Mange is a common skin disease that affects dogs as well as other pets, such as birds and cats.
There are two main types of mange – sarcoptic mange (canine scabies) and demodectic mange (demodicosis or red mange).
Sarcoptic mange is caused by microscopic mites that are oval-shaped and light-colored. This type of mange is contagious to canines and humans.
On the other hand, demodectic mange is caused by demodex canis, another tiny mite that cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope. This mange strikes puppies from 3 to 12 months old and cannot be transmitted to humans.
Puppies recover quickly from mange, but adult dogs often require longer treatment to control the disease.
Your dog may develop mange due to exposure to an infected animal, dirty fur, lack of proper hygiene, an infection from the mother to the pup in unhygienic breeding conditions, frequent visits to shelter or boarding houses, and the use of dirty trimming shears and towels in pet salons.
Some common symptoms that you can see in dogs with mange are severe itching, hair loss, weight loss, crusty discharge from the ears, a general lethargic feeling, sores resulting from constant scratching and scabs forming at localized areas like the armpits, elbows, ears, chest or belly.
The intensity of the discomfort due to mange can lead to nervous, restless or agitated behavior in your dog.
There are many over-the-counter ointments and creams that can help treat this problem. You can also try some home remedies.
Also, the first step when your dog has mange is to isolate him or her to prevent the condition from spreading to other pets and humans.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for dogs with mange.
1. Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax
When used properly, a combination of hydrogen peroxide and borax works as one of the best and effective disinfectants for your dog.
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural disinfectant and cleanser and helps create an environment in which the mites cannot survive. The borax, another natural disinfectant, is effective at killing insects and fungi.
- Mix 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide in 4 cups of water.
- Add 3 heaping tablespoons of borax to the solution.
- Stir well until the borax is dissolved.
- Use this solution to soak your pet’s skin thoroughly.
- Allow it to sit for several hours. In fact, there is no need to rinse the skin with water.
- Repeat daily for 2 or 3 days.
- Then, use this remedy once a week to help reduce the risk of reinfestation.
Also, use this solution to wash the bedding, toys and anything washable used by your pet.
Note: Ingesting borax can make your dog sick, so keep it in a safe and secure place where your dog cannot reach it.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is another easy home remedy that can be applied topically to treat and control mange infection. Apple cider vinegar is mainly effective due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
- Mix together 1 cup each of apple cider vinegar and water. Pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on your dog’s fur, while combing it in between. Make sure the solution saturates the skin completely. Allow the fur to air-dry. Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a week, depending on the severity of the mange.
- Alternatively, mix ½ cup each of apple cider vinegar, borax and warm water in a large bucket. Dip a clean sponge into the solution and gently rub it all over your dog. Allow the fur to air-dry. Follow this remedy 2 or 3 times a week.
- Also, add raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food once daily for a week. The dose is 1 teaspoon for dogs up to 14 pounds, 2 teaspoons for dogs between 15 and 34 pounds, and 1 tablespoon for dogs between 35 and 85 pounds.
Note: Never apply undiluted apple cider vinegar on your dog’s body, as it can sting.
3. Sulfur Soap
The alkaline nature of sulfur soaps will keep the mange under control and reduce inflammation. Plus, it will kill the parasites responsible for the condition.
- Dampen your dog’s fur with water.
- Next, rub sulfur soap around the skin until it is very foamy.
- Let it sit for 30 minutes to give the mites enough time to move up to the surface.
- Rinse with water until all the soap is removed.
- Allow your dog to shake itself, then keep him or her in the sun to air-dry.
- Bathe your dog with sulfur soap once or twice a week until there is no sign of infection.
Neem, or Indian lilac, has varied dermatological benefits for both humans as well as pets. Its antiseptic nature helps treat mange and keep the infection at bay. It even nourishes and soothes the skin and ensures faster regrowth of fur.
- Get an over-the-counter neem shampoo and bathe your dog with it every week.
- Boil a handful of neem leaves in a pan of water for 10 minutes. Allow the water to cool, then strain it. Spray the neem-infused water onto your dog’s fur and leave it (no need to rinse it out). Repeat once daily.
- Another option is to mix equal amounts of pure neem oil and coconut oil. Apply it affected area 2 or 3 times a day.
5. Vegetable Oil
Any kind of vegetable oil can also help get rid of the mites and treat mange.
The sticky nature of vegetable oil will help cut off the mites’ air supply, eventually killing them. It will also soften the wax-like deposits and scabs left behind by the mites, which in turn provides relief from the endless scratching.
- Soak a clean sponge in a bowl of vegetable oil.
- Run the oil-soaked sponge along your dog’s fur.
- Be sure to scrub the areas that are dry and patchy.
- Do this twice daily.
Honey is another natural product that can help relieve your pet’s discomfort to a great extent.
This powerful antioxidant makes it difficult for the mites to survive for long on the skin. It will provide relief from all that painful itching and scratching.
Plus, its natural antiseptic nature helps heal the skin and prevent further infection.
- Apply some locally harvested honey directly on the affected skin.
- Allow it to sit for a few hours.
- Wipe off the excess with water to prevent your dog’s skin from being bitten by ants, which are attracted to the honey.
- Do this twice daily.
Lemon is commonly used for treating several skin problems in humans, but what people don’t realize is that it is great for animals as well.
Being highly acidic, lemon juice can successfully kill the microscopic parasites. It even helps heal the damaged skin.
- Cut up 1 lemon (along with the peel) into small pieces.
- Add the lemon pieces to a pan filled with water.
- Bring the water to a nice boil.
- Turn off the stove, cover the pan and allow the solution to steep overnight.
- In the morning, apply the mixture to your pet’s coat using a sponge.
- Do this once daily.
Note: Do not apply lemon juice directly on open scabs, as it can cause a burning sensation.
8. Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
A mange infestation can be controlled by giving food-grade diatomaceous earth internally. It’s a nontoxic, safe substance for dogs to consume.
- For medium-sized dogs, add 1 tablespoon per day of food-grade diatomaceous earth to their food. For small dogs and puppies, keep the dose to 1 teaspoon per day only. Do this for about a month.
- Prepare a dry powder with equal amounts of food-grade diatomaceous earth, neem powder and yarrow power. Rub this powder mixture into your dog’s coat twice daily.
- Simply applying a paste of food-grade diatomaceous earth and a little water on your pet’s fur will also help. You can use it twice daily and need not rinse it off.
Note: Avoid getting diatomaceous earth around your dog’s eyes and mouth, as it can irritate the mucosa. Make sure you use food-grade diatomaceous earth, not the one meant for yard and garden.
To treat the problem of crusting discharge from your dog’s ears due to mange, yogurt is very helpful.
The acidophilus bacteria found in yogurt can help eliminate this symptom and relieve this particular discomfort experienced by your dog. Plus, yogurt is soothing to the skin and helps cleanse the affected area.
- Gently rub 2 tablespoons of natural, plain yogurt on the inside of your pet’s mange-infested ears.
- Rinse it out with lukewarm water at the end of the day.
- Repeat once daily until there is no more crusty or discolored discharge from the ears.
10. Aloe Vera
While aloe vera is a great cure for skin disorders in humans, it is also suitable for dogs. Due to its natural antiseptic and antiparasitic nature, aloe vera is a great remedy for mange in dogs.
This natural soothing agent can provide instant relief from itching and scratching, which cause a huge discomfort to your dog.
- Give your dog a nice soapy bath.
- Allow the fur to air-dry, then apply fresh aloe vera gel on the skin. There is no need to rinse the gel off the skin.
- Do this once daily and you will soon see the results.
- Regularly wash your dog’s bedding with hot water to get rid of the mites that cause mange.
- Bathe your dog thoroughly on a regular basis using a mild soap. The alkaline nature of the soap prevents the spread of mange.
- While brushing or combing your pet’s hair, make sure to check for signs of mites.
- Feed your dog a healthy diet, which includes a high amount of vitamins A, B complex, C, E, lecithin and zinc.
- Do not allow your dog near another infected pet for faster recovery as well as to keep the disease at bay.
- Bring your dog to your vet periodically to get the skin scrapes checked and to ensure the mites have been eradicated completely.