Just like humans, even dogs can become infected with the contagious scabies parasite, sarcoptic mange. The scabies mites live in the burrows underneath the skin. After exposure, the incubation period lasts from 10 days to 8 weeks. It is highly contagious and discomforting as mites keep burrowing into the skin and cause intense itching. If not treated on time, it can become severe and lead to thickening of the skin and weeping sores.
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Symptoms of Scabies in Dogs
- The first sign of scabies on dogs is intense itching. If you notice several episodes of acute or severe itching, you immediately need to take your pet to a veterinary doctor.
- Sarcoptic mange can also be passed to any other animal and human family members. However, canine scabies is not able to complete a life cycle in humans, they will only cause intense itching for about five days in humans and die afterward.
- Uncontrollable scratching may occur due to sensitivity to the fecal matter, as well as saliva of the mites
- Red skin or rash Inflammation or hair loss (alopecia) can also be noticed on the legs and stomach of your pet
- The appearance of small bleeding bumps can cause crusty sores. Unpleasant odor can also be noticed due to these sores. The sores are mainly found on legs, abdomen, ears, chest, and elbows.
- Thickening of the skin due to damage secondary bacterial or yeast infections.
- In severe cases, it can even lead to loss of vision and hearing. Badly infected dogs, can lose their appetite and eventually lose weight.
Causes of Scabies in Dogs
Scabies may transmit to your dog through contact with infected dogs, however, indirect transmission occurs from bedding. The reaction on the skin will depend on how many mites are living in the host body. Scabies mites can also be spread through grooming tools used on an infected dog.
Diagnosis of Scabies in Dogs
As soon as you notice the aforementioned symptoms, immediately take your canine companion to the clinic. Warn the veterinary team of scabies infection so that they can isolate the pet away from other canine visitors. To diagnose, the veterinarian may obtain a stool sample for testing, or perform a blood test to check conditions like allergies or other bacterial skin infection. Even a skin scrape may be acquired to observe it under the microscope. Mites are visible under a microscope.
Treatment of Scabies in Dogs
Sarcoptic mange is very contagious among dogs. So, clipping of your dog is essential to effectively treat the mites. The crusty skin can be gently treated with a medicated shampoo. The next step is to apply an anti-mite product such as lime sulfur to eradicate the mites.
You can easily purchase the same 5% Permethrin cream that vets prescribe on Amazon to treat your dog. This way you don’t have to visit a clinic and pay extra bills. You can apply this cream on the affected areas as directed on the manual. You must contact the veterinarian if you do not see any improvement in your dog’s state of health even after the application of permethrin cream within 4 to 5 days.
Recovery of Scabies in Dogs
It may take up to six weeks of treatment to eradicate fully infested mites. You need to keep the veterinarian informed of the progress of recovery. You can discard or wash your pet’s bedding with hot water containing bleach. Although contamination of your home is not required, make sure you don’t let your dog climb on beds or furniture during scabies infestation - as this mite may cause intense itching in humans as well.