Suspect your pet could have mange? Don’t panic! The situation is usually not as bad as it seems and there are plenty of mange treatments and safety measures you can take, to help your pet quickly recover.
Mange is a parasitic skin disease. It is caused by several different species of mites. It is common in dogs, though cats can get it as well.
If your cat or dog has got mange, some of the symptoms that usually occur are rash, redness, itchiness, inflammation, lessons, bumps, patchy hair loss and scaly or moth-eaten appearance to the skin. The animal is usually restless and it’s frantically scratching its fur.
There are two types of mange. Demodectic mange is the milder form that usually occurs in puppies and dogs under 1 year old and it is considered not contagious.
On the other hand, Sarcoptic mange (or scabies) is highly contagious and it can quickly spread to other dogs, cats and even humans. It is more severe and harder to treat.
If you suspect your pet has mange, the very first thing you should do is take it to the vet and make sure it really is mange. The symptoms of mange can be similar to some other skin conditions, as well as infestations of ticks or fleas.
The vet can perform a simple scraping test, to diagnose mange for sure. If your pet does have mange, the veterinarian will probably want to repeat the test every 1 – 2 weeks, to check the progress and the efficiency of the therapy. You should continue the therapy until two consecutive scraping tests show no any presence of mange.
Mange can also be diagnosed through a urine test or by examining hair follicles.
As soon as your pet is diagnosed with mange, isolate it from other animals(though, in case of demodectic mange, this is usually not necessary). This way, you will stop the condition from spreading to the other animals in your environment.
Try to get rid of the mites from all the places where your pet usually spends a lot of time. Wash its bedding, dishes, collar, leash, toys and grooming tools. Clean the floors and all hard surfaces and vacuum the carpets and furniture.
Symptoms of mange should completely clear up in a few weeks. In the meantime, listen to the vet and regularly use the products he recommended.
This usually includes oral antiparasitic medication, anti-inflammatories, antibacterial shampoo, sulphur powder and/or topical ointments. All these products should help in controlling the mange, getting rid of the mites and easing the dog’s or cat’s discomfort and itching.
These treatments are usually capable to kill the mites relatively quickly. But the symptoms can persevere even up to a month after you’ve started the treatment. So, just be patient and persistent.
The veterinarian can also give you some nutrition guidelines. A healthy, nutritious, meat-based diet is something both cats and dogs with mange can benefit from. You can also add one or two tablespoons of fish oil to the pet’s food, to promote its healthy skin and fur.
5 All-Natural Additions to the Mange Treatment
The following natural mange treatments should only be used as an addition to the treatment prescribed by the veterinarian. These products can help a lot in relieving the symptoms, like redness, itchiness and discomfort. They can also help the skin heal faster and speed up the hair regrowth.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural mange treatments. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and it enhances the skin healing process.
You can add 2 – 3 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar to your dog’s meal once a day. Or you can apply it topically to the affected areas.
However, you shouldn’t be applying apple cider vinegar directly if the skin is visibly damaged and scratched.
Organic neem oil(carrier, not essential!) is often used to naturally support the mange treatments. It has anti-parasitic, antibacterial and antifungal effect to the pet’s skin.
This oil suffocates live nymphs on the surface of the skin and that way helps to treat scabies. It also stops the mite’s reproduction cycle.
For an effective treatment, you should be using neem oil twice a day. You can use it to completely saturate the skin and fur of the pet. Or mix 3 tablespoons of the oil with 16 ounces of water. Apply the solution to the skin and let it air dry.
Garlic and lemon
Garlic and lemon combo is great for getting rid of mange and speeding up the skin regeneration process. Both acidity of the lemons and sulfur compounds in garlic are powerful mite repellents.
Here’s how to make the mixture:
In a bowl, pour ½ cup of water. Add 6 – 8 cloves of garlic and a peel of one lemon. Leave it overnight. The next day, use a spray bottle to apply the mixture directly to the affected skin.
Honey can also help get rid of mange faster and soothe the itchy, dry and damaged skin. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that promote the skin’s general health.
Honey is also a great natural moisturizer that nourishes the skin and strengthens the skin’s protective barrier. Its healing properties can help the skin recover faster.
All you have to do is apply a small amount of raw, organic honey to the affected areas. When you apply it, keep an eye on your pet and make sure it doesn’t lick off the honey. After 15 – 20 minutes, you can simply wipe it off. Repeat twice a day.
Yogurt is a fast and easy way to relieve the itching. It has cooling effect to the skin, which is very helpful for treating the red, sore and inflamed patches of the dog’s or cat’s skin.
Yogurt is also a probiotic, which makes it a perfect natural mange treatment. It detoxifies the skin, while the good bacteria in it speed up the healing process.
Like with honey, make sure your pet doesn’t lick off the yogurt for at least 15 minutes.