Demodecosis of Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

Demodecosis in dogs is caused by the presence and reproduction of the mite Demodex canis, which is a parasite in the hair sacs of the skin and sebaceous glands. Some dogs are carriers of the tick, but the disease does not appear in them.

Demodecosis of dogs under the microscope
Under the microscope

Demodecosis is rarely transmitted from one adult dog to another, mainly puppies are infected from their mother. The disease is not transmitted to humans or other animals.

In the future, the presence of a tick or does not manifest itself in any way, or develops into a serious problem.

Categories of dogs that are at risk and have a predisposition to the disease:

  • young dogs up to 1 year old;
  • with weak immunity;
  • with a hereditary predisposition;
  • short-haired breeds;
  • dogs with metabolic and endocrine diseases.

Sometimes demodecosis can develop against the background of such physiological conditions as estrus, pregnancy and lactation. Feeding and keeping conditions also play a role, but not the main one.

The symptoms of demodicosis.

The disease first proceeds in a local form and then passes into a General and chronic one. The first signs of demodicosis.:

  • the appearance of dandruff;
  • redness on the muzzle and paws;
  • hair loss;
  • peeling of the skin;
  • unpleasant smell from the skin.

If you run your hand over the dog’s skin, you feel bumpy. If the disease is not aggravated by infection, it is relatively easy to cure.

When itching is added to all these symptoms, it means that an infection has appeared, most often it is Staphylococcus. At the site of redness, pustules appear, and demodecosis takes a severe form, which can become chronic. The dog constantly combs the affected areas, spreading the foci of the disease throughout the body.

The appearance of the skin changes: it becomes rough and bumpy , gets an unhealthy gray tint, a lot of dandruff is formed with an unpleasant strong smell. Products of the tick’s vital activity enter the body through the bloodstream, and intoxication begins.

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How to treat demodecosis

Any treatment should start with a correct diagnosis. Even if you are sure that your dog has demodecosis, you need to do an analysis. Only in this case, you can make a correct and accurate diagnosis. In a veterinary clinic, a deep skin scrape is made (up to a drop of blood), and the resulting material is examined under a microscope. The analysis should be carried out immediately, as the tick quickly disappears from the sample.

Medical treatment must be carried out under the supervision of a veterinarian. Many dog breeds that are susceptible to demodicosis, such as French bulldogs, are also highly allergic. Therefore, giving them self-medication means provoking new diseases, which is very dangerous against the background of a weakened body parasitized by the tick.

If demodecosis is detected at the initial stage, then treatment measures are aimed at destroying the tick. The skin is treated with special shampoos and antiparasitic agents for external use. In particular, drugs with pyrethroids are used.

With extensive skin damage, complex treatment is prescribed. Drugs that increase immune responses are introduced, if necessary, hormonal treatment is carried out, antibiotics are used, and top-UPS with a high content of zinc and sulfur are added to the dog’s diet.

Prevention of demodectic mange is limited. The disease is often inherited, so an effective measure is to prohibit the admission of sick dogs to breeding.

After receiving advice on how to fight demodecosis, do not start self-treatment. Keep in mind that all these tips are General. The veterinarian will examine your dog specifically and prescribe the appropriate treatment. This is much more effective and safer than putting experiments on your sick pet.