Your trusty guide to dog skin problems
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Source: Jennifer – Flickr

As you’ll probably learn by now, demodectic mange doesn’t discriminate between puppies and adult dogs. At all ages, the unmistakable signs of hair loss and reddish skin are almost always indicators of the skin problem.

It’s normal for anyone unfamiliar with mange to panic at the sight; after all, nobody wants to see their furkids suffering from a problem they know little about, do they?

But while it’s perfectly understandable to be concerned, some people can and do overreact to the presence of demodectic mange, and they try their very best to make it go away, sometimes to the detriment of their dogs. Theirs is a commendable reaction, no doubt, but what they probably don’t realize is that it could potentially harm their dogs more than it helps them, especially for young puppies.

Here’s a plausible scenario that could happen in reality:

A new family of dog owners have just discovered that their two puppies have demodectic mange. Being relatively young, they’ve only exhibited some bald spots and little else.

Because the family has never had a dog before (they’ve only ever had fish as pets), this gradual loss of fur promptly sets the alarm bells off in their minds. They quickly decide to rid the mange at all costs, just to get the dogs to look their pristine selves again.

Not long after that, they get a bottle of Mitaban (recommended by their friends with dogs of their own) and give it a go, pouring the substance on the puppies according to the instructions given by them.

A number of situations could result from this point onwards. The puppies may well show signs of recovery immediately after the first dipping, but it’s also possible that nothing will happen. No matter what the outcome is, however, the fact remains that the family has clearly overreacted in their zeal to cure the mange on their dogs. Because Mitaban is certainly not recommended for puppies in the first place.

In case you didn’t realize what Mitaban is, it’s a very potent chemical, marketed as a medical drug. The liquid substance is absorbed by the mites, before disabling their nervous systems and killing them. The problem with Mitaban however, is that it affects dogs in a similar manner. A potent enough dose could also disrupt the nervous systems of a fully-grown dog, much less a puppy.

That’s why many dog owners nowadays prefer not to rely on Mitaban as a mange treatment method, and also why it’s actively discouraged for use in puppies.

In a way, the scenario I’ve described above is admittedly far-fetched – who would willingly use a medicated dip on young dogs without reading up on its effects beforehand? But all the same, it does serve to highlight the extra care one should take when treating a very young dog, as they’re a lot more vulnerable than mature adults.

And you never know, maybe these things do happen from time to time. Truth is stranger than fiction, after all.

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  3. Use Nu-Stock To Treat Demodectic Mange At Home
  4. Mitaban for Demodectic Mange: Friend or Foe?
  5. Ivermectin Alternatives for Demodectic Mange

Source: Mckay Savage - Flickr

Most demodectic mange treatments are mainly focused on eradicating the demodex mites on the body, as well as boosting the dog’s immune system. These are proven ways of curing the skin problem and are the key to recovery, but they don’t actually speed up the healing process of the damaged skin.

Obviously, the fur will regrow and the skin repaired once the mange is taken care of, but how does one help it along instead of letting it be? There are many ways to go about it, ranging from topical medicines to natural herbs. In this post, however, we’ll be focusing on just one solution: tea.

Chamomile and Green Tea

Herbal teas like chamomile and green tea are well known for their numerous health benefits for humans, but they’re equally effective for dogs as well.

For the most part, they can be ingested without any problems, and they’re certainly good for the dog’s overall well-being. In fact, chamomile tea is great for curing stomach aches in general, as it can help to disperse excessive gas.

However, both chamomile and green tea are best used as topical treatments for the skin. Chamomile tea is known to possess antibacterial properties, and takes care of any yeast it comes into contact with. The benefits of green tea are also very similar to chamomile, and it has a proven record of speeding up the skin’s healing process, which is the real reason why it can and should be used concurrently with other mange treatment methods.

How To Treat Damaged Skin With Tea

Creating and applying the remedy is an excessively simple task.

The first thing you need to do is to get a sachet of either green tea or chamomile tea, and place it in a cup.

Next, steep it in hot water, as though you were preparing a cup of it to drink. Obviously, there’s no need for sugar or the addition of anything else, here.

Let the tea cool down naturally until room temperature, then pour or gently apply the liquid onto the affected areas. That’s it!

Frequency

Because green and chamomile tea is essentially harmless, there’s no harm in applying it daily. The only thing you’ll need to be mindful of is to not let the applications interfere with any other mange treatments that are administered topically (i.e. applied on the affected areas as well). This could cause some dilution of the mange treatment to occur, so I would recommend applying each remedy once the other has dried off.

Other Side Benefits of Chamomile and Green Tea

Apart from the obvious benefit of enhancing the healing of the skin, the herbal teas can also help in disinfecting the area, preventing any secondary infections from occurring. It’s also a great tool for soothing irritated skin, and leaves a pleasant scent afterwards too.

In fact, the use of chamomile and green tea is also encouraged when dealing with skin problems other than mange, simply because it’s very effective at solving simple skin problems.

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Source: Johnny Jet, Flickr

The canine version of demodectic mange is primarily caused by an overpopulation of demodex mites on a dog’s body. The activities of these mites on the body aggravate the skin, causing widespread hair loss and red sores to appear, both of which are symptoms of the mange.

There are numerous ways to treat the skin problem. Often, vets will recommend established drugs like Ivermectin or Mitaban to dog owners looking for a solution. These methods work by applying the chemicals indirectly onto the mites, poisoning and killing them instantly.

But while Ivermectin and Mitaban are widely cited as ‘demodectic mange cures’, it doesn’t mean that they should be used exclusively. In fact, there have been many cases of dog owners just using one method of treatment and hoping for a miracle, which usually results in an even worse case of mange and a steadily increasing medical bill. The point is, one shouldn’t just rely on any one treatment method to be successful.

So what other things can a dog owner do to get rid of their dog’s demodectic mange?

To be honest, there’s a whole slew of ideas about great home remedies for the skin problem floating about the internet, but for now, I’m just going to focus on the simplest one of all: medicated shampoos.

Everyone knows what shampoos are for – they’re used to clean ourselves and make us feel and smell good. It’s the same deal for dogs, too. Shampoo is always needed when you give your dog a bath. It helps clean up the body, and it also washes off the gunk and excess oil. This usually has the pleasant side effect of removing that ‘dog smell’ they get when it’s been a while since their last bath.

Shampoos and baths have another purpose as well: to get rid of parasites on the body. And I’m sure you know by now just what kind of parasites deserves to be washed out of that forest of fur…

The simple fact of the matter is that mites don’t stick to the body like glue. On the contrary, they are highly mobile organisms that can evacuate a host in seconds, so it doesn’t really take much to dislodge them.

There is one problem, however. One of the favorite hangouts of demodex mites is inside the hair follicles, which is a snug fit and a very safe place to hide in. Usually, a good bath will wash off the mites unlucky enough to be inside a hair follicle when it happens, but the mites already in their safe spots will survive unscathed. They would just dust themselves off and rebuild their population again once the storm has passed for them.

Which is why the medicated shampoo is required.

There are many types of medicated shampoos on the market today, but benzoyl peroxide shampoo is widely considered to be one of the best types available for dogs.

One important thing to remember: When buying a benzoyl peroxide shampoo, make absolutely sure that the shampoo is made exclusively for canines. Human versions of this shampoo (yes, we need those too sometimes) are much too concentrated for dog use, and would cause more harm than good.

So, what’s so special about this benzoyl peroxide shampoo thing? At first glance, it may look like any other shampoo out there, but it’s what it does that makes it very attractive.

Benzoyl peroxide shampoos are marketed as having anti-bacterial properties, as well as the ability to remove grease and most importantly, to ‘flush’ the hair follicles.

Starting to see the picture yet? This medical shampoo is, in fact, the answer to our problem. With it, it doesn’t matter where the mites are, they would just be washed away easily. Hiding in the follicles won’t make a difference now too, because those places aren’t safe anymore.

Another potential benefit to using this shampoo is that it flushes the excess oil secreted by the dog’s body. This grease is what gives off that ‘doggy smell’, and it’s also food for the mites. Therefore, even if there are any mites left after a good bath, they’ll be left with little to no sustenance for them to live on.

But here’s a catch: that natural oil is still needed to moisturize the skin of your dog, so it’s important that a small amount still remains on the body. Removing it entirely will cause the skin to dry up, making your dog itch and scratch, and eventually causing self-inflicted wounds that may invite some new skin problem for you to handle. Do try to achieve a good balance!

So far, we’ve gone through the many positive aspects of using the benzoyl peroxide shampoo, but what about the negative ones?

Apart from the side-effect of draining the supply of natural body oils from the dog’s body, the one downside of the shampoo is that unlike proper medicines like Ivermectin or Mitaban, the benzoyl peroxide shampoo doesn’t actively kill the mites – it just makes washing them off a whole lot easier. However, we’ve already established in the beginning of this article that a complete cure of demodectic mange usually isn’t achieved just by using one method of treatment, so a combination of treatment types is key.

 

I highly recommend the use of benzoyl peroxide shampoo – I’ve even included it in the treatment plan discussed in the Demodectic Mange Guide! If you’re in need of a good set of home remedies to treat your dog’s demodectic mange, why not give it a try?

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Most people think that demodectic mange requires a complex treatment procedure for getting rid of the skin problem, so they usually get things like Ivermectin or Mitaban dips. These things are indeed complex, and for the most part, they do get the job done. However, there is always a chance of the medicines failing to do so, which often leaves the owners feeling helpless about their dog’s mange.

The problem arises when the owners arrive at the conclusion that since the medicines recommend by professionals don’t work, it most probably means that their dogs will never be cured. If left unresolved, it will spiral down into the fatal train of thought, that the only way out is to subject the dog to euthanasia.

If the owners could only be told that there are other ways of treating demodectic mange, we wouldn’t be seeing so many instances of ‘premature failures’ every day, especially since some of these treatments can be found at the nearest grocery store.

I am speaking of course, about lemons.

Lemons: Destroyer of Parasite Infestations

We usually see them in the form of lemonades, iced lemon teas and maybe even as garnishing on a roast chicken, but we also don’t notice them in many other forms: dishwashing detergents, toilet seat cleaners, or the air fresheners we spray around our homes.

The lemony scent isn’t just there for a pleasant smell around the house, either. Most people don’t know that this citric fruit is also incredibly effective against parasites of any kind, including fleas and mites.

To be fair, the mere smell of a lemon isn’t enough to kill the parasites; in fact, even lemon juice isn’t capable of killing mites en masse. On the contrary, their greatest strength lies in their absolute repulsiveness towards them. Mites flea from any area drenched in lemon juice, because they just can’t live with the smell.

So How Does Lemon Juice Work For Demodectic Mange?

Given that mites will readily evacuate the site of a lemon juice spill, it makes perfect sense to use them on your dog instead.

There are two ways of going about it: diluted and undiluted. If your dog only has a mild, or localized case of demodectic mange (i.e. less than five bald spots on the body), the undiluted solution would be a better fit. Here’s what you have to do:

1.)    Get a lemon.

2.)    Squeeze out the lemon juice on a sponge.

3.)    Coat the bald spots thoroughly using the sponge.

And you’re done! Because areas affected with localized mange is easier to spot, the lemon juice is more effective when used as a topical treatment.

For more serious cases of generalized mange, you may want to dilute the lemon in some water first. This is to ensure that there is enough lemon to cover the whole of your dog’s body. Here are the steps:

1.)    Get a lemon, and some water.

2.)    Squeeze the lemon juice into the water, and stir it into a mixture.

3.)    Get a sponge, and coat the entire body with the mixture. Be sure to use it all up.

If you do this at least once a day, you’ll definitely see some results soon enough.

 

This method of using a lemon is also included in the Demodectic Mange Guide, the eBook filled with information about how to treat demodectic mange with home remedies. If you’re stuck figuring out how to cure your dog’s mange, get this eBook now to start the treatment and help your dog’s fur grow back to normal.

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Here’s a bit of news about a couple who has tried their best, but were unsuccessful in treating their dog’s mange:

 

A COUPLE failed to properly treat their dog for a skin condition, a court heard.

Sammy Jo Webb and Carl Farley’s Staffordshire bull terrier had the one of the worst cases of mange ever seen by an experienced vet, Plymouth magistrates were told.

Webb, aged 23, and Farley, aged 28, both of Union Street, admitted failing to meet the needs of an animal by not providing adequate veterinary care for the dog between January and July last year.

 

Read more about it here.

It’s such a pity everyone involved is having a hard time due to demodectic mange. I really do hope no one suffers the same fate!

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Demodex Mites: The Cause of Demodectic Mange in Dogs

May 14th, 2012 | Posted by stong in Demodectic Mange - (Comments Off)

Picture of a Demodex Mite. Source: Wiki Commons

The demodex mite is a tiny organism, invisible to the naked eye and living on the skin of dogs all over the world. It’s mostly harmless, but demodex mites are also be the sole cause of demodectic mange in dogs. You’ve probably seen the destruction they can cause first-hand. Large swathes of bald skin, an almost leathery texture and multiple red sores on the back of the dog.

It’s nearly impossible to believe that such a small parasite can wreck so much havoc. But how do they do it?

How Demodex Mites Cause Demodectic Mange

Demodex mites are tiny parasites that live on the skin of dogs. They feed on the dirt and oils on the skin, and they lay their eggs within the hair follicles. Normally, their numbers are controlled by the dog’s immune system, which ensures that their activities don’t damage the dog too much.

However, if the immune system is weakened, the mite population will no longer be regulated, and will expand exponentially. Even a momentary weakness in a dog’s immunity may be enough for the mites to take advantage of, because the increased number of mites also produces a debilitating effect on the immune system as well, weakening it further and making it yet easier for the mites to reproduce. This will soon turn into a vicious cycle, which the dog will no longer be in control of.

Common Traits In Dogs

It’s easy to see a pattern emerging from the numerous cases of dogs with demodectic mange; they’re most likely puppies, dogs who are already affected from some other illness, or dogs with a genetic disorder that renders their immune system weaker than their peers. All three groups have underdeveloped, weakened or faulty immunities, which are unable to keep up with the demodex mites.

How does this Information help?

All this data tells us one important thing: The immune system is the most important link in the chain connecting the skin problem to the dogs themselves. A functioning immunity can keep the mites in check; without it however, they can and will cause demodectic mange.

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Vaseline is an extremely well-known brand of petroleum jelly. It’s so popular that the brand name is synonymous with the product itself, kind of like how Google is a synonym for internet search engines. It’s also one of the most commonly suggested remedies for demodectic mange, although any kind of petroleum jelly is more or less acceptable. According to some people, Vaseline has been their one successful method in treating the skin problem.

Like the idea of using motor oil as a remedy for demodectic mange, the use of Vaseline as another type of cure comes from yet another old wives’ tale – an unconventional solution to a problem. Some of these age-old remedies are eventually proven to work, but others, like motor oil, are all just bunk. So which of these does Vaseline fall into, exactly?

 

How does one normally apply Vaseline?

The use of Vaseline is easy and straightforward: Just apply the petroleum jelly on the affected area and let it sit. There are many variations as to the frequency in which the Vaseline is applied, but generally once a day or every other day. While the Vaseline is applied on a dog’s skin, the dog must not be given baths for fear of washing away the substance.

 

How does Vaseline work in curing demodectic mange?

The principle of using Vaseline is as such: the thick, greasy substance is normally used as a way to trap moisture within the area of skin it’s applied to, but it can also be used as a way to deprive the demodex mites from oxygen, suffocating them in the process.

On first impressions, the idea does seem scientifically sound. Killing the mites by asphyxiation could work, as most of them burrow into the hair follicles and breed within; sealing it off would be an easy task for the Vaseline. Once that is done, the mites will die and stop their process of damaging the skin, while leaving it unharmed.

As smart as the plan sounds in theory however, some significant issues that are left unaddressed can still pop up and ruin the whole thing, such as:

 

1.)    It’s Dirty and Messy

Petroleum jelly is a greasy, sticky substance. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about when used by humans, as it’s only used on a small surface area and care will be taken to ensure contact with foreign objects don’t occur.

But dogs are a whole other issue altogether. They’re not aware that the slop being spread all over a spot is meant to remain as-is, so they’ll continue running about and smearing the petroleum jelly all over the place without a care.

That’s not to mention the absolute frustration you will face in battling with your dog’s fur, just to get to the skin and spreading some Vaseline on it. Getting it on the hair just does not do anything for the mange otherwise.

 

2.)    They’ll think it’s a strange new treat

Dogs, once they notice the newly-applied petroleum jelly sitting somewhere on their body, won’t hesitate a beat to investigate. Because it’s so gel-like in appearance and it smells interesting to them, soon enough they’ll start slurping it all up. Firstly, this will create a huge mess, as your dog will spread the thing all over as he licks other parts of his body, making it slimy, sticky and an altogether unpleasant petting experience thereafter.

The second problem arising from this is that your efforts in trying to treat the mange have pretty much evaporated. The Vaseline has been licked off the spot, so the suffocating effect you meant to create is no longer there. The mites will continue breeding and thriving as though nothing was ever done to them.

 

3.)    Petroleum Jelly has no innate medical abilities whatsoever

You might think that Vaseline has to have some medicinal use, since everyone has been saying that it definitely works for demodectic mange. But does it really have medical properties?

According to doctors, not really. Traditionally, Vaseline has been used to treat cuts and burns on humans, but any effect by the product has been disproved. It seems that all that the product is good for is to protect any germs from entering the wound. Which isn’t too far off from suffocating mites on your dog, but don’t count on any skin regenerative properties along the way.

 

4.)    It can only suffocate adult mites.

Let’s be clear on something now: I’m not saying Vaseline is inherently useless. It does have the means of sealing off any wounds or sores completely, which means it’s entirely possible to cut off the mites’ oxygen supply by blocking the hair follicles.

This solves the first part of the demodectic mange equation: killing off the adult mites that are causing the trouble. But there are two more issues that the Vaseline fails to address, and it’s also very possible that the product will be useless against said issues.

The first is regarding the mites’ eggs. Vaseline can kill the adults by cutting off the oxygen, but what about the eggs? The Petroleum jelly doesn’t have anti-parasitical properties, which means the eggs will sit unharmed until they’re ready to hatch. Only when the young mites emerge from their eggs can the Vaseline start working on them… and when that moment arrives, the gel would have worn off long ago. The only solution I can think of is to apply the Vaseline practically every day for a period of at least a month or two. This will ensure that all the mites will asphyxiate and die out, including any eggs.

The second issue concerns the underlying root of the skin problem. Using Vaseline may grant some initial success if used very carefully, but if it’s the only remedy used to get rid of demodectic mites, what’s the point then? They’ll just keep coming back (it’s impossible to keep a dog mite-free) and restart the mange if nothing else is done. And you can’t smear petroleum jelly on your dog forever.

The previous four problems already serve to highlight the flaws in the Vaseline home remedy option, and should be enough reason for you to know that it doesn’t work. But there’s one more problem that really changes the verdict from ‘maybe not’, to ‘not in a million years’.

 

5.)    Vaseline poisoning

Vaseline is entirely made of petroleum jelly, nothing else. It’s a purely synthetic material, which means it’s not possible to get it from plants or other natural processes. This also means that it could be potentially harmful to your dog. In fact, it is.

To be fair, it’s not exactly fatal. If Vaseline is ingested via licking, it can and will induce diarrhea in your dog, giving both you and him a lousy time while completely undoing your attempts to get rid of demodectic mange. Just one simple event is painful enough – I couldn’t imagine repeating the process.

 

My opinion on Vaseline

The one thing that Vaseline does exactly as described is to deprive the mites from oxygen; that’s how the substance works and it does it well. Judging by the number of potential pitfalls from using this method, however, it’s quite obvious that the remedy is extremely situational – there are many problems to face if Vaseline is to be used effectively, and there is also the fact that it still doesn’t address the root causes of the mange.

In my opinion, I would skip the Vaseline, and focus more on neater, easier solutions to controlling the mites while taking care of the underlying causes. That way, you’ll have an easier time controlling the demodectic mange, and with a little persistence, possibly keep your dog mange free permanently.

 

If you’re not planning to use Vaseline anytime soon, do you have a solid home remedy plan in place to cure demodectic mange on your dog? If you’re desperate for a working remedy, you might want to start by looking here.

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Some owners spend all their money and time to save their dog from a crippling skin problem, but some… don’t do anything at all.

Read the article here: Molly the dog is looking for a new home after abuse

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Source: Wiki Commons

Among other things, the skin problem is well-known for decimating the hair on dogs, causing large clumps of hair to drop and huge areas of red sores after that in serious cases. Therefore, it’s not a big surprise to learn that one of the surest signs of recovery for demodectic mange in dogs is the gradual regrowth of fur itself.

But how long does it take for that to happen? Unfortunately, the answer varies a lot. What can happen in just a couple of days for some people occur only a month later for others, and any day in-between as well.

I believe that the key to faster fur regrowth is directly linked to the number of mites on the body, versus the immunity level of your dog. Think about it: the mites typically live within the hair follicles, which irritates them and causes the hair to fall out. Therefore, as long as the mites are gone or are sufficiently suppressed by your dog’s immune system, the hair is free to grow without any restrictions.

So in a nutshell, if your demodectic mange treatment or home remedy is working as intended and doing enough to keep the mites at bay, you can expect to see signs of improvement fairly soon.

Here’s a paradox to chew over: Don’t concentrate on the results, in order to get results. It’s a rather zen-like thought, but it basically means that focusing more on getting your dog’s immunity high and the mite population low will help much more than reacting to any sign of fur regrowth, or lack thereof.

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The Easiest Home Remedy for Demodectic Mange

May 4th, 2012 | Posted by stong in Demodectic Mange - (Comments Off)

Source: Flickr

When you think about home remedies for demodectic mange, you may perhaps think of unconventional methods of getting rid of the skin problem. Sometimes these solutions can even seem downright strange, like pouring motor oil on your dog.

The funniest thing is that it seems the more unlikely or strange the remedy is, the more enduring the advice becomes. Maybe it’s because we like to believe the old wives’ tales were actually true, and that the remedies work. Like most things though, sometimes the simplest things are indeed the most effective ones.

Like a home remedy for demodectic mange, for example. Sure, you could pour motor oil on your dog and make everyone unhappy, or use Mitaban without knowing what it contains and if it even works, but why do all those tedious things when there are only a few simple things you can do to start getting rid of that mange?

Which brings us to the topic at hand: The easiest, most affordable home remedy for treating demodectic mange. A good bath.

I’m sure you’re scratching your head at this, now. A bath? That isn’t a treatment, it’s basic hygiene! Well of course it is, but that’s the point. A bath is given because you want your dog to be clean and free of dirty, unhealthy stuff clinging onto the fur.

And what exactly are those ‘stuff’? You guessed it – demodex mites.

The thing about demodex mites is that an overpopulation of these bugs causes demodectic mange, plain and simple. One of the easiest methods to start recovering from the skin problem is to reduce that population to a very low level (they’re impossible to remove entirely), and that requires a good cleaning.

So here’s something you can do right now: Simply give your dog a good bath. Scrub the body as hard as possible to really get into the roots where the mites live, and wash them all away. It won’t make the mange disappear overnight, but it’ll go a long way towards making sure it does.

 

Bathing your dog is such an important step that I’ve dedicated an entire chapter to it, in my guide to treating demodectic mange at home. But it’s just one little part in my customized treatment plan that will definitely beat the mange and regrow the skin and fur in no time. Click here to find out more.

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