My Doggie is Itchy All of the Time. What is Going On?

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So you think your pup has mange? Learn the symptoms and the effects of this disease and get your pooch some help. In no time, he'll be back to his old self. Find out what you need to know and what you can do going forward to help him feel better in no time.

If your furry pal is insanely itchy and his skin is inflamed, he might have one of two types of mange: demodectic or sarcoptic.

Demodectic Mange
It’s caused by the mite species Demodex canis, which lives inside the hair follicles, and is usually the result of an underdeveloped or suppressed immune system.

There are three varieties of demodectic mange: localized, generalized and demodectic pododermatitis.

1. Localized demodectic mange affects just a few body parts, the most common being the face.

2. Generalized demodectic mange involves larger areas of skin or even the entire body.

3. Demodectic pododermatitis is confined to the foot and creates secondary bacterial infections between the toes and the pads of the feet.

Sarcoptic Mange
The Sarcoptes scabei mite causes sarcoptic mange, also known as canine scabies.

Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious and can infest not only dogs, but also other animals, including cats and people.

Symptoms of Mange
Demodectic mange causes tremendous itching in dogs thanks to secondary bacterial and yeast infections that are almost always present along with the mites.

There’s really no reason to isolate dogs with demodectic mange, because the condition is a result of a weakened immune system, and isn’t contagious.

Symptoms of sarcoptic mange tend to vary from dog to dog, but the most common are intense itching and hair loss. Sarcoptes scabei mites prefer areas of skin without hair, so the first place you might notice a problem on your dog could be elbows, armpits, ears, chest, belly or groin.

It’s important to treat a sarcoptic mange infection promptly to prevent it from spreading to your pet’s entire body.

Dogs with sarcoptic mange must be isolated to avoid infecting other animals or people. Bedding should be thoroughly cleaned or replaced, and the dog’s collar should also be disinfected.

Natural Treatments for Mange
Unfortunately, conventional treatment of both sarcoptic and demodectic mange often involves dipping your dog’s entire body in a powerful chemical pesticide that kills off the mites.

These dips can cause harmful side effects such as restlessness, tremors, vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite and a decrease in body temperature.

Other, less caustic treatments can include:

Lime sulfur dips, which are remarkably stinky, but all natural and very effective. This is an excellent, all natural-way to get rid of both types of mites without the use of chemicals.

Vitamins and other dietary supplements, including omega-3 fatty acids, coconut oil and probiotics, to help relieve itching
Disinfecting baths using tea tree or neem oil shampoo (it’s important to avoid soaps and shampoos containing oatmeal)

Once your dog has cleared the infection, it will be very important to strengthen and support her immune system so it can defend against parasitic infections in the future.

Once you know what's going on with your pooch, it'll be a lot easier to care for him and get him feeling better. Don't let your pooch stay in pain any longer!

For more on mange, visit Healthy Pets.

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