We all love our pets but there are some diseases that can bring great concern as dog owners. Scabies is a common disorder that can be treated with the right guidelines.
In this complete guide on how to treat scabies on dogs, we discuss the definition, causes, treatment you as a pet lover may be facing.
What Is Scabies?
Let us begin with a short video…
Scabies, also known as sarcoptic mange, is a disease that primarily affects dogs. Its causative agent is a small mite called Sarcoptes Scabiei (Variety Canis).
After exposure, the condition takes a period of 10 days to eight weeks to manifest itself. During this incubation window, the dog can transmit the disease to others.
Like most parasites, Sarcoptes Scabiei (Variety Canis) are host-specific. This means that they thrive in particular organisms.
In other beings and outside living organisms, they either thrive poorly or can’t survive entirely.
When the parasites infest your dog, they penetrate the skin and cause intense itching. If left untreated, the condition worsens and leads to thickening of the dermis and bleeding sores.
That said, secondary infections are common with dog scabies. It is essential to treat mite infestations regularly if you want to keep your pet healthy.
Causes Of Scabies In Dogs
The primary means of transmitting scabies is through contact with infected dogs. Your pet can also contract the disease by interacting with coyotes and wild foxes, who are the condition’s reservoir hosts.
Indirect transmission can occur when your dog lies on bedding infested by the causative mites, though this is rare.
If your pooch has poor health, the symptoms are likely to be more severe than if it were healthy.
The number of mites transmitted also affects the severity of the symptoms, regardless of the dog’s health condition.
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Symptoms Of Scabies In Dogs
The first sign of scabies is intense itching. If you notice that your dog is experiencing discomfort on its skin, call the vet immediately. Other symptoms of scabies include:
• Uncontrollable scratching
• Inflammation and reddening of the skin
• Hair loss, especially on the stomach and legs
• Sores with a bad odor
If left unattended, scabies spreads to the entire body. The dog will lose its appetite and eventually lose weight. In severe cases, your pet might suffer a loss of vision and hearing.
Diagnosis Of Scabies In Dogs
Suppose you suspect that your dog as scabies, visit the local vet, and inform them of your suspicions. This allows them to isolate the animal before they conduct further tests to confirm your fears.
Usually, the veterinarian obtains stool and blood samples when testing for scabies. These tests also help in ruling out other possible causes of itching like allergies and bacterial infections.
The method used to conduct a definitive diagnosis of scabies in dogs is placing a skin scraping under a microscope. The vet makes an incision deep enough to reach the mites and their eggs, and they are often visible under the microscope.
If they are invisible, the lesions they cause can help in the diagnosis.
Treatment Of Scabies On Dogs
If the tests for scabies return positive, you should start by administering a scabicide to all canines in your home, whether infected or not.
Because of the highly contagious nature of sarcoptic mange, some dogs might be asymptomatic or return false negatives during testing.
One week after the clinical symptoms resolve, you should treat for any secondary bacterial skin infections. This treatment usually lasts for three to four weeks.
The best way to do this is by applying an antimicrobial shampoo every three to seven days.
Before applying the shampoo, make sure that your dog is tidy by clipping its fur. This ensures that the shampoo reaches the skins and makes it less crusty.
Then, it would be best to follow it up with an anti-mite product like lime sulfur. You could also opt for systemic oral medications such as Selamectin, Doramectin, and Ivermectin.
In most cases, vets recommend using a combination of remedies to treat scabies on dogs.
Since most of the treatment for scabies is home-based, it is advisable to call the vet if you don’t notice improvements after five days of administering medication.
The only instance where a dog can get hospitalized is when it has severe complications. In such cases, the doctor gives steroids to help the pet recover.
The last step of treatment is disinfecting the environment with an effective parasiticide and disposing of all beddings.
If you can’t get rid, make sure that you wash them using hot water containing bleach.
Recovery of Scabies in Dogs
Dogs need up to six weeks of treatment to recover fully from scabies. As they recuperate, make sure that you inform the veterinarian of the progress.
Don’t be reluctant to communicate with the vet, especially when you notice adverse side effects or secondary infections.
Can Humans Contract Dog Scabies?
Since it is zoonotic, humans can contract scabies from dogs. The only difference is that the mites die in less than a week when a person is a host, while they can live for up to three weeks in dogs.
Like dogs, the most common symptom of scabies in humans is itching, particularly on the hands, wrists, inner thighs, armpits, and finger webs.
Other indicators include eczema, pustules, and the formation of burrowing tracks under the skin.
While scabies in humans is a self-limiting problem, most people seek treatment because the intensity of the itchiness is unbearable.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Scabies In Humans
If you fear that you have scabies, the doctor will scrape off your skin and observe it under a microscope.
They could also conduct eye observation, although this not as reliable as the first method.
Treatment of scabies in people involves the application of a cream containing permethrin or lotion with lindane.
The length of the treatment period depends on the doctor’s prescription and the severity of the infection. In most cases, infected people recover from this disease three weeks after taking the medication.
The information shared in this article provides a comprehensive guide on how to treat scabies on dogs. Keep in mind that the best way to prevent the disease is by keeping your dog tidy and disinfecting them regularly. Also, don’t allow your pet the freedom to climb your furniture since humans are also susceptible.