Home Remedies for Dogs With Mange

Updated on December 10, 2016

Dog With Mange

What Is Mange

When you see a dog with mange, so long as it isn't your own, you can't help but assume that it has somehow been abused because it looks so miserable that you can't imagine how any owner could let it get that way if he or she cared for the animal.

However the truth is that mange can happen in the best of pet families including yours. Mange is a parasitic skin disease caused by mites. These microscopic distant relatives of spiders burrow under the dog's skin where they will mate, lay eggs, and then die.

Of course the eggs that are laid will hatch and become larvae which will in turn become adults and the whole process begins again. Can you imagine what it must feel like to have these insects living a millimeter or two under your skin? If you have ever experienced chiggers, take that experience and multiply it by 10.


Symptoms Of Mange

So what does mange look like? Well unfortunately the early symptoms of mange strongly resemble the symptoms of allergies so it's difficult to diagnose. In fact even when it becomes more obvious that the condition is mange, it's still hard for a veterinarian to say for certainty that your dog has mange. That's because the standard test involves a skin scrapping and there is typically an 80% chance that no mites will be seen on the surface of the skin. As a result, vets will usually just go ahead and recommend mange treatment based on visible symptoms.

What are the symptoms? Well her are a few:

  • Persistent, aggressive scratching and biting
  • Patches of hair loss particularly on the belly, ears, haunches, elbows or armpits
  • Bald patches that have red pustules that almost resemble bad acne
  • A yellow crust on bald skin particularly at the edges of the ears

If your dog is displaying these symptoms you should pay a visit to the vet. Aside from the misery the dog is in, the real danger is that of infection.

When the mite invades the skin the dog's immune system kicks in and tries to eject it. The more the immune system is worked the weaker it can become. Add to the mite invasion, the possibility of a bacterial infection from the scratching and biting, and the dog's defenses will really be put to the test.

If the condition warrants it, the vet can prescribe antibiotics to help with the infection problem.

Poor Baby

Home Remedies For Mange

The vet will probably recommend a series of chemical dips but that can be an unpleasant experience for both the dog and the person doing the dipping.  Additionally, there can be some side effects to the dog that while they are not fatal, can make them sick for a short period of time.

As an alternative you can give these home remedies a try.

Understand that all of these remedies are designed to kill or repel the mites that are on the surface, not those under the skin.  The life cycle of a mite is about three weeks.  If you can keep your pet mite free for 12 weeks and improve his immune system, then the mites and larvae under the skin will die.

Home Made "Dip"

One way to dry up the scabs and pus is to mix 16 ounces of peroxide, 8 tablespoons of borax and 2 cups of warm water to create your own dip.  Rub this concoction into your dog's skin and let him drip dry.  Do not rinse.  Do this once a week and in 2 weeks you should see hair starting to grow in the bald patches.  In two months you should be close to being mange free.

Improve The Immune System

Helping your dog fight the battle from the inside out is important.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil to his food everyday.  Olive oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acid that is necessary to create the natural skin oil that he needs to reduce the itching from dry skin. 

Add a ground up vitamin E supplement either to his food or disguised in a treat and you'll be assisting his immune system attack the infections.  Good dog nutrition durning this time is essential.

Mange in The Ears And Face

These are sensitive areas and it may be easier to treat separately than as part of the "dip".  Mineral oil will kill the mites on the surface.  Simply soak a cotton ball with mineral oil and apply to the affected area.  Ears are a favorite place for mites to migrate.  Gently apply the oil and then massage your dog's ears.  The good news is this works.  The bad news is that it wears off after about 8 hours.

Mange or Diaper Rash?

On smaller dogs, and particularly for mange on the belly, Desitin diaper rash ointment seems to work.  The oil in the ointment kills the mites and the same ingredients that soothe a baby's diaper rash also sooth the dog's skin.

Motor Oil

How this became a home remedy I have no idea but there are people who use it for mange.  This is akin to pouring antifreeze on your dog.  Yes it will probably kill the mites but that won't matter too much because it will kill the dog as well.  Don't use motor oil as a treatment.

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    • profile image

      Deborah 

      14 months ago

      My 3 month old dobies developed mange and I tried DESITIN OINTMENT.

      After two applications...No more redness. The large bumps were almost all gone. Itching almost nil. I will continue to use this. You never to try this.

    • profile image

      Gloria 

      3 years ago

      thank you so much for the input. I'm gonna try the Borax and peroxide. and the mineral oil for the ears. and also going to give vitamin E.

    • profile image

      Rachel 

      6 years ago

      Check out this link for temp relief until you can get Lucky to the vet. http://homeremediesfordogs.org/Dogs-With-Mange.htm...

    • profile image

      Hazel 

      6 years ago

      I was standing in my kitchen and looked out window to see someone dumping a puppy. I went to get it before it was hit by car and discovered it was severely ate up with mange it has hardli any hair covered in scabs and has worms eyes matted. Its very sad. I have taken him in and through it all hes so happy. I tried the homemade dip which seems to work and i have been using skin so soft on his skin after i dip him and putting olive oil in food. I also am treating the mange with ivy mac shot. Any more suggestions on what to do for him! By the way we have named him Lucky! I will b taking him to vet but where we live none r open on wknds.

    • profile image

      Hazel 

      6 years ago

      I was standing in my kitchen and looked iut window to see someone dumping a puppy. I went to get it before it was hit by car and discovered it was severely ate up with mange it has hardli any hair covered in scabs and has worms eyes matted. Its very sad. I have taken him in and through it all hes so happy. I tried the homemade dip which seems to work and i have been using skin so soft on his skin after i dip him and putting olive oil in skin. I also am treating the mange with ivy mac shot. Any more suggestions on what to do for him! By the way we habe named him Lucky! I will b taking him to vet but where we live none r open on wknds.

    • Rachel Willson profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Willson 

      7 years ago

      Sarah,

      If the scabs and crusty skin are reddish then your pup may have Demodectic mange. Virtually all dogs have this form of mite and it will sometimes cause problems on young dogs whose immune system has not fully developed yet.

      There are a couple of things you can try. First give him a teaspoon of olive oil on his food daily. This will get him the Omega 3 fatty acid he needs to generate oil on his skin. A Vitamin E supplement will help build his immune system. Lastly you can rub a 5% benzoyl peroxide gel directly on the affected area.

      When his immune system fully develops the problem will go away.

      Now if the crust isn't red, then go to http://homeremediesfordogs.org/Dog-Itchy-Skin.html for some more ideas.

    • profile image

      sarah 

      7 years ago

      okay so i have a 17 week old american bulldog and he seems to be itching a lot by his tail and by his tail hes my first dog ad i dnt knw what to do his hair is missing and its all scabie and crusty what should i do

    • Rachel Willson profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Willson 

      7 years ago

      Let me know how that works for you Savannah. And if it works, let me know what the formula is so I can share it on my site. Thanks!

    • SavannahEve profile image

      SavannahEve 

      7 years ago from California

      Great hub! Thank God you said that about motor oil. I mean, could you imagine? I'm trying the home dip with borax now on my Collie and also working on his immune system from the inside out. The vet's chemicals would kill him, not that I would ever even use them! I'll let you know how the borax works. Thanks!

    • Rachel Willson profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Willson 

      8 years ago

      You're welcome North Wind. Hope your mutt is mange free!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 

      8 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thanks for this. It was really helpful!

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