Mites and Demodectic Mange

As a dog owner it is important for you to stay informed on topics that concern your dog. One of the things you should stay informed about is health issues and illnesses that can affect your dog. Recognizing the symptoms is a big part of this. If you can recognize the symptoms of serious illnesses you can catch them before the dog has suffered a lot, or the illness can cause permanent damage.

One illness that is important to know about is mites. The mite is a very small parasite that can not be seen by the naked eye. There are two different types of mites that can be causing your dog problems. Demodex canis mite, and sarcoptes scabei mite are the two types, and both can cause serious problems if left untreated, which is why early detection is important.

The demodex canis mite causes a skin disorder called demodectic mange. This mite is elongated, and has eight legs, and is thought to occur naturally in all dogs. The mite is carried around on the dog’s hair follicles, and puppies often get them from the mother. Demodectic Mange is also called red mange, and occurs when the mites start their intense period of propagation. The mange comes in two forms, the localized, and the generalized.

Localized demodectic mange is most common in the dogs first year. This mange is categorized as localized because it generally is only in certain areas of the dogs body. The infection affects small areas usually around the face, eyes, and forelegs, and is recognized by bald patches.

A consult with your vet is a good idea, even though the problem usually clears on its own without the use of medication. This mite disorder is easily confused with the symptoms of ringworm. Either skin irritation could mean a weak immune system in the puppy, and once again a visit with the vet is a good idea.

Generalized demodectic mange is a mite disorder that affects dogs at any age, from puppy on up. Unlike localized mange, generalized mange affects the whole body. The mites spread over the whole body, and can cause serious and life threatening problems.

Signs to look for are bald patches across the whole body, which can easily get infected, and form pus. Consulting your vet as soon as possible so that treatment can be started will help prevent more serious problems from occurring.

Early detection is important to ensure the health of your dog. If you are unsure what is wrong with your dog a visit to the vet is the best thing you can do, as your vet will know what is wrong, and how to treat it. Medication may be needed in order for your dog to make a full recovery.

(c) Kelly Marshall, Oh My Dog Supplies

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