Animal Health
October 1, 2004
Canine mange (sarcoptic and demodectic)

Dogs of all ages are prone to the development of dermatological problems, which may vary in origin.

In my over two years of practice, the skin problems of most of the dogs I have seen were a result of parasitic mites (sarcoptic canis and demodectic canis). {{more}}

There are basically two types of mange. Mainly sarcoptic and demodectic mange, both of which are different in their clinical manifestation (signs).

Based on signs, we may clearly differentiate between these two diseases. In cases of sarcoptic mange, the dog shows intense scratching and chewing of the skin. This is a result of a hypersensitive reaction in the skin of the animal caused by saliva that is produced by the mites. Whereas in cases of demodectic mange, the mites are found in the skin follicle and do not produce any hypersensitive reaction and for this reason there is no pruritus (scratching or chewing of the skin).

Both diseases cause an extensive hair loss in different areas of the animal’s body. The hair loss in demodectic mange are mainly seen as isolated patches in the face or on the forelegs while in sarcoptic mange the hair loss occurs in the head, around the ears, muzzle, thorax and tail.

In next week’s article we will deal with the prevention and control of canine mange.