ME-ChelleMichelle Davis
22 Stapleford Drive
Falmouth, ME


When first getting involved with purebred Whippets and Italian Greyhounds I never expected to have a “Mangy Mutt”.

Having eight dogs, I have experienced nearly every problem at least once. Mange was no exception.

mangeSoon after getting my fifth dog, a whippet named Maggie, she very suddenly developed a red skin rash and lost large patches of fur. In a panic, I took her to her veterinarian who, after a scrape test, diagnosed Demodex Mange; the worst case he’d ever seen in 25 years of practice. There are two primary types of mange, Demodex and Sarcoptic. Sarcoptic Mange results from infestation of scabies. Although less common than the Demodex, it stems from a mite infection allowed by immune system weakness.

Since Maggie suffered from generalized Demodex, I will elaborate on her case and course of treatment I followed after extensive research.

mangeSoon after Maggie was diagnosed, I contacted her breeder and found out that Maggie’s six littermates also came down with the disease. In no time, the breeder as well as the other littermate owners euthanized their dogs. Although Maggie’s case was a severe case, I was determined to see her through it and back to health. This is her story…

Demodex mange (also known as “red mange”) is a relatively common skin disorder in dogs. All dogs carry the Demodex Canis mite in hair follicles. This infestation is usually benign, however, should the dog be immunocompromised, the mite can take over, resulting in generalized itching, redness, hair loss, and in extreme untreated cases, death. The more minor form, localized mange, usually resolves without much treatment other than extremely good hygiene. Maggie’s veterinarian performed a scrape test, which involved scraping the affected area with a scalpel and looking for the cigar shaped mites under a microscope.

Different treatment options were discussed including the traditional series of “dips” in Amitraze. I was very concerned with the side effects of the toxic dips, mostly notably sleepiness and depression. It is important to note that successful treatment of generalized mange is very time consuming and expensive. This may have led to the decision of the other owners to euthanize their dogs. Although treating the mange is important, treating the underlying immune system problem is just as critical. As I was not in favor of dipping, Imange agreed to have Maggie undergo treatment with Ivermectin, (a drug not FDA approved for this condition, but for heartworms) and antibiotics for any super infections that arose. My veterinarian had confidence in this form of treatment so we began daily doses for the next eight weeks combined with neem oil and neem shampoo applications. With the treatment of the “outside” underway, Maggie was treated on the “inside” to help develop her weakened immune system. Online I discovered where I adapted their mange kit, a regimen of homeopathic care, combine with a BARF diet.

Maggie is a healthy dog now!After 4 months of the combination of allopathic, and homeopathic care as well as a lot of love, Maggie recovered fully.

There is strong suspion that the defect in the immunity may be hereditary. Although there is no medical research to back this up, it is strongly recommended to have dogs suffering from this form of mange be fixed. I would not want any of my dogs to go through want Maggie went through. So it is NOT worth the chance. Remember breed you dog only when you feel you can BETTER the breed. Following Maggie’s recovery she was spayed.

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