Scabies, or also known as sarcoptic mange, is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. This mite is a highly contagious skin parasite. The mites burrow into the skin and cause severe itching.
As a result, scabs and hair loss are formed. Unfortunately, it is a non-seasonal parasite and it can be found in dogs of all ages and breeds. Scabies is also listed as one of the common skin problems on dogs.
If you see your dog keeps scratching and even chew his skin, then he might have scabies. The itching is due to the mites on and in the skin as well as the burrowed mites and their eggs.
They cause a huge allergic response in the skin. There are some areas that are preferred by mites, such as ear flaps, elbows, stomach area. They cause the skin to be red, scaly and flaky. Hair loss is another symptom of scabies. It is commonly seen around the legs and belly areas.
If this is not treated, the skin will be thickened and dark in color. The symptoms of scabies in dogs are similar to environmental and food allergies.
After knowing the causes and symptoms of scabies in dogs, then it is time to figure out how to treat it. There are several ways you can do to treat scabies in dogs. Here are the ways:
- Medicinal baths
This way is considered as the most effective treatment to scabies in dogs. Medical baths simply mean bathing the dog in chemical shampoos. While having medical bath, the dog usually has his hair clipped short, then is dipped once a week for 3 to 4 weeks.
Unfortunately, this medical bath has a very foul smell and can be toxic to humans as well as to vulnerable dogs. That’s why, it needs great care while dipping dogs, especially in treating their facial areas. However, when it is done properly and correctly, it will be the most effective way.
- Heartworm and flea prevention
Another treatment of scabies is by having your dogs some heartworm and flea prevention. Some vets will prescribe flea and heartworm prevention medications to treat scabies.
This could kill the scabies mite. Some also combine this medication with medicinal bath, but in mild cases, this treatment may be used alone.
As an owner, you should be aware of these most common fleas that will affect your dog. By knowing the types, you will be able to determine the best way to get rid of them.
- Liquid ivermectin
This is another version of heartworm prevention medicine, but it is much stronger. This treatment is rarely used as the first choice. Some dog breeds are also not suggested to use this treatment, such as Collies, Shetland sheep dogs and other herding breeds.
Natural Remedies of Scabies in Dogs
Besides using medicinal treatment mentioned above, there are also some possible home remedies you can do to treat scabies. Starting from bathing, spot cleaning to food additives, scabies can be treated at home.
However, these natural remedies might not working effectively, so you still need to consult with your vet. Here are the natural remedies you can try at home to treat scabies in dogs:
- Apple cider vinegar
Bathing your dog with an apple cider vinegar is helpful to get rid of the mange mites. You can simply mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with ½ cup of Borax and warm water.
Before bathing your dog, make sure that the Borax is dissolved fully. Then, you can sponge the mixture to your dog’s skin and coat. Never allow your dog to lick the mixture, as ingesting Borax can be harmful. Apply the mixture to all of your dog’s body, then let the solution air dry without toweling.
You can also put the same mixture in a spray bottle. Then, you can apply it to the smaller areas on your dog’s skin without completely bathing the entire dog.
You can also follow these steps to treat ear infection with apple cider vinegar. It can be used for several purposes, so you won’t regret buying one.
Apple cider vinegar can also be added to your dog’s food or water. Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar for dogs under 30 pounds or 1 tablespoon for dogs over 30 pounds. It can help get rid of mange.
Honey can be used for many ailments both for animals and humans. It has antiseptic and antioxidant properties which will be very helpful to heal the sore, tender skin while building immunities.
You can also use honey to cleanse the skin of bacteria, dirt, and grime from mange. Simply apply honey to the sore spots on your dog’s skin. It may be a bit messy, but it might work.
Scabies do not only affect dogs, but also rabbits. You may need to read ways of how to treat scabies in rabbits. Be mindful while handling scabies, as scabies is also listed as one of the cat diseases that can be contagious to their owners.