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Help! My dog has mange |

Modern Living

Help! My dog has mange

ASK YOUR VET - Dr. Lydia Mangahas -
Q. I have a Golden Retriever that turned two last July. Her name is Walnut. I bought her when she was 4 months old and at that time, the breeder said she had some skin infection around the mouth. She gave me medicine for it and recommended a vet. I took Walnut home and treated the skin infection. The recommended vet came and looked at it also. It got better and was completely gone.

A month later, I noticed that she started to have lumps on her body and she was scratching a lot. I checked for fleas but she didn’t have any. I asked the vet what it was but she said it was nothing.

A couple of weeks later, I consulted another vet. One look at Walnut’s skin and he said it was mange. He shaved off all her hair and gave her a medicated bath. To make a long story short, she got well, but it recurred. She was shaved again and given a medicated bath. She lost her hair twice and this is why I think her hair has never grown long. She doesn’t have long flowing hair like the other Goldens. She still has this condition. I couldn’t afford my vet’s prices anymore, especially the medicated baths. So I took her to the UP VetMed Hospital and I was told that I could give her the bath myself. I bought Amitraz, and mixed it with water. I give it to Walnut after her bath once a week.

She’s more than two years old now and she still has mange. I don’t want to shave her again because I feel sorry for her. She’s happy, eats well, and is still my baby, but she still scratches, up to a point where it bleeds. I’m still treating her with Amitraz. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m thinking she might be immune to Amitraz since I’ve been giving it to her for such a long time. Is there something else I can do to help her? - Anne

To diagnose a disease well, we have to have laboratory tests. If we say it is mange, we must identify what kind of mange it is. There are three species of mange – the sarcoptic, the choroptic, and the demodectic mange. Irritation starts around the dog’s face, eyes, shoulders, and hind legs.

No matter how good the diagnosis, even if the right medicines were recommended, failure of treatment may result from the way the medicine was applied. You mentioned Amitraz was your medicated bath. I consider this a medicated rinse.

Shampoo the dog thoroughly with medicated shampoo like Rascar. Rinse her very well and then towel dry. Boil one liter of water, pour in a basin, add a liter of tap water and mix with 10 ml. Amitraz. While the water is still warm, apply it all over the dog’s body with a brush, making sure that the solution reaches the skin and not just the hair.

The mites enter the skin pores and cause itchiness. The medicine should enter the pores so it can kill the mites inside. For the pores to open, we use warm water. We cannot kill the mites in one application. This has to be repeated weekly as long the infection persists.

Ivomec injection once a week for four weeks can help. After one or two months of treatment, you will find the skin of the dog returning back to normal. Just give the dog the medicated rinse once or twice a month for maintenance.

Infection sets in when the dog gets stressed out, or its resistance lowers because of factors like separation from its human, or is in heat, or lacks vitamins and mineral supplements.

I suggest that you give your dog Vitamin A and Vitamin C supplements. Your vet could give you a prescription.

Please be reminded, however, that not all skin diseases are caused by mites. It is always advisable for pet owners to visit their vets for general check-up once or twice a year. Dental scaling and checking your dog’s diet are just as important.
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Dr. Mangahas has been a vet for 30 years and holds diplomates in Microbiology, Canine Practice and Veterinary Public Health. She has served as officers of various veterinary and health associations. She is VP and incoming president of the Philippine Federation of Professional Associations which has 42 professional groups recognized by the Philippine Regulatory Commission.
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Got questions for your vet? E-mail them to askyourvet@

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