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Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
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Canine Mange - Sarcoptic


Mange is an inflammatory skin disease caused by mites. The two mange mites that cause skin disease are:

  1. Demodex: most common and live in the root of the hair
  2. Sarcoptes: live under the skin

There are similarities between the two, but also significant differences.

Sarcoptic mange is very contagious to people and other dogs. Therefore, scabies is very common in shelters and places where many dogs are living together.

A mite infection on humans will go away on its own but is very itchy while it lasts.


The mites lay eggs under the skin, where they hatch.


The mites usually burrow under the skin around the ears, elbows, abdomen, and chest but spread to the entire body.

Signs include:


To properly diagnose your dog with sarcoptic mange, your veterinarian may perform the following:

It is common that sarcoptic mange mites will not show up on a skin scraping because the mites go deep into the skin. Therefore, your veterinarian may treat your dog for sarcoptic mange and see if it responds to the treatment.


There are different treatments available, and your pet may need a combination. Recommended treatments for your dog's condition may include:


Most cases of mange are the result of malnutrition or a weakened immune system. Give your dog supplements, especially those containing omega fats, to strengthen its immune system.

To prevent re-infection:


There is an excellent prognosis with the proper treatment.

Medically Reviewed by Sara Ochoa, DVM

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