Dog Scabies - Treatment & Prevention

Dog Scabies - Treatment & Prevention

Author WDF Staff


Dog scabies, also known as sarcoptic mange, is a serious health concern affecting all dogs. This state is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei mites that will enter the dog's skin and cause discomfort for the dog. This parasite will cause itching for your dog, and as a result, your dog could experience scabs and loss of hair.

Good for all dog owners, this disease is not that common in dogs, but you should know how to recognize one in case some similar symptoms start to bother your dog. Here is all you should know about dog scabies.

How can my dog get scabies?

These parasites will spread with direct contact with another infected dog and grooming accessories. Because of that, there is a high probability that your dog could get infected at dog parks, daycares, or grooming saloons.

The good news is that mites will not live long in the environment, but nevertheless, your dog could get infected if he gets close to the infested eggs. If this is left untreated, your dog will develop a mange. Mange is a severe skin condition that is highly contagious.

Scabies on dogs

This type of mange is very contagious. The first symptoms can be noticed as early as 10 days after contact with an infected dog. Even the owners need to be careful when they are handling infected dogs.

dog scratching

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This type of disease develops because female mites burry into the dog's skin, where they lay eggs. After the eggs hatch, they start feeding on their host's skin. This infection needs to be treated immediately, and if left untreated, it can spread rapidly.

How to spot scabies in dogs?

Sarcoptic mange, or canine scabies, as it is often called, will start to develop anywhere from 10 days to 8 weeks after contact with a dog already carrying this parasite. The first symptoms will most likely be mild and will be located in the ears, chest, elbows, and belly. If the owner of the infected dog doesn't react immediately, the parasites will likely spread and cause a bad infection.

Some of the symptoms of sarcoptic mange in dogs are:

  • Incredible itchiness
  • Thick yellow crusting of the skin
  • Rash and inflammation of the skin
  • Loss of hair and deteriorating coat
  • Subsequent infections (bacterial and yeast)

In the most extreme cases;

  • Skin gets thickened and hard.
  • Lymph nodes will get seriously inflamed as the body fights the infection
  • Emaciation

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How to treat scabies in dogs?

Sarcoptic mange treatment in dogs is pretty similar in both cases. The most important thing is that you don't try to solve the infection yourself; remember that these parasites can spread quickly. A mild case can become severe in a matter of days.

The treatments will include three steps;

  1. Cutting the dog's coat
  2. Baths to heal and soften the skin
  3. The vet will prescribe steroids to control inflammation and antibiotics for bacterial infections that open wounds might have caused. Steroids will help with itching control, and if you follow the vet's steps, your dog will get rid of these parasites in weeks.

dog scratching

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Can your dog infect you?

Although many diseases are not transmissible to humans, this is not the case with scabies. Your dog could easily infect you, especially if you sleep in the same bed. For humans, this parasite can cause itching or rashes, but this will only last for a few days.

If your dog is diagnosed with scabies, you should be careful around him and not allow him to transmit this parasite.

Is there any way to prevent this from happening?

Yes, of course. Your dog should have all the necessary flea and tick protection. By doing so, you can be sure that no parasite will infect your dog.

Also, if you take your dog to the grooming salon, make sure that you choose the right one, where they care extra about cleaning and everything that goes with it. Since grooming salons are one of the places where your dog could get scabies if the saloon isn't correctly clean, it's worth researching.

World Dog Finder team

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