Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fear No Mange

It is so sad when dogs with mange are put down in the shelters. I mean, sure, mange is not the most attractive of skin conditions, but it is certainly not an untreatable disease like some people think. In fact, I think the shelters don't euthanize a dog with mange because of the disease itself, but because the general public won't adopt a dog with a bad rash and no fur, even if the condition is temporary.

The type of mange you usually see in shelter dogs is demodectic mange, which is not contagious to either humans or other dogs, and is caused by a mite that is passed from birth mothers to their puppies. Most dogs actually have demodex mites under their skin, it's just that in some puppies, for whatever reason - maybe a compromised immune system - the mites gain the upper hand and the pups develop the telltale symptoms.

Anyway, treatment is relatively easy - usually consisting of oral medication, ointments and/or dips, and the results are very satisfying indeed. Just look at these examples:

HARLEY - 7-month-old, male mastiff, before and after treatment (and available for adoption!)

OSIRIS - male German shepherd, before and after treatment

PHOEBE (top photo) - female German shepherd, before and after treatment


note: The other type of mange is sarcoptic mange, and although it is contagious, it is also highly treatable.

For more information about Harley, contact

German shepherd photos via Westside German Shepherd Rescue

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