Symptoms of Demodicosis Mange in Dogs
There are various species of demodex mites. Aside from human hosts, some species also choose dogs as their host. These tiny mites that can only be seen using a microscope are normally found in the skin in small numbers. Unfortunately, they start to multiply and their population increases significantly when the host’s immune system is compromised. This means that manifestations will start to present themselves if the host’s immunity is weak.
Demodex mange can either be localized or generalized. In most cases, it is localized; this means that it can only be found on a certain body part and is not itchy or painful. Although there is a little bit of hair loss that can be seen in small bald patches, it is located in just one body area. Despite the fact that the dog’s appearance has slightly changed, it still acts in a normal manner. On the other hand, demodex mange is considered generalized when there is involvement of hair loss as well as swelling and inflammation on various body parts. Areas with patches and sores are considered to be both painful and itchy. Due to this, it is hard for the dog to resist scratching, biting, or chewing the affected areas. This leads to secondary trauma and lesions that are self-administered.
To be specific, the following are the symptoms that you should look out for if you suspect that your dog is suffering with demodex mange:
· Bald patches on any part of the dog’s body or “moth-eaten appearance”. They are usually noticeable on the face, head, shoulders, front leg, or neck area. Usually, these patches are an inch in diameter.
· For generalized demodex mange, bald patches are so many that they start to merge.
· Presence of hair follicles that are plugged.
· There is formation of scabs, scales, and sores on various body parts
· Presence of redness and pus may also be observed when the dog starts to scratch, chew, or bite the affected areas.
· Itchiness that will be observed when the dog starts to scratch all over its body.
If the dog has demodex infestation, you are likely to observe one or more of the signs mentioned above. They are also common for young puppies aged three to six months. There are also instances when dogs that are in their middle or old age get affected.
Proper treatment is important, especially for the adult dog. As compared to a younger dog whose case of demodex mange is highly likely to subside by itself, an adult dog needs to be treated so that the infestation will be controlled. By bringing your dog to a veterinarian, he will be able to confirm the presence of demodex mange through the process of skin scraping. The veterinarian will then be able to instruct you about the medications for the skin disorder.