Your poor Labrador retriever Harley has been incessantly scratching himself for several days. The poor guy can barely take time to eat, drink, and poop each day. You’ve also noticed crusty-looking red patches on Harley’s ears and elbows; and Harley’s showing some hair loss, too. You know dogs are susceptible to varied skin ailments; however, this excessive itching makes you suspect Harley has sarcoptic mange, or scabies. This nasty disease is caused by a microscopic mite that’s tunneling into Harley’s skin. Harley has an appointment with his Welland veterinarian, who will diagnose your pooch’s problem and get him some relief.
Harley’s sarcoptic mange is entirely the fault of the burrowing mites, which expel toxins and allergens into Harley’s skin. As a result, Harley exhibits those nasty crusty, red lesions that itch incessantly. The more Harley scratches, the more susceptible his skin becomes to a secondary bacterial infection. This over-the-top itchy factor makes sarcoptic mange stand out from other skin conditions such as demodectic mange and ringworm.
While your vet might suspect Harley has sarcoptic mange, the vet will perform some skin scraping tests to confirm that diagnosis. The vet examines the skin scrapings under the microscope, looking for hard-to-find scabies mites. In fact, the vet might need to analyze several sets of scrapings before the mites appear. As a precaution, the vet might also run other tests to rule out another medical condition.
Harley’s sarcoptic mange treatment can include oral or injectable medications. Your vet might also prescribe a medicated dip. Harley will probably receive his treatments every two weeks until he tests negative for scabies mites and his symptoms have disappeared.
Until Harley’s sarcoptic mange has been completely eradicated, keep him away from his close buddies or canine housemates. You certainly don’t want the other dogs becoming infected with this extremely contagious, uncomfortable disease.
Finally, you’re probably wondering if Harley can transmit sarcoptic mange to you. While your skin might get some mite hitchhikers that will briefly cause you to itch, you won’t actually get an infection. After Harley’s treatment interrupts the mites’ free-range feast, you should also notice an improvement in your symptoms. When Harley sees his Welland vet for a physical exam, your lovable Lab should be enjoying his carefree, itch-free lifestyle once again.