The sarcoptic scabies are a specific mite that will burrow itself into the skin of your dog. You may recognize the term “mange” which is more familiar to some. The mites transfer from one dog to another. Although the life cycle is only 21 days, your dog can be very uncomfortable during that time.
Signs and Symptoms
You will notice crusty areas on the skin as well as red bumps. These usually appear initially on the ears, face, elbows and ankles.
Diagnosis of Scabies
Skin scrapings may be done by your veterinarian after reviewing your dog’s history. There are other tests that can be done, but initially a lime-sulfer dip may be ordered. This can be done at home.
Initially, noticing that your dog has unrelenting itchiness can be a sign of sarcoptic scabies. Beginning treatment with a medicated shampoo may be and should be your first line of defense. The constant scratching can cause additional irritation. Soothing the itch may be a temporary treatment, but finding the cause of the itch and the irritated areas will be the only true effective treatment.
A lime-sulfur dip is the safest form of treatment. Dermisil is an over the counter dip that should be administered every 5 days. The condition should clear up in that time. A medicated shampoo should also be used. This would be an anti-acaricidal shampoo. There are also homeopathic shampoos which use herbs that may be helpful for your dog.
Your veterinarian may also order antihistamines to help with the itch. Some over the counter antihistamines can also help. One such antihistamine is benadryl. If you calculate one to three milligrams per pound of dog, with your vet’s approval, it should ease the itch.
If the case is so severe that it has spread over your dog’s body, there is a possibility that your veterinarian will prescribe glucocorticoid therapy. Moxidectin selamectin, or ivermectin may be ordered as the medications necessary to help your pet. The medications used for this can have side effects and you may just proceed with a short course to see if your dog can tolerate the medication.
Normally treatment will continue for at least 4 weeks. It is not unusual for the condition to last for several months.
As another avenue, you may choose to cut the hair around the affected areas and apply one of the antibiotic ointments to prevent infection.
In the event that your dog will be in contact with other dogs, such as being boarded or even visiting the veterinarian, you may want to spray your dog with a mite spray beforehand. It is also extremely important to keep your pets area clean. Bedding should be washed and vacuumed regularly. If your dog has a bed, one with cedar chips and a removable cover is recommended.
Cedar is a natural deterrent to mites and other insects including Dog Fleas. You should also spray any other furnishings in your home that the dog may have been on for any period of time. This is especially true if you have more than one dog in your household.