replace them with a new one if diagnosed with Scabies. Then, destroy the old ones to make sure all Scabies are gone. You may also wash the beddings with hot water and bleach if you want to destroy them.
Can Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange from dogs be transmitted to humans?
Scabies is zoonotic and is highly transferrable from animal to person. And humans will get infected with the parasites by close contact with the dog that has it.
Clean the area where your dog hangs out most of the time. If possible, isolate the dog until fully healed. If not, do not let your dog sit on furniture or beds you are also using until the treatment is still in progress. Next, treat the whole house and backyard with anti-parasite products. Finally, wash all beddings with soap and bleach. Use gloves while you are cleansing or treating your dog. That way, you will not get in contact with mites. Destroy the used gloves after use.
Is dog Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange transferrable to other pets or animals?
Yes, Scabies is very contagious, and it would be best to have other pets checked if one has Scabies. Scabies is transferrable from one animal to another, and other pets may have Scabies already. Treatment of Scabies may differ depending on the species of other pets you have at home. As their genetic makeup is different, one treatment may be suitable for dogs but not recommended for cats.