Demodectic mange is a parasitic disease affecting the skin and internal organs. It is caused by microscopic mites of the genus Demodex, characterized by damage to the hair follicles. Pets and humans are sick.
Causes of canine demodicosis
The first cause of the disease is contact with the skin of a microscopic tick. It is believed that the causative agents of demodicosis are specific for humans and animals. “In reality, dogs become infected with both“feline”and“human”ticks, and the specificity is very conditional,” says Oleg Mishchenko, a veterinarian with many years of experience.
After hitting the body, the mite is screwed into the skin and moves to the hair follicle. Then it goes down to the soft layer of the skin, the dermis. There he feeds, reproduces and moves, gnawing deep passages.
Droplets of intercellular fluid, blood and lymph are secreted from the tunnels eaten by ticks, which become free restaurants for microbes.
The second reason for demodicosis is a low level of immunity and lack of movement. With weak immunity, the mite lives quietly in the skin and signs of demodicosis appear from time to time. Lack of movement dramatically reduces the ability of dogs' skin and coat to cleanse themselves, as well as immunity.
There is a pedigree tendency: Boxers, Bulldogs, Shar Pei, Pugs, West Highland Terriers and German Shepherds are more likely to suffer from demodicosis.
Intrauterine infection with demodicosis occurs, but has already become a rarity.
Signs of demodicosis in dogs
The first to appear is itching around the face, ears, croup, or tail. Itching often occurs elsewhere, but is always accompanied by hair loss. Itchy areas of the skin are covered with a rash. In the initial stages, the rash is diffuse, completely covering the affected skin. With the development of the disease, the rash remains around the hair follicles. With the full development of the disease, specific brown crusts appear around the hair follicles.
Itching disturbs the behavior of the animal: the dog ceases to obey commands, tries to rub against objects at home and during a walk.
The development of microbes in the skin leads to a build-up of pus and itchy pimples all over the body. With the accumulation of pus, the dog's fatigue increases, sometimes shortness of breath and a shaky gait appear.
In severe cases, scratching and abscesses can cover 90% of the animal's body.
The final diagnosis is made only after taking a scraping and examining it under a microscope. With demodicosis, healthy mites, their eggs and larvae are found in the crusts and skin on the border of healthy areas and itchy areas.
Taking and examining scrapings requires high qualifications and experience.