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View Full Version : How do I know if my dog has mange or dry skin



barbarab
Sep 11, 2010, 03:43 PM
She is a 2 yr old pitt/lab she has some bald spots from stratching so much.

Aurora_Bell
Sep 11, 2010, 04:59 PM
Has she been checked over by the vet for fleas and mange?

You can try adding a can of sardines or cod liver oil or omega capsules from your vet to help with dry itchy skin. She could have allergies, what type of food are you feeding her? A lot of dogs can't digest or have bad reactions to things like corn, yeast and wheat. So you can always check to see if your brand of food contains these products.

A table spoon of plain yogurt does wonders for an itchy dog too, as does Bennadryl. Your vet will know the correct dosage and if it safe for your particular dog.

Good luck!

shazamataz
Sep 12, 2010, 02:06 AM
A vet can easily determin whether your dog has mange.

They take a skin scraping, have a look under the microscope and if there's ugly little crocodile looking mites... they have mange.

If it's just dry skin follow Auroras advice above ;)

Lucky098
Sep 12, 2010, 12:32 PM
Mange has to be tested by a vet. A skin scrapping will be done and from there determined if the dog has mange.

Dry skin looks like dandruff.. flakes of white throughout the coat. Some dandruff can be itchy and miserable, other dandruff can have big chunks of white flakes and the coat is kind of greasy.

For either issue, you can relieve the itches. A lot of people recommend oatmeal bathes, but oatmeal is a very drying formula. You want to get a shampoo that will clean the hair without stripping the natural oils from the hair. There is a shampoo out (which can aid in the healing mange) called Septiderm-V Skin Care. It can be purchased at any pet store. That shampoo is gentle enough for weekly baths but won't make the problem worse. You also might want to invest in some doggie lotion (yes there is such thing as doggie lotion!) Hydrocortizone works great also. Smear it all over his body. Lavendar also helps with the itches.

You also might want to investigate in food allergies and/or environmental allergies. If he is itching himself raw, then you're going to have to find out why.

Regardless if he has mange or not, the shampoos will help him not itch so much. But you should get him checked out by the vet for food allergies and environmental allergies and also for mange. If you don't get him checked out, then you'll never resolve this problem.

Good luck!

CFrank
Sep 12, 2010, 01:26 PM
Hi I have a 13 year old ****zu that has had skin problems. He would scratch and chew his fur off. Tried numerous changes in his diet and asked for help from people that have dogs with skin allergys. After countless trips to the vet the head doctor figured out how to give our dog some relief. Keeping the dog on steroids would eventually damage his organs. Our dog would be great on the steroids and then a day or two after being wiened off them he was back to chewing and scratching. He prescribed a steroid bath with a conditioner that we bathe him with once a week. This way the steroids will stay out of his blood stream. It worked. I am so thankfull that this type of treatment worked for our dog. I wanted to share this with any people that have dogs in constant misery itching and scratching.

This was the only remedy that worked, changing his diet failed to give him relief.

I love this forum and I hope this info will help somebody in the same predicament as we were,

Cfrank

Festoids
Sep 13, 2010, 08:36 PM
Mange presents in a couple of different ways varying upon the type of mite.

Demodectic mange, caused by the Demodex mite can occur in any dog as all dogs carry this mite. This type of mange is generally known as puppy mange as it occurs mostly in puppies or young dogs. The mange generally occurs around the eyes and feet but in severe cases it can be all over the body. It presents as hairless lesions with some minor irritation (in the minor cases).

The other mange is known as sarcoptic mange, otherwise known as scabies to us humans. This type of mange can be transferred to humans. Sarcoptic mange generally starts around the ears, elbows and belly, wherever there is the least amount of fur. The skin will be red, inflamed and scaley.

The mange can be treated a few ways. The ones I'm familiar with are pyrethrin dips and ivermectin (Ivo-Mec). I prefer Ivo-Mec as it's given orally, it's substantially cheaper and in my opinion, far more effective.

Then you have flea bite dermatitis. This generally occurs first on the lower back of the dog. The dog bites and scratches this area until it's red and raw. One flea bite can itch for up to two weeks on the most sensitive dogs.

There is also atopy, an unknown allergy to something in the environment. With atopy the dog will be itching but some of the tell-tale signs are "raccoon eyes", a hairless ring around the eyes and constant licking of the toes. General treatment consists of either antihistamines or steroids. One can also see a veterinary university for specialized testing to determine the exact allergy.

One of the more unique cases that I've seen was a dog with malasezzia, a fungal infection on the entire body. Usually it's confined to the inner ears. It presents kind of like atopy or a flea allergy except the dogs skin will have an almost waxy feel to it.

Good luck.

Festoids
Sep 13, 2010, 08:38 PM
One more thing, if the dog has atopy, do not feed bacon grease as bacon grease tends to make the symptoms worse.

Aurora_Bell
Sep 13, 2010, 08:45 PM
Hi I have a 13 year old ****zu that has had skin problems. He would scratch and chew his fur off. Tried numerous changes in his diet and asked for help from people that have dogs with skin allergys. After countless trips to the vet the head doctor figured out how to give our dog some relief. Keeping the dog on steroids would eventually damage his organs. Our dog would be great on the steroids and then a day or two after being wiened off of them he was back to chewing and scratching. He prescribed a steroid bath with a conditioner that we bathe him with once a week. This way the steroids will stay out of his blood stream. It worked. I am so thankfull that this type of treatment worked for our dog. I wanted to share this with any people that have dogs in constant misery itching and scratching.

This was the only remedy that worked, changing his diet failed to give him relief.

I love this forum and I hope this info will help somebody in the same predicament as we were,

cfrank

Wouldn't an allergy test or simple bennadryl be a little less extreme? Obviously your vet knows your dog better, but I personally would hate the idea of giving such harsh drug to my pet each day for something like itching...

Sariss
Sep 13, 2010, 08:48 PM
I could be wrong, but they may have tried that. I know with my dog it took a lot to finally get him over his itching..

Aurora_Bell
Sep 13, 2010, 08:53 PM
Just a suggestion. Like I said, I am sure the vet knows the dog the best. But just a suggestion :)

CFrank
Sep 14, 2010, 08:11 PM
Thank you for your reply. He has had all the allergy tests. His condition was so bad that his underbelly was raw. He was treated with antibiotics and steroids that are harsh. This treatment is topical and it works. One bath a week and he is a new dog

CFrank
Sep 14, 2010, 08:22 PM
Our dog takes no drugs now and he free of all the itching and scratching that was annoying to him and especially us. Read the quote I made. Shampoo once a week with a conditioner not drugs every day.

DianeDan
Dec 25, 2011, 06:22 AM
My dog has lots of allergys and he is booked for allergy test this month. Is it worth the money?

Aurora_Bell
Dec 26, 2011, 08:05 AM
There nare basically two types of allergies. Seasonal and food. Seasonal really can't be controlled, food ones can be. Have you tried switching foods? What are you feeding now? Are you able to pin point when he has his flare ups?

We can't really tell you if it is worth it or not. I have dogs with allergies, but luckily I have been able to control them with diets. If my dogs were scratching themselves raw and in obvious discomfort, then yes, an allergy test would certainly be worth it for me.

kelleyking
Apr 11, 2012, 05:34 PM
I am really encouraged by the info here. My dog licks his paws and scratches, but it almost seems behaviorial. I have a question for everyone:
What exactly, is normal for scratching?
My dog, after he eats a meal or treat, licks his paws.
When we come in from outside, he sometimes licks his feet, but not always.
Upon rising in the morning, he rubs his body along the wall or sofa.
I have carpeting and sometimes he just rolls around on the carpet or the grass outside .
As humans, we have our own rituals: washing hands before/after we eat.
Stretching when we get up in the morning.
Yawning.

So I really don't know if my dog's behavior signals anything to worry about. He does not lose any hair through his activities. Friends have suggested possible boredom as a cause. Maybe he licks his feet the way humans bite their nails.

I am going to try giving him plain yogurt. I know he'll eat it because he's tried to take mine :)

What is the name of the steroid shampoo that someone mentioned?
I did try steroids when we lived in FL because he was bothered by flea allergies, and while it stopped the itching, the side effects were NOT worth it. So we won't do that again, internally, but I'm interested in shampoos.

Thank you (My boy is an 11 y.o. boxer/American bulldog mix).

Kelley

LadySam
Apr 11, 2012, 06:17 PM
Hi Kelley,
I would say that what your dog is doing is fairly normal, two of our four dogs do these same things and they have perfect skin and hair coats.
However, if your dog scratches to point of causing abrasions and has hair loss and bald areas that appear swollen, rough or lumpy then he has a problem.
If his feet were itchy he would also be biting and chewing at his feet.
The licking can still cause discoloration of the fur, because the saliva stains.