What is the best medical treatment for mange?

A friend's pooch is suffering from mange. The docs here say there is no complete cure for it. He is up to the bleeding sores...

Last Updated on March 30, 2007 by Dogster Team

A friend’s pooch is suffering from mange. The docs
here say there is no complete cure for it. He
is up to the bleeding sores stage. The poor animal
is suffering and its only a year old. My
friend lives in Goa, India, where facilities for
vet care are not great. Please advise on the
best medical treatment for the same. I hate seeing this pup suffer. Any information would be useful. Thank you and God bless.

Calcutta/Goa/Mumbai, India

Based on his age and where he lives, your friend’s dog likely has either puppy mange (also known as demodectic mange) or sarcoptic mange (also known as scabies).

In the United States, a number of medicines are available to treat these parasites. I would imagine that the full variety is available in India’s large urban centers as well, although it doesn’t surprise me that a more remote location such as Goa has limited facilities.

If your friend can find a vet who is able to prescribe a medicine called Ivermectin, or who has access to shampoo containing lime sulfur, these products are very likely to help the dog. Ivermectin cannot safely be given to collies or sheepdogs.

Even if neither of these medicines is available, there are steps your friend can take to help his dog. First, the bleeding sores are likely the result of a skin infection that has developed because of the mange. The infection can be treated with antibiotics.

I also recommend bathing the dog at least twice weekly. Use a gentle shampoo. This will help to keep the skin clean so that it can heal. Take care to ensure that the bathing does not dry out the dog’s skin–this could make the problem worse.

Anything that strengthens the dog’s immune system will help with this problem. He should have access to high quality nutrition, which is most easily accomplished by including good dog food in his diet. Also, a stable home life and good shelter will reduce stress, which in turn will help his immune system.

If possible, eliminate other parasites such as fleas, worms, and mosquitoes. If flea control products and dewormers are available, tell your friend to use them. One product, Revolution, may be of particular use, because it has activity against fleas, worms, and some types of mange.

All cases of mange can be frustrating to treat, and can take months to resolve. However, if your friend can keep his dog comfortable and otherwise healthy, there is a good chance that the dog’s immune system ultimately will bring the problem under control.

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