by Chris Onyett
The word “mange” has its roots in old French from the term “mangeue”. This has since been shortened to “mange”, meaning “eating” or “to eat”. The behavior generally associated with mange in dogs includes gnawing away at their itchy skin, so it’s easy to see just why we use the word mange. This constant itching is caused by tiny mites that burrow themselves either into the skin or into the follicles. The easiest way to stop these tiny invaders from making a home in your fuzz-ball is to prevent mange in dogs all together.
Know Your Enemy
If you are aware of what canine mange looks like, you’ve got the power of knowledge on your side. Detecting early mange symptoms will help in the event that Fluffy contracts an infestation. If you’ve got a puppy, they are more likely to contract mange since their immune systems are still developing. After 6 months of age, the likelihood decreases substantially. The different types of mange will produce different symptoms, but the treatment is all the same.
The Dog Inspector
Now that you know what mange in dogs looks like, you can perform routine checks to ensure your dog stays healthy. Check the skin and ears for symptoms. If you notice a symptom, keep an eye on it to see if it worsens or if other symptoms become present. Move the hair around to inspect the skin for red marks, inflammation or any sort of discharge on the skin. You greatly increase the odds of catching and preventing the worsening of symptoms by checking your dog regularly.
The Canine Armor
Your dog’s best weapon against infection is their immune system. By keeping their immune system optimal through diet and exercise, they have the advantage. When buying food, be sure to read the ingredients and get acquainted with what your dog needs to keep a healthy immune system.
There are those who believe it is advantageous to use vitamins to help improve a dog’s immune system. While there are different schools of thought, make sure that wherever you get your information from is a credible source. Your vet will likely be happy to let you know the best course of action.
An active dog has a greater chance of fighting off mange than an inactive one. If your pup isn’t on an exercise routine, it’s a great idea to get one in place. This will boost their immune system and keep it working like the tiny virus army it should be.
A Wet Dog
Regular bathing can help to keep your dog’s skin and coat at its healthiest and be a simple way to prevent mange in dogs. We know that sometimes when you try your best to keep Fuzz in the bath, he tries his best to get out, and that results in a bath for you and play time for him. There are dry shampoos available that can keep you just as dry as him, if this is the case.
Should you come in contact with other dogs you suspect of having mange, it would be a good idea to give him a check and maybe even a bath once you get home.
I haven’t yet met a pooch who doesn’t enjoy a good brushing, so brush as often as you like. If there is an infestation, the baths and brushing together would do a good job of removing any eggs or mites that might be present.
If you’re feeling rather Samaritan-like, you could inform the suspected dog’s owner of what you’ve picked up on if they don’t seem to have noticed.
The V-E-T (Shhhhh)
Even though your car-chaser might go limp in refusal, a regular check up to the vet will do them good. A vet will have tools at their disposal, such as skin analysis tools, that aren’t available to the average dog owner – unless that dog owner is Batman.
For The Love of Dogs
Fluffy needs to stay fluffy, or you would be forced to name him Patches. For the love of your dog and his/her name, take these preventative measures that can help you keep your animal happy, healthy and strong. Not only will these steps provide your dog with the best defense against mange, they will improve the quality of their life.
Chris Onyett is a designer and technology enthusiast who is passionate about dogs. He created the Dog Help Network after an experience with his own dog, Kupo!. He learned that doing proper research, and learning from others experiences can be just as important as taking a veterinarian’s advice. The Dog Help Network is focused on sharing encouraging health recovery stories from dog owners around the world. View his Google+ Profile.
It’s not always possible to prevent mange especially when your vet first tells you your dog is suffering from allergies and gives her a steroid shot. It wasn’t until she got much worse that he did a skin scraping to diagnose it.