Is your loyal companion constantly scratching himself, leading to angry, red bald patches with sores or scabs on his skin? These signs indicate that your beloved pet may be suffering from mange.
Mange is a skin infection or disease often seen in companion canines. It’s caused by external parasites like mites, some of which are naturally found on a dog’s skin. If allowed to proliferate unchecked, mites can cause severe skin infections and diseases.
There are two main types of mange that affect dogs.
- Demodectic or red mange: Demodectic mange occurs when your dog’s immune system fails to keep Demodex mites in check, leading to their overpopulation. This type of mange cannot be transmitted from dogs to humans, but the mites can be transferred from one dog to another, especially from a mother to weaning puppies. Young pups and dogs under the age of 18 months are especially vulnerable to this form of mange.
- Sarcoptic mange or canine scabies: Microscopic, oval-shaped sarcoptic mites cause sarcoptic mange. This type of mange is highly contagious and can be transmitted to other dogs as well as humans. Sarcoptic mange manifests in humans as small, itchy red bumps that are similar to mosquito bites.
A dog that has mange, especially sarcoptic mange, should be kept in complete isolation until the infection clears up.
Both types of mange can be difficult to diagnose and will need a skin scrape by your veterinarian to diagnose.
- Signs and Symptoms of Mange in Dogs
- Home Remedies to Treat Mange in Dogs
- Method 1: Borax and Hydrogen Peroxide
- Method 2: Listerine and Baby Oil
- Method 3: Sulfur Powder
- Method 4: Diatomaceous Earth
- Method 5: Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo
- Method 6: Apple Cider Vinegar
- Tips to keep in mind
Signs and Symptoms of Mange in Dogs
Mange usually affects a dog’s ears, elbows, face and legs, but it can also spread to the rest of the body. You should take immediate steps to treat your dog if you see any of the following signs and symptoms.
- Hair loss
- Bald Spots
- Scabs and sores
- Intense and frequent itching
- Reddened skin
- Restlessness and desperate scratching of the skin.
Mange can often lead to secondary bacterial infections on the skin. Therefore, as soon you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet to the vet for an exam and to get skin scrapings analyzed to determine both the presence and breed of the mange-causing mites.
Home Remedies to Treat Mange in Dogs
While it is best to follow the treatment recommended by your vet, below are six methods that can be used to give additional assistance and treat mange in dogs.
Method 1: Borax and Hydrogen Peroxide
Borax is the salt form of boric acid and is commonly found in the laundry room, as it is often used as a stain remover. However, borax also acts as a natural insecticide and disinfectant and effectively cleanses your faithful pet’s skin and fur. (1)
Hydrogen peroxide acts as a natural sanitizer and cleanser, killing off mites and preventing the infection from spreading further.
Things you’ll need:
- 3% hydrogen peroxide (disinfectant) – ½ cup
- Borax (disinfectant) – 2 teaspoons
- Water – 1 cup
Step 1. Dilute hydrogen peroxide in water
- Pour 1 cup of water into a jug.
- Add ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Step 2. Add borax, mix well and use
- Add 2 teaspoons of borax and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Rinse your dog with this solution, even the areas not affected by mange.
- Make sure to thoroughly cleanse your dog’s skin and fur.
Wash your dog with this solution 2 or 3 times a day to treat mange within a week.
You can also use the solution to clean and disinfect your pet’s kennel or sleeping area to prevent the infection from recurring.
Method 2: Listerine and Baby Oil
Listerine mouthwash contains herbal oils that have antifungal and antibacterial properties and can be used to treat many skin, hair, and health issues.
While baby oil is gentle on the skin and provides relief from itching. This is one of the most popular anecdotal remedies to help gid rid of mange.
Things you’ll need:
- Listerine (anti-fungal) – 1 tablespoon
- Baby oil (relieves itching) – 1 tablespoon
- Water – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Combine the three ingredients
- Pour 1 tablespoon of Listerine mouthwash into a jug.
- Add 1 tablespoon each of baby oil and water.
Step 2. Mix well, transfer it to a spray bottle and use
- Use a small whisk to blend the ingredients thoroughly.
- Transfer the solution into a spray bottle.
Shake well and spray it on the areas affected by mange twice daily. The infection should clear up within 1 week.
Method 3: Sulfur Powder
Sulfur, a natural mineral that has strong antiseptic properties, is a highly effective remedy used to treat mange and mites infestation. (2) Sulfur powder is readily available in most drug stores.
Single-Step Treatment: Use sulfur powder to bathe your infected dog
- Prepare a hot bath for your pet by mixing equal parts of boiled water and tap water.
- Start bathing your dog with this water. Do not use any other water for the bath. The hot water will open up your dog’s skin pores and force the tiny mites to the surface of the skin.
- Work the sulfur powder all over your dog until he is covered in foam.
- Keep him like this for 30 minutes to allow the sulfur powder to work.
- Rinse your dog with ice water until all traces of the sulfur powder foam are removed. The cold water will also compress and close the skin pores, killing the mites instantly upon contact.
- Let your dog shake himself dry. Do not use a towel or any cloth to wipe him off.
Follow this procedure to bathe your dog once every day for 1 week or until the infection is completely gone.
Method 4: Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the powdered form of fossilized diatoms, comprised of microscopic silica shards or crystals that severely damage the exoskeleton of mange-causing mites, causing death via dehydration. It is another popular folk remedy.
Food-grade DE can be applied to your pet’s coat to eradicate ticks and mites. It can also be used to get rid of termites or silverfish in your home.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply DE on your dog’s skin and coat
- Brush your dog, cleaning his fur and skin thoroughly.
- Apply food-grade DE on your dog’s coat.
- Brush and rub it deep into the fur. This is required to ensure its action against the mites.
Do this once a day for 1 to 2 weeks or until the infection clears up.
DE can make your dog’s skin dry. However, this effect is only temporary and you can wash the powder off after giving it a few hours to work.
Method 5: Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo
Benzoyl peroxide shampoo often called mange shampoo, is an extremely effective deep-cleaning shampoo with antibacterial properties. (3)
It thoroughly cleanses the pores and hair follicles on your four-legged friend’s skin, and certain mild cases of mange can be cured by simply shampooing your pet with it.
Benzoyl peroxide shampoo is particularly effective in treating demodectic mange, as it creates an environment in which the mites cannot survive.
Single-Step Treatment: Bathe your dog with benzoyl peroxide shampoo
- Use benzoyl peroxide shampoo to thoroughly clean your dog’s coat and skin.
- Shampoo your pet with it once daily for 1 to 2 weeks until the mange is completely gone.
Method 6: Apple Cider Vinegar
Another popular anecdotal remedy is apple cider vinegar. Strongly acidic in nature, apple cider vinegar eliminates mange-causing mites and also helps reduce or alleviate mange symptoms, including redness and itching.
Single-Step Treatment: Add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food
- Adding apple cider vinegar to your pet’s food will greatly aid in effectively treating mange.
- Follow the guide below to determine how much should be given to your pet.
- Dogs up to 14 pounds: 1 teaspoon
- Medium-sized dogs between 15 and 34 pounds: 2 teaspoons
- Large dogs between 35 and 85 pounds: 1 tablespoon
Mix the specified amount into your dog’s food once daily for 1 to 2 weeks until the mange clears up.
# Topical Use
Single-Step Method: Spray apple cider vinegar on your dog’s coat
- Fill a spray bottle with equal parts of water and raw, organic apple cider vinegar.
- Spray it on your dog’s coat. Also, use a brush to part the hair and spray the solution directly on the skin. This will also help get rid of fleas on your dog if any.
Do this 2 or 3 times a week to successfully treat mange of your dog.
Tips to keep in mind
- Take your dog to the vet for regular checkups to ensure that the mange-causing mites have been completely eradicated.
- Keep your pet away from any mange-infected dogs.
- Keep your dog healthy and well-groomed. If your pet has a strong immune system, he is highly unlikely to develop mange.
- You can also add 1 tablespoon of fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s daily diet for healthy and mange-resistant skin.
- Mukhopadhyay P. Cleansers and their role in various dermatological disorders. Indian journal of dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3088928/. Published 2011.
- Laha R. Sarcoptic mange infestation in pigs: an overview. Journal of parasitic diseases: official organ of the Indian Society for Parasitology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4675569/. Published December 2015.
- Hall JA, Keirstead N. Diagnostic dermatology. Demodicosis. The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire Canadienne. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2834510/. Published October 2005.
Detomaciousn earth does not work, good at killing hovers though.
I speak from experience.
I tried a mixer of Tea tree oil, coconut oil and lemon juice…. Just a few times and it seems to have worked. Be careful with the tea tree oil though, just a few drops to a few tablespoons of coconut oil and a teaspoon of lemon.
What is hovers
I tried the peroxide and borax and it worked ok but not to eradicate them. They keep coming back.
I tried DE and that didn’t do anything.
I’m going to try the apple cider external and internal.
Mange is one of the most difficult parasites to get rid of. All of the methods can be effective but it takes repeating the process for usually more than 2 weeks . Vacuuming on a daily basis during that 2 weeks helps to ensure there won’t be a recurrence. Washing/changing bedding daily is a huge improvement and wash it all in hot water. If your dogs problem is red mange you will see red staining on bedding and such. I have seen more than once were a vet has misdiagnosed a mange problem and as prescribed cortisone dosages. That makes the situation much worse. It literally sets your pet up to be a mite manufacturing center and your pet will really suffer.
Im an avid believer in doing things all natural like this post. My poor dog was 13 and got sarcoptic mange when we moved to a new house. I went to toys r us and got a microscope and put some hair under in and low and behold a mite ran by! So I tried all sorts of natural remedies..mange is quite painful to so keep in mind how Listerine would feel in your open wound! Vinager is great in there food for many health benefits, it will deter the Mite slightly but thats about it. Peroxide will work but it bothers them a bit and you have to make sure you cover every single skin pore which would be exhausting! DE is awesome stuff, one of my favs but it will not kill the mites under the skin, it makes the cost super course and your dog looks antique for a week! It’s more beneficial if you mix it in their food, ONLY CERTIFIED ORGANIC FOOD GRADE DE! It will rid parasites too and you can also use it and their bedding and around the house but it can become a mess, it takes about 4 days for it to dehydrate a mite or any bug for that matter. Coconut oil kills them the best I found but its waaay messy and must soak on there skin a while and doesn’t wash out well at all. These mites are one of the hardest things to get rid of the best bet is to do your homework, go to the vet and only get a skin scrape, mine tried to blow me off and just do an allergy panel. I demanded a skin scrape only and he was shocked by the results! As much as I hate chemicals but i had no choice but to give her Revolution, which is prescription only but you can buy it after that per month at the vet for 20$. It worked instantly and I kept her on it for a few months. I had a quarter size spot of mange on my hand about a week after and i kept putting DE and coconut oil on it and it did rid it. I covered my entire yard in DE, trashed the bedding and continue to feed my dog a little bit of apple cider vinegar, coco oil and some DE a few times a week and she what’s healthier than ever..hope this helps other pups, Good luck!
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions.
It is great to hear that DE worked out well for you.
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Wow this is very informative! You said you had it on your hand.Could you describe that? I think my dog may have the mange now. I have tried everything on him and thus bald spit in his back is creeping up.his back and he continually scratches. I will get rid of all the bedding but am concerned about the carpet. Do you have any clues about carpet? Thanks pam
All I can say is thank you for your research, so you can help me there for I can get my dog. Thank you . He thanks you.
That is so kind of you to say. We wish you and your furry little friend a very good health.
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Thank you Lauren.. I am battling red mange and I know my babie’s are miserable from itching. It breaks my heart for them. I do everything to relive the ITCHY and pain it’s not enough and don’t last long so exhausting. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray my babies will have relief from the horrible parasite.
I will try your remedies got tiny chowowa with itchy bare skin on top of head and back only 6months old had it for 4months
Thank you for your comment. If you are looking for remedies to treat itchy skin your pet, visit https://www.fabhow.com/how-to-treat-itchy-skin-in-dogs.html
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Burnt car oil. Works on severe cases of mange so im sure it should work on starting stages.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Hope it helps someone.
The burnt motor oil remedy has been around for YEARSand always worked for my grandparents. Part of its success was a type of sulfur in it.
I recently won the battle of Sarcoptic (Red) Mange with a rescue pup and I used NuStock that I got from co-op. I remembered it from a long time ago when my dog had bad hot spots. The odor is hard to eat with in an inside dog and its messy if you have a full body mange problem. So…I bought organic sulfur and mixed it with warm water and did a rinse on him daily with 1 tsp and really warm water. It worked!
I actually used it on myself, left it on for 30 min and rinsed just because I had handled him and have other dogs at home. I love that stuff!
omg, i dont know what to do with my rescued boxer 2 years ago. she’s about 10 yrs old. She stays out the in the back yard, likes to dig hole. 2 weeks ago 5/30/18She had bad ear infections, they had to flush her ears and gave her simparica for fleas, and medicated shampoo, a week after she looks happier, and then this week she broke out with bumps under her skin, and she cannot stop itching. gave her benadryl. most likely she has mange mites. I need help. i tried the natural ways, DE, turn into paste like clay and put on her sores, they dried up but she ends up scratching it again. thank you advance
Thank you Barbara. Thats exactly what happen to my dog. She was given Prednazone by a SPCA vet which made everything worse. Just got back from vets again & they think its sarcoptic. Cant tell ppl what a nightmare it is. Have to disinfect the house treat her everyday now for a month with washed bedding, isolation from others, daily meds, weekly baths and bimonthly Ivermectin injections.
A WORD OF PRECAUTION: MY DOG GOT IT FROM ONE OF THE VETS. So now I carry her in & keep a towel barrier between her & everything at vet’s. Bring my own nail clippers etc.
Has anyone tried the Listerine and baby oil? I’ve been seeing a mange-infected dog outside my workplace for two weeks now. I’ve been feeding it since I saw it, but I also want to help it get rid of its mange. I want to adopt it and bring it home but I have five dogs already and I’m afraid I can no longer accommodate another one. Is there something effective for mange that wouldn’t require a bath?
Thanks in advance!
We have an older aussie shepherd with many health issues. His age (15) and our budget eliminate vet treatment which have an outrageous cost. I did find that that a benzyl peroxide scrub (couldn’t find shampoo) for people ($5.00 a tube at Walgreens) made an immediate difference without being harsh to the skin. Our dog had actually lost a lot of hair and had small sores from scratching constantly. I continued to wash him with this every 3 days for about 2 weeks and he seems fine now. Hair is growing back and he has stopped itching. I can only say that I never would have thought of this without reading the above ideas. I was very skeptical, but it worked and he seems to be clear of it.
I caught it in the early stages have been using hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment ( with pain relief seems to be working!
Also Neem oil mixed with a carrier oil like almond or coconut oil or mixed in with the shampoo. You can find it at the Indian grocery stores maybe even Neem shampoo for humans.
My dog started itching and it caused bald spots on his legs sides and face. I treated him with dawn dish soap and coconut oil , come to find out he really likes coconut oil and you would have to pin him down to give it time to work, so he
wouldn’t lick it off. I have tried apple vin. It worked well but didn’t help with hair regrowth, now I use Apple vin. Coconut oil and hemp oil, hair grows back in three days . He caught it again, I later found out my cat is the carrier so now I’m battling them both at once. I will say hemp oil does grow the hair back really super quick I found it in the black people hair product section.