Mange is one of the most common skin conditions that our beloved canine friends suffer from. This condition is often associated with hair loss, but it goes beyond that. Mange can cause extreme itchiness, and that can cause quite the discomfort for your dog.
And perhaps the worst part about mange is that, if left untreated for a long time, it can also lead to further skin complications and other diseases. So as a responsible fur parent, it’s best to have the mange treated as soon as possible.
In this article, we will teach you several home remedies that you can use to alleviate the discomfort and treat mange with items that are usually found in your home. Read on to know more about what is the best home remedy for dog mange.
Causes and Symptoms of Mange
Before we head on and list down the different home remedies for dog mange, let’s first understand the causes and symptoms of mange. This will help you identify which treatment would work best for your furry best friend.
In general, mange is caused by a parasitic mite. Different types of mites cause different classifications of mange, and each one has different symptoms and treatment. We’ll discuss them briefly below.
The most common cause of mange is the Demodex mites. These mites cause what is called demodectic mange, which develops when a dog has a weakened immune system.
These mites normally inhabit the hair follicles on a dog’s skin and don’t usually cause skin issues. However, when a dog has a weak immune system, these mites tend to grow faster. And that overgrowth causes the mange and discomfort.
Demodectic mange can either be localized or generalized. Localized demodectic mange develops in small spots around the dog’s body, most commonly around his paws and eyes. Generalized demodectic mange, on the other hand, spreads out rapidly all over the body.
Fortunately, this type of mange is not contagious and is highly treatable. We will address its best home treatments later in this article.
Another type of mite that’s causing mange is the sarcoptic mites. These mites cause what is known as scabies – a more common term for sarcoptic mange.
Sarcoptic mites are not naturally found inhabiting a canine’s skin, so a dog must have picked it up from another dog or furry mammal. And unlike Demodex mange, scabies is highly contagious. So, if your pet is diagnosed with this type of mange, it’s best to keep him at a safe distance from the others.
This type of mite burrows deep into a dog’s skin, and that can easily cause irritation and itching. Often, scabies can also cause crusting of the skin, which is associated with an allergic reaction to the mite and its excretions. Also, scabies usually starts as a balding area that’s red and crusty around the ears, belly, and elbow.
We must emphasize that extreme symptoms of sarcoptic mange usually appear in dogs with weak immune systems. So, keeping him healthy is a great way to prevent this type of mange.
The third type of mite doesn’t exactly cause mange, but it can produce mange-like symptoms if left untreated for a long time. While it does not mange, we’ll discuss it briefly for your added knowledge.
We’re talking about the cheyletiella yasguri, a genus of mites that cause what’s often called cheyletiella dermatitis.
Unlike the first two, cheyletiella isn’t as itchy. But, it can cause dandruff-like debris on your dog’s coat, which can still cause him some discomfort.
Fortunately, this type of condition uses the same treatment for skin concerns often caused by fleas. With that said, we won’t be discussing treatment for cheyletiella further in this article.
What is the Best Home Remedy for Dog Mange?
Now that you’re familiar with the different types of mange, we can now discuss their remedies. Particularly, we’ll talk about the best home treatments for Demodex and scabies. You can try any – or a combination of – the following remedies.
Give Him a Warm Bath
Before starting with anything, you should first make sure that your dog is clean. We recommend giving him a bath using warm, soapy water. At this point, don’t use anything harsh so as not to further irritate the skin.
Once he’s done bathing, dry him up and brush his fur with a shedding brush. This will help get rid of dry and crusty scales. This is often the case with scabies, but it can also happen with severe Demodex.
When brushing his coat, make sure to do so lightly and without adding too much pressure. The dry flakes of skin are already loose, so there’s no need to force them off. Also, brushing too harshly can further irritate, so it’s best to be gentle.
Now, your dog is ready for home remedies to treat mange.
One of the best home remedies for dog mange is aloe vera. Aloe vera extract contains antibacterial properties that can help deal with infections, while its cooling properties can help soothe skin inflammation. And the fact that it’s easily accessible makes it ideal to treat mange at home.
To use aloe vera, simply spread it over the areas with localized mange. Do so twice a day until the problem clears up. It’s up to you to choose whether to use aloe vera in gel or liquid form.
But, we should give you a word of caution about using aloe vera. Bear in mind that this plant extract is toxic to dogs if ingested. As much as possible, only use it on areas he can’t reach so he won’t be able to lick it. It also helps to use an e-collar for added safety.
Lemon Peels Soaked in Water
Another well-known home remedy for treating dog mange is lemon peels soaked in water.
Lemon is known for its high acidity content, and that effectively kills mites on its tracks. It’s also known to have antiseptic properties, which can get rid of bacteria and fungi that can cause further complications with mange.
If you’re interested in trying this home remedy, simply follow these steps:
- Peel one lemon and soak the lemon peels in one or two liters of water.
- Make sure to soak the peel overnight to extract the right amount of citrus content from it. Alternatively, boil the lemon peels in water and wait for them to cool down.
- Once the mixture is ready, grab a sponge and allow it to soak up the lemon peel water.
- Then, dab the sponge lightly on the affected areas without spreading too much onto the skin.
- Apply this mixture onto your dog’s skin once a day only and until the mange clears up.
However, we want to emphasize using a light dabbing motion only when applying this mixture. While lemon extract is not toxic to our beloved canines, a mixture that has too much of its acidic content can irritate the skin. So, make sure that you use a lot of water to dilute it, and don’t soak the skin too much with the mixture.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is another popular remedy for treating mange. Like lemon, it contains high acidity levels that can kill the mange-causing mites.
Pet owners use ACV to treat mange in two ways: either by adding it to your dog’s food or by diluting it in water to be spread directly on the affected areas.
In case of oral intake, simply add one tablespoon of ACV to what your dog normally eats. This is reported to do the trick like a miracle.
If you prefer applying it directly onto your dog’s coat, make sure to dilute a tablespoon of ACV in water. Like the lemon peel-soaked water, the high acid content on ACV could further irritate the skin. Thus, don’t forget to dilute it in around one liter of water first.
Another downside with ACV is that it can a strong odor on your dog, which can be quite bothersome.
If you’re looking for a non-toxic alternative, then honey is the way to go. The thick consistency of honey will likely trap and kill mites, while its high antibacterial and antifungal properties can help treat skin infections.
To use honey, simply smother it over the affected area and leave it to dry out. You can apply honey as needed to ensure an effective recovery.
While honey is the safest choice because of its non-toxic nature, we can all agree that honey can be quite sticky. It will also be tempting for your dogs to lick it all off. So, we recommend using this remedy only in case of localized mange and in areas that cannot be easily reached by your dog.
Another non-toxic alternative is plain yogurt. Just like honey, yogurt is safe for dogs to ingest, so it’s no big deal if he licks it off by accident. But the good news is that plain yogurt isn’t as sticky as honey, so it would be ideal for most cases of mange.
Yogurt is rich in probiotics, which can help combat potential bacterial infection. Its consistency helps trap mites and prevent them from further spreading out. Also, yogurt has moisturizing properties, and that can greatly help soothe dry and sore skin.
To use yogurt, use it as you would with honey. Spread it over the area without rinsing. Let it work its magic and leave it to dry.
We must emphasize that you have to use plain yogurt for this home remedy. Don’t use the sweetened kind or one that has toppings. Not only will that be ineffective, but it can also cause further irritation.
Keep His Bed Clean
Once you’re done treating the affected area directly, you should not proceed with preventing the further spread of mites around your household. Remember that prolonged exposure to mites can also cause them to spread to others – even humans. This is especially true for sarcoptic mites.
Unfortunately, these mites don’t just live on your dog’s fur and skin. These parasites can also leave eggs or excretions on your dog’s bed, and that can unduly prolong the treatment. Or worse – it can also infect the other pets around your home.
Thus, we strongly recommend cleaning his bed with soap and water. Make sure to use a strong cleaning agent to kill these mange-causing mites. Once you’re done cleaning, rinse it thoroughly and leave it out to dry in the sun. This is a guaranteed way to make sure that no parasitic mite survives.
If you have other pets in your home, make sure to clean their beds as well – especially if they sleep near each other. You can also bathe them with soapy water to prevent a potential mite infestation.
And during treatment of your infected pup, make sure to keep him away from the others. Not only will this keep the mites from spreading, but it will also prevent the others from licking away the treatment you’ve applied.
When to Visit the Vet
While all of these remedies can help deal with symptoms and alleviate your dog’s discomfort, it’s not a substitute for taking your dog to the vet. When the mange infestation seems to grow worse after two to three days of treatment, it’s best to seek professional treatment.
In some cases, when a dog suffers from poor nutrition and health, mange can cause other skin complications. And these complications cannot be treated by home remedies. So to keep your favorite pooch healthy and mange-free, the best route is still to consult your friendly neighborhood veterinarian.
To conclude, always remember that mange is highly treatable. While it can be very alarming – especially if you’re a new fur parent – it’s best to keep calm and try these home remedies to help manage the symptoms early on.
By doing so, you’re helping your canine friend feel less stressed about his predicament. As long as you treat him with these remedies and make sure that he eats healthy, he’ll be on the road to recovery in no time.
But above all, always remember that the biggest reason why mange spreads throughout a dog’s body is his weakened immune system. Thus, making sure that he eats well-balanced meals and gets the right amount of exercise is a sure way to prevent it from ever happening.