how to get rid of mange on dogs


Mange is a skin condition caused by parasitic mites that can affect dogs of all ages and breeds. It manifests in different forms, with demodectic and sarcoptic mange being the most common types. Mange mites burrow into the dog’s skin, leading to intense itching, hair loss, and skin irritation. Prompt treatment is essential to alleviate discomfort and prevent secondary infections.

Understanding Mange in Dogs

What is Mange? Mange is caused by microscopic mites that infest a dog’s skin and hair follicles. The two primary types of mange in dogs are:

  • Demodectic Mange: Caused by Demodex mites, which are naturally present in small numbers on most dogs. However, when a dog’s immune system is compromised or immature, these mites can multiply uncontrollably, leading to demodectic mange.
  • Sarcoptic Mange: Also known as scabies, this type of mange is highly contagious and caused by Sarcoptes scabiei mites. Sarcoptic mange spreads rapidly through direct contact, causing severe itching and discomfort.

Causes of Mange Several factors contribute to the development of mange in dogs:

  • Weak Immune System: Dogs with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to mange mites.
  • Stress and Poor Nutrition: Stress, malnutrition, and underlying health conditions can weaken a dog’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to mange.
  • Environmental Factors: Overcrowded living conditions, poor hygiene, and exposure to infested animals can increase the risk of mange transmission.

Symptoms of Mange Identifying mange symptoms early is crucial for effective treatment:

  • Intense Itching: Dogs with mange experience persistent itching, often leading to excessive scratching, biting, and licking of the affected areas.
  • Hair Loss: Mange causes patchy hair loss, typically starting around the face, ears, elbows, and paws.
  • Skin Redness and Irritation: Infested skin may appear red, inflamed, or crusty, with possible secondary bacterial infections.
  • Scaly or Crusty Skin: As mange progresses, the skin may develop scales or crusts, indicating severe infestation and skin damage.

Diagnosing Mange in Dogs

Recognizing Mange Symptoms If you suspect your dog has mange, it’s essential to seek veterinary care promptly. Veterinarians can diagnose mange through:

  • Physical Examination: A thorough examination of the dog’s skin, fur, and overall health to identify signs of mange.
  • Skin Scraping: Collecting skin samples for microscopic examination to detect mites or their eggs.
  • Biopsy: In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm the type and severity of mange.

Types of Mange in Dogs

Demodectic Mange Demodectic mange typically affects young dogs or those with weakened immune systems. It may present as localized (affecting specific areas) or generalized (affecting large areas of the body) demodectic mange.

Sarcoptic Mange Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious and characterized by intense itching and skin irritation. It spreads rapidly through direct contact with infested animals or contaminated environments.

Home Remedies for Mange in Dogs

Natural Treatments for Mange Many dog owners prefer to use natural remedies to alleviate mild mange symptoms or complement veterinary treatments:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Diluted apple cider vinegar can help soothe irritated skin and create an unfavorable environment for mites.
  • Coconut Oil: Applied topically, coconut oil moisturizes the skin and may have mild antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe vera gel can provide relief from itching and inflammation caused by mange.

Important Considerations: While natural remedies can provide symptomatic relief, they may not eradicate mange mites entirely. Severe cases of mange require veterinary intervention for effective treatment and management.

Step-by-Step Guide to Treating Mange at Home

Using Home Remedies Safely When using home remedies to treat mange in dogs, follow these steps:

  • Consult Your Veterinarian: Before starting any treatment, consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Clean and Disinfect: Keep your dog’s living environment clean and disinfected to prevent reinfestation.
  • Monitor Symptoms: Regularly monitor your dog’s symptoms and skin condition. If symptoms worsen or do not improve, seek veterinary care promptly.

Medicated Treatments for Mange

Veterinary Options For moderate to severe cases of mange, veterinarians may recommend medicated treatments:

  • Topical Treatments: Medicated shampoos, dips, or sprays containing miticidal ingredients can kill mites and reduce skin inflammation.
  • Oral Medications: Systemic medications such as ivermectin or milbemycin oxime are effective against mange mites throughout the dog’s body.
  • Injectable Treatments: In severe cases, injectable medications like doramectin or moxidectin may be administered by a veterinarian.

Treatment Duration: Treatment duration depends on the severity of mange and the dog’s response to therapy. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions for the prescribed duration to ensure complete eradication of mites.

Preventing Mange in Dogs

Maintaining Good Hygiene Preventing mange involves proactive measures to reduce your dog’s exposure to mites and other parasites:

  • Regular Grooming: Brush your dog’s coat regularly to remove dirt, debris, and loose fur. This reduces the risk of mites burrowing into the skin.
  • Clean Living Environment: Wash your dog’s bedding frequently and vacuum carpets and upholstery to eliminate potential mite habitats.
  • Avoid Contact with Infested Animals: Minimize your dog’s exposure to infested animals or environments where mange mites may be present.


  • Can Humans Get Mange from Dogs? While sarcoptic mange is zoonotic and can be transmitted to humans through close contact with infested dogs, demodectic mange is not contagious to humans or other animals.
  • Is Mange Curable in Dogs? Yes, mange in dogs is curable with proper veterinary care and treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the chances of a successful recovery and minimize the risk of complications.


Mange is a treatable condition in dogs, but early detection and appropriate treatment are essential for a positive outcome. Whether using natural remedies or seeking veterinary care, addressing mange promptly improves your dog’s comfort and overall well-being. Consult your veterinarian for personalized advice and treatment options tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

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