Sarcoptic Mange in Dogs

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Sarcoptic Mange

Definition

Sarcoptic mange or “canine scabies” is a non-seasonal, intensely itchy and highly contagious skin disease caused by a little, spider-like mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. Sarcoptic mites are transferred between dogs by close physical contact, especially in high-density dog areas. They also can be transferred on inanimate objects, such as bedding, brushes, pooper scoopers, shoes, collars, leashes and dishes. These parasitic mites burrow into a dog’s skin where they feed and reproduce, causing mechanical irritation, inflammation and extreme itchiness. This in turn causes scratching, licking, biting, chewing, skin redness, hair loss and sores from self-trauma. Secondary bacterial infections are common at the burrowing and feeding sites. Adult female mites are responsible for most of the symptoms of sarcoptic mange. This is a zoonotic disease, which means that the infective mites, and their consequences, can be transferred from dogs to people and from people to dogs.

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