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Could Your Dog Have Sarcoptic Mange?

You just can’t stand to see your golden retriever Ace scratching himself like this. For several days, Ace has been scratching almost non-stop, barely taking breaks for food, water, and potty time. Ace has also developed crusty red patches on his elbows and ears; and you’ve also noticed some hair loss. You’re not surprised that Ace has a skin ailment, as dogs seem to periodically attract them. However, this over-the-top itching sounds like sarcoptic mange, or scabies, an uncomfortable disease triggered by a microscopic mite that can take up residence in Ace’s skin. You’ve asked your Greenfield veterinarian to diagnose Ace’s problem and get him some relief.

Unappealing Symptoms

The nasty little burrowing mites are entirely to blame, as they expel allergens and toxins into Ace’s vulnerable skin. The result: those crusty-looking red patches that make Ace itch almost 24/7. It’s a vicious cycle: the more Ace scratches, the more likely he’ll contract a secondary bacterial infection on his skin. This maddening itch cycle distinguishes sarcoptic mange from skin conditions such as ringworm and demodectic mange.

Making the Diagnosis

Based on Ace’s symptoms, your vet might suspect your dog has sarcoptic mange; however, the vet must analyze Ace’s skin scrapings to make sure. Because scabies mites are extremely hard to find under the microscope, the vet might need to perform several sets of scrapings before he finds the telltale mites. At the same time, the vet will likely perform additional tests to rule out other medical problems.

Straightforward Treatment

Your vet will aggressively treat Ace’s sarcoptic mange with oral or injectable medications. Ace might also receive a medicated dip. Every two weeks, Ace will likely receive another treatment until his sarcoptic mange symptoms have vanished and he tests negative for the evil scabies mites.

An Ounce of Prevention

Until your vet confirms that Ace’s sarcoptic mange is gone, keep your dog away from his canine housemates and buddies. After all, you don’t want your dog to infect other unsuspecting pooches with this highly contagious disease.

You might also wonder if Ace can transmit sarcoptic mange directly to you. While you might be nailed by a few random mites, and develop an itch of your own, you won’t get the actual infection. When Ace’s treatment really kicks in, you’ll likely see your symptoms improve, too.

When Ace visits his Greenfield vet for a regular checkup, your pooch will likely be free of those maddening mites and feeling much more comfortable.

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