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Discussion Starter #1
Last night I was watching Animal Planets Animal cops show. They showed a horder whos 17 dogs were all covered in Mange-they have virtually no hair left on them. It was said that she brought home one with 'skin problems and next thing she knew it they all had skin problems'. I don't know how true that would be but thats not why I'm asking. Apparently they had both types of Mange-I forgot the names. My question is 'is that what happens?' Is Mange something that spreads from one dog to another? The reason I'm asking is one of the types of dogs I focus on for rescue is these special needs dogs with mange. I'm just wondering what I am asking people to take. In other words am I asking people to take dogs that could spread this awful condition? Its not so much that I'll stop working these dogs but I think it would help me to understand more of what I'm dealing with.
Thanks for you help.
 

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There are two basic types of mange:
Sarcopic (?) which can be treated & cured
Demo... something which can be treated but not cured

Mange mites are everywhere but sometimes they overwhelm a dog (especially the sarcopic? one).

Yes sarcopic (sp?) mange can spread from dog to dog & can infect an entire kennel unless it is caught and treated promptly. Yes, bringing in an infected dog can infect every other dog in the household. Takes about a month to start showing up in the other dogs.

Talk to your vet about how to proceed. You may want a foster that can keep the dogs housed seperately until the infected dog is treated and mange free.

This answer is hindsight from experience....
 

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Demodectic mange (like Rafi has) is a whole different thing and not contagious but there's lots of great info on the board about treating it. For a spectacular recovery check out this video about Audrey a little GSD from Harlan rescued by a former board member.

Sarcoptic mange (the contagious kind) is pretty common around here but very easy to treat. If you are fostering dogs with sarcoptic mange, I recommend the following:

When you bring home the dog, quarantine it away from all other animals and handle it as little as possible yourself. When I first bring one home, I use rubber gloves and a lab coat. That may be overkill but it makes me feel better.

Sarcoptic mange mites are arachnids (similar to chiggers if you have those in CA) and they burrow in the skin. Dog sarcoptes is species specific and is not the same thing as people sarcoptes (aka scabies) so they can't complete their life cycle on people and are not contagious among people. However they can and will bite you even if they can't reproduce or spread and you will end up with itchy swollen welts, often around your beltline. Ask me how I know this.


Anyway, you keep the dog isolated. My preferred treatment is with the topical flea/tick/heartworm preventative Revolution. It works quickly and is far less toxic and labor intensive than nasty dips. Instead of once a month you give it every 2 weeks for three doses.

In addition to the Revolution, I recommend washing the dog regularly with a medicated dandruff shampoo. It exfoliates the skin and aids healing, in addition to hopefully knocking off a few of the mites. After bringing home the dog, I start with the bath and then apply the revolution.

Your vet may also give you antibiotics or antiyeast medication because mange can often create the stage for other secondary infections.

I consider the dogs to be okay for integration by the third treatment but I tend to be very conservative and picky about disease control and the dogs I'm fostering are often small dogs and easier to keep quarantined. Some people feel fine after a month of treatment, some people feel okay shortly after the first Revolution. I'm not recommending that, but people do it, apparently without problem. In all cases, I strongly recommend that all other animals in the house use Revolution as their monthly flea/tick/heartworm preventative when you've got residents with mange. That way, in the unfortunate event you transfer a mite from the affected dog to your own pets, they're probably covered.

I have treated a lot of dogs with sarcoptic mange and - knock on wood - have never transferred it to anyone but myself (see above) and that was before I knew what it was and how to deal with it.

Also, in the unhappy event that one of your other dogs does contract it, it starts with itchy motheaten patches and goes from there. There is absolutely no excuse for these people who wait for their dogs to become completely bald and covered with sores before they notice there's a problem. It doesn't not spead over night. I've watched it spread around shelters and the first sign is usually itchy patchy spots around the ear margins, face, lower legs, or belly. If left unchecked it can take over the entire body, leaving them bald and miserable, but that takes weeks even months.

Hope that helps! Feel free to ask if you have any other sarcoptic mange questions. Been there, done that!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great info...thank you all.
 
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