Dog Hair Loss - Canine Hair Loss - Dog Skin Problems
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Dog Hair Loss - information, causes, symptoms and treatment

The Mite and the Mange: Hair Loss in Dogs.

No matter where we live or what we do, we’ve all heard the word ‘mange’. Even if we don’t completely understand what it is, just its spoken word is enough to make us cringe. In this respect we are not far off. Mange is a terrible condition that can cause hair loss in dogs. It is a result of the mighty mite.

The mite is such a small creature but responsible for so much. Mites burrow below the dog’s skin and can create all sorts of problems. Mange is the “various persistent contagious skin diseases marked especially by eczematous inflammation and loss of hair, affecting domestic animals or sometimes humans, and caused by a minute parasitic mite” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2009).

There are various types of mange that can cause hair loss in dogs. Types of Mange:

1. Sarcoptic Mange. The signs are severe itching, hair loss and scaling. This type of mange is caused by the Sarcoptes mite and spreads like wild fire. But because it does not bury itself as deep as other types of mites, it is not the most feared. Dogs can be infected easily by Sarcoptes mite and successful treatment is quite straightforward. Treatment involves isolating the dog, cleaning bedding and the surrounding environment, and various other treatments for parasites.

2. Demodectic Mange. Is a result of infection by the Demodex mite — a naturally occurring mite in dogs. This type of mange is more difficult to deal with, as these types of mites bury themselves quite a way under the skin. These mites attack hair follicles and can cause hair loss, redness and scaliness. Pustules and legions can occur. The lower the immune system of the dog, the more likely it is to be impacted by this type of mange. It is also known as red mange or puppy mange. Depending upon the infection and the symptoms, treatment can range from a medicated shampoo to antibiotics to anti-parasitic drugs.

3. Cheyletiellosis Mange. This type of mange is commonly referred to as “walking dandruff” because the mites carry the skin scales of their host, such as the dog. As with the other mite infections, symptoms can include severe itching, scaliness and hair loss. Generally, the treatment is a pesticide applied to the affected area.

If you notice hair loss in your dog, there is a possibility that it could be caused from mange. The problem with diagnosing this condition, however, is actually discovering whether it is mange or another type of problem with similar symptoms.

There are also a number of other conditions that mimic the signs of mange, such as flea or food allergies. Skin scrapings and examination under a microscope by a veterinarian often determine whether the culprit is mite and what type of mite it is. Mites can produce harmful effects on dogs. They create mange, and the impacts that they have upon the skin and hair loss can be unsightly and cause discomfort for the dog. If left unattended, the consequences can be quite severe.

It is necessary that pet owners, who fear that their dog may have mite, see a professional.


Dog Hair Loss - Canine Hair Loss - Dog Skin Problems