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What to Do if Your Dog Has Mites?

An infestation of mites can cause a skin disease known as mange, which leads to scaly skin and bald patches on the coat that can either affect an isolated area or the whole body. Sometimes the skin may itch due to a bacterial infection. However, as the mites are microscopic, you will not see them on your dog’s coat, so their symptoms will usually alert you to an infestation.

Managing a Mite Infestation

If you notice itching, hair loss, inflamed skin or sores on your dog, this can indicate they have mange due to mites, so you should take them to your veterinarian for a firm diagnosis. Your vet may take skin scrapings to view the mites under a microscope. When mange is suspected, the typical treatment is as follows:

  • To ease symptoms your vet may prescribe medication, either orally, by injection, topically or as a shampoo. If a secondary bacterial skin infection is present, they will also prescribe treatment for this.
  • To control the infestation, your vet will prescribe an anti-parasitic treatment as well.
  • You will also need to keep your dog separate from other pets to avoid transferring the infestation.

Preventing Further Outbreaks

Depending on the type of mange your dog has, your veterinarian may recommend cleaning or replacing all bedding, as well as their collar, and treating other pets they come into contact with. Taking your dog back for follow-up skin scrapings will also confirm the infestation has gone.



By Uwe Gille (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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