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Demodex Mites (mange)

December 16th, 2003, 08:23 PM
My Motzi has been diagonsed with demodex mites. Weird thing is that she is 4 yrs old.
We don't know what caused it? Possibly stress?
Has any one else had experience with this? I was given Stanhexadene 4%.
Poor girl is going bald :( :confused:

December 16th, 2003, 09:20 PM
Sorry to hear that. Pls look at these links and some exerpts from such. DO NOT TAKE YOUR PET TO PUBLIC AREAS OR AROUND OTHER PETS!!

Demodectic Mange is a much more serious disease then sarcoptic mange. It is difficult to treat successfully and the secondary bacterial infections, often staphylococcus, are very debilitating on the general health of the affected animal. This mite lives its entire life cycle deep within the host's skin, right down with the oil glands of the skin. It is not easily transmitted from dog to dog, except by direct and constant contact.

Demodectic mange treatment is also helped by increasing the general health of the dog with food supplements such as cod liver oil, yeast, kelp, vitamin C and ensuring that the diet is rich in digestible protein, and has some simple carbohydrates in it. Increasing the dog's general health will help towards healing the affected areas and improve the resistance to re-infection or to building up of a residual infection not removed with the initial treatment.

It is irresponsible of owners of dogs with demodectic mange to take their dogs into public areas where there are other dogs in close proximity. Certainly such dogs should never be taken to functions catering for dogs where there is close contact.

December 17th, 2003, 07:58 PM
Sorry to hear this as well. I too have had experience with this problem.

My puppy had localized demodex that self cleared. During this time I had a lot of advice from my vet who is extremely diligent and cautious about these matters. My parents were also caring for him while I was away for a week and took him to see their vet as a precaution to ensure all was going well. At no time were any of us told that we should not take him out in public and, in fact, we were assured that demodex is NOT contageous since almost all dogs already have the mites. It is the inability of the immune system to properly function that causes the problem, not the presence of the mite that causes demodex.

My question, therefore, goes to Luba and why you feel that it is wrong for an owner to take their dog out into public places when this condition is present? If it has to do with the lowered immune system and possibility of infection, I understand. On the other hand, given what I have been told by two, independent vets, I would be interested to know why you feel this way.

December 17th, 2003, 08:25 PM
If you read my comments again you will see that they are exerpts from a site specifically talking about this condition!

It is irresponsible of owners of dogs with demodectic mange to take their dogs into public areas where there are other dogs in close proximity. Certainly such dogs should never be taken to functions catering for dogs where there is close contact.

natural treatments and supplement info here:

This site says it's not contageous while some others do


December 18th, 2003, 10:47 AM
Sorry to hear that about your pet.

I never had any problems with mites, but I'd like to know what to look for in case it ever happens.

I'm going to look at your website. Petie was going bald around his ears (he is a pit bull), and he was losing hair around his eyes. We took him to the vet (this was last yr that this happened), and they scrapped his ears, to see if he had mites. There was no mites. She said he might be allergic to something in the dog food that we were giving him (pedigree). So we bought food from her (special food) and he was doing better. He looks like he's starting to go bald around his ears again, but not his eyes. We also put him back on Pedigree ( I know big mistake). We are looking for a better dog food brand. Anyway I want to learn more about these mites.

Sorry to just jump in here on your post amaruq. I hope your pet is doing better.

December 18th, 2003, 10:54 AM

Might I suggest a dog food or atleast the brand?

Nutro...I use lamb and rice. It is one of the best ones i have found.

December 18th, 2003, 10:59 AM
Thanks amaruq,

That was one of the brands that was suggested to me. I also got a couple more and I was told to look at the ingreidents. Make sure meat is in the first 2 or 3 ingriedients. To avoid foods w/corn, rice, and oatmeal in it.

I was also given a website to compare different brands of food.

Thanks again for your suggestion.:)

December 18th, 2003, 11:59 AM

The confusion doesn't end there! Some articles say that since he only had localized he can still be used for breeding - he is a show quality Shiba that will start showing in the near future - while others say that no matter how small the outbreak he should be removed from the genetic chain! His breeder has done research and also cannot find a definitive answer. This is her first puppy that has ever had this problem! Other breeders say that it is not a big deal as long as it self clears but many vets say they should not be bred period.

As it stands, we will show him and then worry about the breeding issue once he is past two and has had all of is hip checks etc. (chances are I won't be happy about having an unneutered male in any event and his breeding chances were probably doomed from the start in any event...):)

December 18th, 2003, 02:24 PM
Yes it is very confusing.

Perhaps there is more to this then meets the eye. It seems that maybe the condition itself generates additional health problems and this may be what the reason for segregation and non breeding is? I'm not quite sure.

Anyone else have any information on this mange?

I'm sure a great diet and supplements are going to help tremendously but it would be good to know what the possibility of contagium is.

If transferrable to pups, there has to be a communicable way to other dogs as well yes/no??

This is a mystery hmmmmmm

December 18th, 2003, 03:43 PM
The literature I was given by the vets provides as follows:

- almost all dogs naturally have the mites present and those with adequate immune systems are not affected by them;

- the mites themselves are passed from the nursing mother to the puppies (this is natural and not anything to worry about) and it happens within the first few days of birth;

- puppies that do not have an adequate immune system for whatever reason (normally stress induced) lack the ability to fend off the proliferation of the mites and lose hair in patches - generally starting around the eyes and muzzle, front legs and paws can also be some of the first areas affected;

- most puppies self resolve from the localized form without any treatment;

- if the localized form does not self resolve or if it becomes generalized (five or more patches or large patches) then treatment with dips may be necessary (the dips are very harsh and a last resort);

- even a dog with no other health problems and an ideal diet can suffer from demodex;

- it is suspected that it is a hereditary immune deficiency that allows the mite to spread; and

- dogs that get the condition at an older age, without suffering from it before, may get it due to other reasons such as major illness; and

I don't know if this helps or adds to the confusion!

December 18th, 2003, 05:01 PM
This is an interesting topic so I took liberty in reading more about it. I'm lucky none of my dogs have had this condition but it's interesting to know and become educated for further reference.

Appears as though it may be more common in some breeds, I've noticed a lot of sites state the following dog breeds have higher incidents: doberman, beagle, great dane, akita, english pointer, collie, sheppard, westies, staff's and pbt's.

Here are some additonal sites for more information. I hope it's not information overload...just feel free to read what interests you. :)

Over 50% of dogs with generalized demodicosis have a normocytic, normochromic, nonresponsive anemia, consistent with chronic infection. Many also have low thyroid hormone levels but they are not hypothyroid.

Demodex canis is the scientific name for the mite that causes demodectic mange. This follicular mite lives in the hair follicle where it occupies the space between the hair shaft and the lining of the hair follicle.

It is believed to feed on fluids present in the hair follicle. It causes
inflammation in the hair follicle. This inflammation damages the hair follicle and the surrounding skin causing the hair to fall out.

This type of mange is not considered to be contagious to other dogs and isolation from unaffected dogs is not believed to be necessary. This type of mange is not contagious to people.

Juvenile onset develops in patients less than 2 years old and has a hereditary component so affected individuals should not be used for breeding.

Adult onset - develops in patients over 2 years old and can be due to serious underlying disease.

Demodectic Pododermatitis - All four feet affected with the disease which can be very painful

THIS ONE IS INTERESTING, a dog with mange from immunoresponse to cortisone after allergy:
Once the cortisone was stopped and and the dog treated with parasiticidal baths the Demodicosis cleared up, an alternative approach to managing the pollen allergy was found and the dog returned to full health.
Corticosteroids (cortisone) should not be given even if the animal is experiencing itchiness, due to the immunosuppressive effects of these drugs.

December 18th, 2003, 06:07 PM
Luba I really appreciate all the effort you have gone too.

I have read pages upon pages on this. I agree there is conflicting information.

What has me extremely worried is Motzi (one infected) is 4 yrs old. Background on her is.....she came from abusive home. She has worms (extreme amount) and a bacterial infection in the gut. She weighed all of 4 lbs. The vet was not hopeful....but I was determined. Through months and months of treatments....with set backs in infections. She came around. She has had numerous health problems. When she was on predisone she developed tumors. One the size of a banana on the chest wall. The other was on the foot. Again through treatment she came threw it. Her anal glands ruptured and 2 masses were removed. It seems what can happen has happen to the poor girl.
I can not explain how attached I am to her. She is my kindred spirit..and truly a part of my soul. If i lost her...I truly would be lost myself. I know i have the 3 dogs...i fully admit she is my favorite. Me and her have been through a lot together.
I am extremely concrened about what will happen if the treatment now doesn't work....also what the underlying cause is. Like i said before she is 4 yrs old. According to all information there has to be an underlying cause for this to happen at this age. I admit it...I'm scared to death.
Thats why i was asking about holistic meds at the vets forum. I want to avoid "medicine" as it always causes her side effects. I know that when she was a pup....they didn't feed her they ate what was on the floor.....catch my drift here? I know there was deplorable conditions (humane society was called but it was too late as she dumped pups and kittens into a dumpster). I almost positive that some of this comes from the parents.

Ahh now i'm just ranting.....ok I just wanted to thank you all for the help and support and any more info is appreciated.

December 18th, 2003, 06:22 PM

I am guessing then that you don't know what her health problems were as a puppy? The reason I ask this is that the research I have read shows that those dogs that have it as puppies can suffer from it their entire lives (and not necessarily continually). Given that she has had several problems in the past it may be that she does have an underlying immune issue and not that she has some terrible disease now causing this.

I don't know if this makes you feel any better. I feel for you! Best of luck!

December 18th, 2003, 06:26 PM
You are entitled to ramp, your baby isn't well!

If I were you I'd do as much as I could to increase the immune system. The best foods, the best supplements. Your lovely one will get through this, don't worry! Pray and have faith! You're a great mom!! I know what you mean about kindred spirts with your dog, I was this way with my Rusty. We did EVERYTHING for him when he wasn't well.

Oh question about the prednisone? Why? That's a catch all with a lot of vets. I hate it!!! Rusty had allergies and they put him on it and low and behold it weakened his hind legs and he had cruciate ligaments torn in both left and right hind leg, surgery and surgery and leg never did heal right. I am so against prednisone!

You want to get a food that won't cause any allergic reaction, because that will disturb the immune system even more. SOooo my question to you is , does your dog have food allergies?

Switch brands slowly, add a bit of the new stuff to the old stuff, giving the tummy a chance to adjust and the intestines a chance to 'not' go into spasm. Then you have a situation with no diarrhea and a slow change over :) big smiles!!

A great deal of what I am reading suggests that many vaccinations cause adverse affects on the immune systems, in particular to dogs with weakened ones to begin with. So if your dog is pretty much safe indoors with you and you don't do a lot of woodland type walking around etc.. then you may want to consider NOT giving vaccinations!!

I am more then happy to help you with the research on this, it's my pleasure. I'm learning at the same time as trying to help you help your puppy!! hugs!!

Here is a site on a dog specific case of mange:
Thor was a stray puppy that was dropped off in a bread bin by a dumpster, suffering from severe mange, rickets and hip dysplasia. He was so weak that he could not stand or walk normally
The supplements included bone meal, garlic and brewers yeast, and some powerful natural supplements designed to build up joints and bones. He was given a shampoo and a mild dip and some herbal oils were rubbed on the skin. Calendula ointment was applied to the sores as this helps heal open wounds and is very soothing.

However, skin problems are the tip of the iceberg, and represent a body that is overstressed by the accumulation of years of toxins, vaccinations and poor diet

And, apart from a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, it is helpful to add extra garlic and brewers yeast, which helps skin condition. Extra vitamin A, C and E can also help as these are important anti-oxidants that will help keep the body healthy as a whole and improve skin and coat condition in your pet. Flax seed oil added to the food according to the weight of the animal will also help as well as other oils, but it is best to get a good book or seek professional advise about the quantities of supplements to add, as overdosage is possible, especially of vitamins A and D. Regular bathing and grooming increases the circulation to the skin, and the use of a massage glove on your pet is beneficial to both them and you as you will both find it incredibly soothing and relaxing

Here is a holistic site:

December 19th, 2003, 08:43 AM
Do you have a pic of your girl? I would like to see her.

I can't help you in this department, but I can wish you the best.

Good Luck and Hang in there. She seems to be your miracle dog.:)

December 19th, 2003, 10:07 AM
hi there!

Well i finally got some info on holistec meds. Vitamin A is great and also the fish oils. Cod liver is good but the fish oils are much better. The Vitamin C can cause crystals in the urine and Garlic has a side effect too...but i can't remeber what it is.

Here is pictures of all 3 dogs (Goldy Lizzy(middle) and Motzi (black)

This is Just Motzi with her happy face ball :)

December 19th, 2003, 07:27 PM
All your dogs are beautiful. :)

Goldie is a Golden Ret.

Lizzy is a Dal.

Motzi is a ? I need help w/this one. Is she a mix??

December 19th, 2003, 08:49 PM
Motzi lookes like a Border collie

Your dogs are FABULOUS!!

I WANT THREE too but I know my mom will kill me!!!


December 20th, 2003, 11:44 AM
Thanks for the nice complements :D

Goldy is 10 yrs old and a Terrier of some sort cross...we just call her a Heinz 57....she came from humane society. Been a very sweet girl.

Liz is pure bred Dalmatian.. Liver spot....full of p&%^ and vinegar. Prior to us getting her, her face was smashed. Her muzzle is crooked. She is much bigger now as in those pictures she was 7 months old.

Motzi is a border collie and Dalamtion x. Her father was pure bred Dal. Mother well she might have had a mix in there? She wasn't well cared for. The Dal ran around the neighbourhood. Motzi is 4 yrs old..i think she is getting better (knock on wood!) :)