Sarcoptic Mange in Dogs and Cats

Often referred to as Scabies, Sarcoptic Mange is a condition in dogs and cats that starts with a microscopic mite.  The mite burrows under skin, causing very intense itching and infection in your dog or cat. The infection can occur anywhere on the body, especially elbows, ear tips, face, hocks and chest.

Under these circumstances, pets are often so itchy they may chew, rub or lick at their skin until they develop open wounds.

After making their way into your home, the mites that cause this condition can attack and infect other mammals, even including people — which is why it’s important to know how to spot the signs and take preventive measures against Sarcoptic Mange.

Symptoms of Sarcoptic Mange

If you notice that your dog or cat is experiencing intense and constant itching, you should be on the lookout for the following symptoms often associated with Sarcoptic Mange.

  • Self-mutilation from chewing and scratching
  • Hair loss
  • Skin redness or swelling
  • Crusting
  • Secondary bacterial infection in the affected area(s)

Diagnosing Sarcoptic Mange

A veterinarian can diagnose Sarcoptic Mange with a combination of symptoms, examination findings, and laboratory testing. An important skin test called a "skin scraping" can sometimes detect the parasite microscopically. However, this type of mange can be very difficult to confirm by laboratory testing.

Treating Sarcoptic Mange

There are several treatment options including topical medications, medicated dips, oral medications and injections. Rare side effects or reactions to treatment are possible and some can be breed specific. Multiple treatments are usually required to control mange. Contact your local Banfield Pet Hospital for diagnosis and treatment options.

Be sure to complete all prescribed medications by your veterinarian. Additional skin scrapings may be needed to confirm that the mites are gone. It is important to monitor your pet's progress carefully and have him/her rechecked as recommended by your veterinarian.

Learn More

The best way to keep your pet healthy is with preventive care. Consider enrolling your dog or cat on a Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan. Our pet health experts will help customize a plan for your pet, but all plans include early screening for serious illness and unlimited office visits.

You can read more on pet health in the Preventive Care section, or by reading these suggested articles: