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 Demodectic Mange

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PostSubject: Demodectic Mange   Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:35 am

Often referred to as Red Mange, Demodectic mange (canine demodecosis) is caused by the mite Demodex canis.

Although the majority of dogs have this mite some who have impaired immune systems are susceptible to having this mite reproduce in a way that their immune system can not effectively keep the mite in check. This weakened immune system seems to often be a genetic trait passed on by the parents that often can be linked back to inbreeding practices.

There are three primary forms:

Localized:

This form will often go away on it's own. This is typically characterized by a well defined red scaly lesion and hair loss most often occurring on the face and forelegs. Although treatment may be given to this type it is often advised that it not be done so as to be able to determine the level of the immune system in the animal and to be able to make a determination as to whether or not it will become generalized.

If treated this determination can not be arrived at accurately.

Generalized:

This is typical of a dog who has a genetically weak immune system. This is characterized by enlarged lymph nodes, red scaly lesions and hair loss that spreads over the entire body. This weakened immune system is often a trait inherited from genetically weak parents and can cause issues for the pet the entirety of its life. Any pet determined to have this form should be spay/neutered.

Any pregnant animal who has been determined to have this condition should be spayed after recovery from birth. It is important not to treat this animal until it is fully recovered as this period in their life is stressful and added stress can cause treatment of the condition to be much more difficult and have a lower rate of success.

After birth it is imperative that the babies be IMMEDIATELY removed and not allowed contact with the infected mother. Hand raising these babies will be necessary to help in the prevention of infection to them. Because of the hereditary component of this type of red mange and the care involved with hand raising the babies, those affected do not make good breeding candidates and such attempts should never be undertaken.

Demodectic Pododermatitis:

This is where the mange has confined itself to the paws. In many cases this mange must be determined through biopsy and is often accompanied by bacterial infections.

Treatment is typically undertaken by a vet and can be quite costly. The drug Amitraz (Mitaban) is often used and can cause bad reactions for people who are exposed to the treatment and are taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors (such as Prozac). Because of this both those treating the animal and those who have exposure to the treated animal should be aware of possible health risks to themselves. This type of treatment should also never be used on any toy breeds or young puppies.

Other treatments do exist but vary in their effectiveness and reviewed by your treating veterinarian.

In old times people would attempt to treat this condition with motor oil. THIS IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT. IT WILL NOT WORK. In addition to it not working trying this will put your pet at great risk since it is likely that they will lick much of it off and cause sever kidney and liver damage in many cases leading to death. That which is not licked off can absorb through the skin and cause severe blood pressure drops and lead to death as well.

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