What Does Dog Mange Look Like & How To Treat It

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Dog with mange sleeping on sofa (caption: dog mange symptoms & treatments)You’ve most likely seen horrific images of mange-ridden dogs being rescued by animal organizations. What you may not know is that mange doesn’t just affect neglected animals. This common skin disease can strike any pet.

Untreated mange can result in a hairless, sore-covered dog in lots of pain. That’s why it’s important to treat mange at first sight. Don’t let your dog’s skin turn to stone.

Article Overview

What Is Mange?

Mange is a skin disease that’s caused by a particularly prolific parasite called a mange mite. There are two types of commonly diagnosed mange, demodex and sarcoptic.

Demodectic Mange

Demodectic Mange photo & symptomsDemodectic mange, also known as demodicosis or demodex, is caused by a  commonly occurring mite called Demodex canis. This mite normally inhabits every dog’s skin, but problems occur when these mites overpopulate due to the dog’s immune system being unable to keep the mites under control.

Dogs suffering from demodectic mange either have localized areas of the disease, or their entire body becomes infected. The good news with this form of mange? Demodectic mange is not contagious.


  • Hair loss
  • Pustules (small skin bumps that contain pus or fluid)
  • Itchy skin
  • Crusty lesions


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If you suspect that your dog has mange, your vet will take skin scrapings to diagnose demodectic mange.


  • In localized cases, it usually resolves itself
  • For generalized cases, a dog might need long-term medication.
  • Your vet may prescribe a daily dose of Ivermectin until the infection clears up
  • Spaying females can help reduce hormone fluctuation which can cause the disease to occur
  • Feeding your dog high-quality food and preventing stress can help reduce flare-ups

Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic Mange photo & symptomsSarcoptic mange, or scabies, is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei (a type of parasitic mite). Scabies is extremely contagious between dogs and can also spread to humans and other animals. It often begins in one area of the body and if left untreated, can cover the entire body.

Symptoms usually appear anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks after exposure. High exposure locations include kennels, vet clinics, groomers, dog parks and shelters.


  • Uncontrollable itching
  • Skin lesions may appear as thick crusts, bleeding scabs or even oily discharge
  • Hair loss
  • Skin rash


Your vet will take a skin scraping to diagnose scabies; however, there are many false negative results with scabies. Often this diagnosis is made by exclusion or a therapeutic trial of medication.

Owners often complain of itchiness after a vet diagnoses their dog with scabies. Remember, you can catch scabies from your dog!


Much like demodectic mange, the treatment for canine scabies is typically very successful and carries a good prognosis. A licensed veterinarian should oversee treatment, which often involves prescribing a drug that kills the mite.

In some cases, you can use a scabicidal shampoo to kill the mites living in your dog’s skin. Ongoing treatment will be necessary since eggs take time to hatch.

With veterinarian approval, you can also try King Kanine’s topical antiseptic solution. This eco-friendly and alcohol-free spray contains full-spectrum CBD and soothing antibacterial ingredients to soothe your dog’s irritated skin.

7 Home Remedies For Dog Mange

If you think your dog has mange, schedule an appointment with your vet to get an official diagnosis. The last thing you want is to assume that your dog has one illness when really, it’s something else.

Once you get a confirmed diagnosis, talk to your vet about possible home remedies, such as:

  1. Brush the fur to help remove scaly skin and scabs (check out these brushes)
  2. Apply 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt that contains acidophilus to the ear where affected (this isn’t good to use in other affected areas of the body because the dog will most likely lick it off)
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food
  4. Put 2 drops of cooking oil on your dog’s infected skin
  5. Slice 1 lemon (keep the peel on) and add it to boiling water. Let it sit overnight and apply the mixture to your dog’s coat using a sponge.
  6. Wash your dog with warm soapy water
  7. Clean their bedding and other places they sleep to prevent the spread of mange

Depending on the severity of mange, your vet may advise you to skip a home remedy and instead recommend a prescription or other course of treatment.

Home Remedies For Dog Mange Infographic

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Essential Oils For Mange

If your dog has demodectic mange, you may be interested in this article about essential oils for dogs. It also includes other ways you can treat common ailments for dogs like fleas, allergies, anxiety and more. Read this if you wish to gain a better understanding of other common skin conditions in dogs.

What suggestions do you have for treating mange?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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Can i use people lice treatment? I think its the same ingredients


Yes you can. Permethrin shampoo worked for our dogs.

Priscilla Elrod

Hello my dog is a cocker spaniel and she had been having skin issues like dry spots it’s like bumps on her and she smells like dirty socks!!! I’ve tried medicated shampoo , the vet told me she has allergies. So I’ve changed her food but she is still the same. Khloe is now 8years old. What can I do to help her? Thank You

Beverley musham

I had a cocker spaniel several years ago .bobbie had an allergy Murdock uni vets recommended cooking kangaroo with rice .carrots and leafy greens this helped.. I now do the same for my ruby a Staffy with allergies it works most of the time I now add sweet potato and pumpkin …stay away from wheat products check biscuits I use all paws costs more but worth it

Lynn Breazzeal

How much water is used with boric and peroxide solution?

Sally L Anthony

As a former director of two regional poison centers, I am aware that many essential oils are toxic! I would caution anyone who is considering using them on a pet to check with a veterinarian or ideally a holistic veterinarian.
At least call the National Animal Poison Center. They will change $60 or more for their expertise.

Jan Anthonisz

I admire and appreciate the advise always given to pet owners by contributers of Canine Journal. Same with PET MD which I say to many pet owners it is only a guide and is by no means a cure unless owners take their pets to a vet.

My 16.5 year old Belgian Sheppard like most older dogs has various health issues in accordance to her age which is under control by A GOOD BALANCE EXPENSIVE DIET and with regular vet checks not to mention an average of 5 to 6 short walks a day/night to keep her joints and muscles active along with mental stimulation.

I advise all pet owners to do the same. Good for the dog and pet parent as well. GOOD HEALTH. So sad Willow due to her age is only covered for accidents.

Other than minor age health issues she unfortunately suffers from S.B.S. and there appears to be no cure. What is S.B.S. many will ask? “SPOILT BRAT SYNDROME”.

Take care and Dog Bless from me: Jan and WILLOW: MEMBER OF THE LOYAL FAMILY.

Sara Pruitt

Is it boric acid or just boric is there a difference and do I give my dogs do i bathe him in it or do i put it in a spraybottle I’m willing to try anything

Voctor Castillo

Did you ever find a cure for mange I need help badly asap!!


Borax and boric acid are the same, right? The article above does show a recipe using it for dogs!

Elizabeth Rivera

How do you cure mange in dogs


We just took in a rescue and the poor dog is in such horrific shape with mange and Folliculitis… we got this stuff called Diatomaceous Earth… it’s all natural and supposed to kill off the mange mites
He has not dug since we put it in yesterday

We are praying it works! He’s only 5mo old!
I will repost if it does….I can’t believe this happened WHILE at a Rescue!!

Tammy Denny

This is food?

Samantha Farris

What do you do with this stuff ? Put it on their food. Or what

Margaret Pritchett

Diatomaceous Earth can be put directly on the animal’s coat, use it like baby powder. It is an all natural substance. It can also be put into their food to help control worm infestations.
When putting on their coats/skin, take care to not breath it in, it will irritate both you and your animal’s lungs.
Leave on for at least 72 hours before you wash them, but you do NOT have to wash them if you do not want to.
If the animal gets wet, you will need to dry completely, then reapply.
If you choose to wash them, you may need to reapply 2-3 more times to kill all mites, fleas, and then the hatching eggs.
With my 2 dogs, I usually apply DE 2X per month, but only bath mine every 4-6 months. Over bathing can be a problem, as well as the mites/fleas that they tend to get. Dogs have natural oils in their hair and skin, that gets removed when using bathing shampoos.


What are the symptoms of these mange disease? And what is the cause of it? What care has to be taken to avoid it? Also, have you heard about the Tramadol tablets that are effective for pain relief?

Elizabeth Rivera

I need topical or oral liquids to give my dogs for mange no pills


Diatomaceous Earth rub their whole body where the mange mites are with this powder…. it’s also edible! I sprinkle some on his food to…. u can also get it on amazon


Diatomaceous Earth is very dangerous to breathe-in. It will cause lung damage to you or your pet! Be careful/mindful when using.

Jennifer Leatham

There is food grade Diatomaceous Earth at feed stores. Not the one to kill bugs


The only safe one is food grade DE. It kills bugs. Google it. If its not food grade, its not safe to feed pets or humans. Organic is best. Home Depot or Lowes.


Don’t give dogs Tramadol!!!!!!