Also known as dog mange, scabies is a skin disease that causes severe itching and is accompanied by patchy hair loss. Caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, the affected skin turns red and shows the presence of rash, followed by formation of lesions (bumps on skin). The most commonly affected body parts are the belly, ears and the legs.
Before the actual treatment begins, the long hair of the dog (if any) has to be clipped to ensure that the topical treatment reach the affected areas. This is essential for the treatment to be effective.
These shampoos contain insecticides that help to kill these mites. As there are a number of medicated shampoos available over the counter, the dog owner will have to consult a veterinarian to choose one that suits the dog's health the best.
Drugs for this skin disease include Selamectin, Frontline Plus, and Revolution, that are very much capable to eliminate scabies. Selamectin is injected or taken orally and found to be safe in dogs. This medication is administered once a month and also does not produce any side effects.
Other drugs that are administered subcutaneously (below the skin) include Moxidectin and Ivermectin. For Ivermectin to be effective, 2 doses of the drug are injected every 2 weeks. However, veterinarians usually do not recommend Ivermectin as there are few side effects associated with it, making it a risky choice.
Lime Sulfur Dip
Lime sulfur dip is a solution containing 97.8% lime sulfur. The solution is made by adding 4 oz of lime sulfur to a gallon of water. Once it is done, the diluted form is slowly poured over the dog, ensuring that the infected areas of the skin completely soak in the solution. Let the solution remain on the skin and do not wash. The dog owner must wear a pair of gloves while giving their pet a lime sulfur dip. Also ensure that the dog does not consume the solution.
Duration of Treatment
Firstly, bathing the dog with a medicated shampoo as advised by the veterinarian is necessary. Then, removing the dust and dirt from the skin wounds (lesions) followed by clipping the hair, will help to prevent secondary infection. Dips of lime sulfur every week are recommended, until the skin problem goes away. Depending upon how severe the infection is, the doctor may also advice to administer Selamectin.
Keeping the environment clean is an easy way to prevent recurrence of scabies in dogs. The place where your dog sleeps should be sprayed with an insecticide or a pesticide to keep mites at bay. The dog grooming tools also must be cleaned daily. In case the dog is sleeping in the house and does not have a separate dog house, then all the carpeted areas need to be treated with insecticides. This is because, mites thrive and grow at a rapid rate in carpets. Daily vacuuming carpeted areas can also be helpful to prevent re-infestation of scabies in dogs.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.