Choosing the Right Vet for Your Pet

Mangy Dogs: What Should You Do?

Of all the conditions that dogs can get, mange may be one of the most repugnant. Mange on a dog not only makes the dog suffer terribly, it frightens humans and often keeps them from approaching the animal because it can cause baldness and crusty skin. If you own a dog with mange or encounter one during your daily activities, there are certain steps you need to take to help them recover.


Often, mange is easy to identify. If your dog has bald spots, extreme itching, and scabs, they may have the more severe type of mange. You will often notice these skin issues on their ears, legs, and joints, but mange can spread swiftly and end up covering the entire body. Some abandoned dogs can get such a severe case that their entire body can look like a scab. Unfortunately, dogs with severe mange are often ignored simply because people do not want to touch them. 


Demodectic and Sarcoptic mange are the two types your animal may have. The former is hard on your pet, causing excessive itching, but is not contagious. The latter is contagious and can cause hair loss as well as painful skin eruptions. Until you know which type of mange that your pet has, you need to wear protective gloves when touching them. You can end up with itchy and painful skin sores yourself if you are not careful.


Your vet will determine the necessary treatment after they take a skin scraping to determine which type of mange your pet may have. They may prescribe insecticides, antibiotics, and various skin treatments, some of which can be done at home. Your pet will need some time to recover, but in many cases, the outcome of treatment is quite good. Remember that part of any good treatment is lots of affection. Even if your pet's skin is rather frightful, you need to pet them gently and speak to them sweetly. They are already vulnerable, so do not emotionally abandon them. 

Strays should always be approached carefully. If possible, call the Humane Society and keep the dog in view until they come to rescue him. If you must take action on your own, cover your vehicle's seats, don gloves if possible, and gently pick up the animal and put it in your car. Than proceed to the nearest animal hospital, one like Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital. Afterward, scrub out your car to make certain that you don't take mange home to your pets or your family members.

Mange can be extremely hard on dogs, and the look of it repels humans. If your dog has mange, take precautions but don't treat the animal like a pariah. Mange can be treated with some help from your veterinarian and conscientious follow-up on your part. If you see a mange-ridden dog on the street, don't ignore them. At the very least, call the Humane Society so they can help the afflicted animal survive.