Dog Scabies and Pet Mange Treatment

If your dog comes down with scabies, then you’ll need to consider what dog scabies treatment options are available. However, before a treatment regiment can begin, a definitive scabies diagnosis must be made by a veterinarian. This article will provide you with an overview of dog scabies symptoms and also present scabies treatments.

Sarcoptic mange, pet mange, sarcoptic mites, and scabies are terms used interchangeably. They are all terms used to define the given affliction in dogs, and other pets.

Scabies Symptoms in Dogs – An Overview


Scabies is a disease that causes intense skin irritation. In turn, your pet will scratch and pick the affected areas. Sometimes, they will do it in a relentless manner and may cause damage to their skin.


The skin of pets with scabies often appeared reddened and inflamed in areas affected by the mites.

Loss of Fur

It’s fairly common that pets will lose fur in areas where the Sarcoptic mites are most active.

Diagnosing Scabies

Diagnosing scabies isn’t easy for veterinarians, as there are other afflictions that have similar symptoms. Additionally, scabies is difficult to diagnose because the mites burrow below the surface, making it difficult to obtain a skin sample.

Misdiagnosing Scabies as Dermatitis

Dermatitis is the skin disease that is most commonly confused with scabies, due to analogous symptoms that each affliction presents. If dermatitis is considered to be the source of the problem, a course of prednisone or other steroid is often prescribed. However, if the pet actually has scabies and not dermatitis, this will be a problem, as the steroids will help the mites reproduce in a more rapid manner.

Often times, veterinarians will assume that a pet with dermatitis/scabies symptoms has scabies. This way, in the event the pet does have scabies, it won’t be exacerbated by steroid treatment.

Dog Scabies and Pet Mange Treatment – Ivermectin

Ivermectin is the most commonly prescribed scabies treatment for dogs and other household pets. It can be administered via an injection, or given orally. Ivermectin has been around a long time, and is also used as a dewormer. It is very effective in ridding pets of scabies. However, care must be taken to ensure that the pet is given the right dosage.

Ivermectin Contraindications

There are a number of breeds that have had severe reactions brought upon by Ivermectin. Some of the pets that had these reactions required prolonged hospital stays, and a number of deaths have been reported.

These breeds are prone to a MDR1 (multi-drug resistant) mutation. Collies , in particular, are susceptible to this resistance (75% of collies in the US are believed to have the mutation).

Other breeds that have been found to carry the mutation include: English Sheepdogs, German Shepherds, Long Haired Whippets, Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Silken Windhounds, and some mixed-breeds. These mutations commonly occur in herding dogs.

Testing Your Dog

There is a way to test your pet for this mutation. If you have one of the previously listed breeds, then be sure to discuss this test with your veterinarian. As this mutation was only recently discovered, there may be other dogs that are prone to the MDR1 mutation, so the test may be worth discussing even if you don’t have one of the listed breeds.

Other Dog Scabies Treatment Options

There are also a number of dips and sprays that can help rid your pet of scabies. These dips and sprays are not considered to be as effective as Ivermectin, but if your dog has an MDR1 mutation, a dip or spray may be an effective alternative. The Naturasil’s All-Natural Pet Mange Dips are one of the more popular otc options for pet scabies.

Closing Thoughts

If your dog has any of the previously described symptoms of scabies — skin irritation, itching, inflammation, loss of fur — then it’s important that you see a veterinarian immediately to discuss what dog scabies treatment options are available to your pet. Ivermectin is usually considered the best option, but dips, such as the previously mentioned naturasil dip, are also fairly effective.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to disinfect the household (see home scabies treatment). However,  pet scabies isn’t contagious to humans, so a round of scabies treatment will not be necessary.

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