Sarcoptic Mange: What it is and How Severe it Can Get
Sarcoptic mites cause sarcoptic mange. These mites are one of the most contagious types of parasites and are not visible to the human eye. As such, only a high power microscope can detect them. These mites affect not just dogs but other four-legged animals as well.
Sarcoptic mites burrow themselves into the outer layers of the dog’s skin. A single sarcoptic mite can live for as long as 22 days.
Its entire lifespan is spent on the host, which in this case, is your pet. They reproduce massively and can cover the surface of your dog’s skin if left untreated. A single sarcoptic mite can proliferate to a number that is enough to cause severe skin lesions on your dog.
Due to the constant scratching, dogs with sarcoptic mange will eventually develop dry, scaly, and crusty skin. This is the most common symptom of sarcoptic dog mange. Soon enough, hair loss on the affected part will occur, exposing the wounded part of the skin.
Sarcoptic mange usually develops on the ears, head, face, abdomen, and limbs of the dog. Take note that sarcoptic mites are very contagious, even to humans. They can also live outside the host for a certain period of time. Therefore, it is possible to catch this disease even if there’s no direct contact with an affected animal at all.
It is a good thing that these mites can’t thrive on human skin. They can live on your skin for some time, but will eventually die because they can’t reproduce there, and there’s not enough nourishment for them.
Sarcoptic mange requires full veterinarian intervention to cure. It is never advisable for pet owners to carry their own line of treatment for their dogs. Localized sarcoptic mange can easily transform into generalized sarcoptic mange if not treated right away, which is much harder to cure.
To prevent sarcoptic mange from occurring on your pets, make sure that you keep them clean and healthy at all times. Proper hygiene and fresh bedding is the best defense against sarcoptic mites. Also, keep your pet’s immune system strong. Only then you can be assured that their own body defenses can whisk away the threats of sarcoptic mange, even without your help.