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December 27, 2006


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hi i just wanted to know if humans could get red mange? i have a dog who has it and she just had puppies and it looks like there getting it too i just dont want it to be harmful for my family


Hello, Brenda,

This parasite is only transmitted by prolonged direct contact of bare skin to bare skin, i.e. a puppy nursing its mother.

I do not believe that there is any likelihood that you or your family will be affected by the Demodex mite ("red mange").

Sarcoptic mange mites (Scabies, on the other hand, can be acquired from your dog (or your pig, for that matter) by fairly casual contact. It looks like chiggers on steroids (itches like it, too).

Thanks for reading and writing.


I got a husky pup 3wks ago she is 13 wks old and has demodectic mange per the vet and is taking mitiban baths every 2 wks and antibiotics each day. however the sores are going away but it seems ALL of hair keeps falling out even where there was no sores, the mange covered 60% of her body,only has hair on her back and tail but it is falling out more each day!! what can I do??? will she loose all her hair?? will she scar and will her hair grow back?? her skin was red and bleeding alot but now its more a light pink color,she looks like she is getting better but the hair thing has me worried please email me if you can help vonyaharrison@yahoo.com Thanks to anyone who can offer help or home treatments!!!!


Hello, Vonya,

The demodex mites live in the hair follicles and damage them. This causes the hair to fall out. The damaged structure is easily invaded by bacteria, which is what makes the sores.

The good news is that your sore places are clearing up and the skin is beginning to look a healthy pink. This is the beginning of recovery.

Even after all the mites are dead (which will take a while, as their eggs will still be hatching out), it will take a while for the hair follicles to heal to the point that they can begin growing new hairs.

Let your veterinarian monitor the situation. It sounds like your pup had a really bad case, and it may take a while.

It's important to minimize other physical stresses on the dog, and good nutrition is very important to support the dog's immune system.

All the drugs in the world will NOT work if the dog's own defense system isn't working well. Just getting more mature will help this, but nutritional support is very important. A high-quality diet, plus some supplements may be helpful. I like Immuplex, made by Standard Process, but I'll bet your own veterinarian can help you with this.

There are some other drug therapies if the Mitaban isn't working, but it sounds like you are making progress.

Good luck.


HI Can some one tell me how long these mites will last. I had my dog to the vet 3 weeks ago and he gave her a shot of steroids and and a allergy pill. my dog cries and whines. I know she is miserable. I took her back to the doctor today another (200.00)More steroids and allergy pills


Hello, JeanLucas,

There must be some miscommunication going on here.

Corticosteroids (forms of cortisone) would not be indicated for the treatment of mange mites. They would be used to treat allergies.

Allergies require lifelong management - they do not get cured.

Mange mites can almost always be brought under control, though it can take two months or more of treatment.

The treatment would NOT be some type of steroid. These are used in allergies because an allergy is a malfunction of the body's defense system. You suppress the body's defenses with the steroids. That would NOT be a good thing to do if you have mange mites.

You should ask your veterinarian to clarify what your dog's diagnosis is, and what is being treated here. I cannot believe that steroids are being given for mange mites. That doesn't make sense.


My vet has been treating my dog with Ivermectin since October (4 mos) for demodectic mange. For the past 2 mos, he gave prednisone shot for itching. She's migrated to pills, one a day for a week and then tapering off completely. Last scratch test showed the mites are now dead, but we're using Ivermectin for one more month. Thoughts?


Hello, Mackeah,

Usually there isn't much itching from the mite infestation at this point. This leads me to suspect that your dog has an additional situation going on, like an allergy or skin infection.

The dermatologists have told me that you want to treat the dog until multiple skin scrapings are negative (you cannot find any mites, not just finding only dead mites), and for at least two weeks afterward.

Sounds to me like your veterinarian is right on track.


Hi.. will the hair grows back on the affected areas? I think my dog lost her appetite due to this. I just sent her to the doctor for treatment. It seems very serious.initially it was just 2 small patches, now it became very serious. Im very worried.


Hello, Caval,

Generally speaking the hair does grow back once the mites and secondary skin infections are under control.

Talk with your veterinarian about your concerns.


We rescued a puppy from humane society.. We've had her 11 months now... She's been suffering from what all 3 different vets say is scabies/ mites!! She's had Ivermectin injections 3 of them 2 weeks apart...she's been given revolution.. She just had Promeris which almost killed her!....still Severe itching..red patches ...tons of hair loss. we have her on no corn or wheat. Anutifungal shampoos and sprays. Benadryl. Nothing has worked. I'm at a loss and I don't see the light! Help!


Hello, Roxanne,

I understand your frustration.

The dermatologists tell us that when a young dog has itchy skin problems, it is scabies (sarcoptic mange mites) "until you prove it isn't".

That being said, one would still like to have actually seen the mites on a skin scraping.

Sometimes we feel that we are ruling the mites in or out by treating appropriately. Usually, Revolution given three times, 2 weeks apart is very effective. If the dog gets well, that's what it was. If not, it could be something else entirely.

Frequently, dogs with severe skin problems have multiple things going on. They did in fact have sarcoptic mange mites. They also have 3 other things. You have to treat the other things, as well.

There has obviously been some effort to do this, but it doesn't sound like it worked.

If I were presented with this dog, the very next thing I would do would be to perform skin biopsies. We need a diagnosis here, not just more treatments.

The biopsies should be cultured, as well as sent to a dermatopathologist (a pathologist who specializes in skin disease).

Referral to a veterinary dermatology specialist would be ideal, but is not always practical.

It is very possible that the previous treatments have helped part of the problem, but you need to know what ALL of the problems are in order to treat effectively.

It is also possible that the dog has some other underlying illness that needs to be treated in order for her immune system to function properly. She should be screened for other illness with basic bloodwork, urine specimen, stool specimen, and maybe a thyroid test.

I wouldn't be too worried about corn and wheat. If the biopsy suggests allergy problems, you could look at a real dietary elimination trial.

Bottom line: we need to find out what all of this dog's problems are.

Breanna Morgan

Hello, I have 2 dogs with domodex mange.. Before my little boy (Sarg) came into our home, I got my little girl (Bella), she had already had mange when I got her I had no idea why puppies fur was falling out & she had bald patches everywhere!! Once diagnosed with demodex mange, she was put on oral ivermectin once everyday for a month! It started to help, but at the same time she lost so much weight & hardly has an appetite! Once Sarg had caught the mange too, i put them both on advocate, once a month treatment between the shoulders. They've only had 1 treatment of that each, a week ago. They both have lost soooo much fur & have a fair few sores (getting worse from scratching). But Bellas skin Is still more dark, dry & flakey, where as Sarg is really red/pink not so dry & flakey but more scabby & in some areas looks like it's a really bad rash rather than anything else.. I'm also finding it hard to get ontop of the sores as they scratch to the point they're bleeding & the sores just get bigger!
My babies are sooo miserable! Since the advocate, they have lost so much more fur! I guess it's working already but my question is, will their fur grow back? & how roughly long after the mites are dead & gone, will it take for it to grow back?
Any advise is greatly appreciated, thankyou 😊


Hello, Breanna,

I have had the best luck with the daily ivermectin, but it can certainly longer than two months of treatment in severe cases. There are reports of using moxidectin (in Advocate, US brand is Advantage Multi) to treat Demodex, but it isn't as widely used.

You don't mention any treatment for skin infection. Demodex is often called "red mange" because the mites damage the hair follicles, which then are very susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. This is like turning all your pores into painful, itching pimples.

Medicated shampoos with benzoyl peroxide (no more than 5%) can help flush debris from the hair follicles.

Many of these dogs need to take systemic (by mouth) antibiotics for several weeks to clear up these secondary infections. When that is done, they are usually much improved in their overall health and condition while treating the mites.

You also need to handle any other problems, such as intestinal worms, or poor nutrition, etc.

Your veterinarian should be able to provide you with an antibiotic medicine that will concentrate in the skin (many do not).


Hi there!

My puppy was diagnosed with demodex mange about 2 weeks ago. Initially it was two spots on her face and the vet recommended just some benzoyl gel. It quickly progressed to cover her entire face and neck. Her face became extremely swollen and we got her back to the vet. She has been on ivermectin a couple of days now, but the swelling is still pretty apparent, especially around her eyes (very squinty looking) Now her skin hase become very pink but also completely dried with lots of scabing/flaking. She's very itchy! Is this normal? Does this mean the ivermectin has begun to work?
Also, I know once the mites are under control to prevent the mites from flaring up again we need to get her immune system in tip top shape.. Any suggestions? We are giving her multi vitamins, but I'd love any other tips.


Hello, Katie,

It's pretty common to have secondary infections with demodectic mange. We often have to treat with antibiotics for a couple of weeks or longer to deal with that aspect of the problem.

I recommend a high-quality name-brand puppy food instead of a generic or house-brand.

Relief Spray and Relief shampoo have moisturizers and a local anesthetic to soothe the skin, and this may be helpful to you.

Talk to your veterinarian about your concerns.

Greg K

Will the hair grow back after a little 1/4 patch of hair falls out from mange?


Hello, Greg,

With localized cases like that, the hair almost always grows back. As the dog matures or gets past whatever was stressing the body, the immune system regains control, gets the mite numbers down, and the hair follicle begins to function normally again.


I have a 1 & half year old Dalmatian mix with pit bull & he seems to have mange, I believe. I can't afford to take him to the vet yet so I've been treating him with some medicated shampoo & some mange medicine I rub into his fur & so far it's working. He hasn't had any new outbreaks or scratching & his old scars he had are going away. He seems to be a little more comfortable & back to his old self so my question is what else can I do to keep him from having another outbreak until I get him to the vet?


Hello, Margaret,

Without skin scrapings and cultures, it is diffficult to be sure of the diagnosis.

If you are dealing with mange mites, there is a promising new product called Bravecto. It is sold for tick and flea control, an oral chew. There is a study showing good results in controlling demodectic mange with a single dose. This is not why the product is sold, nor does it have this on the label indications, but it appears to work.

This would need to be obtained from your veterinarian, as it is a prescription product. It is certainly easier than any other treamtent.


I just recused a puppy with mange. Puppy went through all treatments and all tests came back negative. How long will the hair take to grown back? It's on his face (all over) and front legs. Do you recommend fish oil to speed up process.


Hello, Mia,

If fish oil would make hair grow, my forehead wouldn't be rising daily.

It DOES help them make their normal coat oils, which are necessary to maintain the skin's barrier function. It DOES slow down the production of histamine, so you have less problems with allergic type itching. It is a good thing to do.

Ordinarily, if you have negative skin scrapings, you are already starting to grow some hair. If you don't see progress in a couple of weeks, ask your veterinarian to re-evaluate the puppy.


Hi there, we have a 4 month mini dachshund who weighs 3 pounds, we noticed her hair on top of her head was thinning so we took her to the vet they did a skin scraping and discovered what the vet said was a definite demodex mite. Since she's so small they have us bathing her everyday with a medicated shampoo and she is taking ivermectin liquid starting with an almost minuscule dose progressing to a larger dose at 21 days, she itches a bit but seems ok so far. My question is we slept with the dog about 4 days ago and both my husband and I woke up up a definite rash on our bodies, him on his chest mainly and me on my arms and a little on my stomach, those were the exact places we were holding the puppy as she slept. We have seen one dr who had no clue what a demodex mite was so she just prescribed us permethrin 5% (what she would do for scabies) which we used but saw no result. The rash is not super itchy. Is it even possible for us to have gotten her mites from her? And should we be sterilizing and cleaning everything she uses? Thank you in advance!!! Rebecca


Hello, Rebecca,
The canine demodex mite is not considered to be transmitted to humans. Even between dogs, it requires prolonged direct contact of bare skin to bare skin, which only really happens with a puppy nursing its mother.

I don't know what your rash is, but it is very unlikely to be demodex. The mite cannot survive off the host, so treating the environment is not necessary for that.

Skin fungus infections are transmissible to humans. Most dogs with skin fungus ("ringworm") have obvious sore places, but we often see cats who are carriers and look normal. We use a new sterile toothbrush to comb through the hair and collect dander for culture to check for the dermatophyte fungus (the fungus that causes ringworm).

We have been using ivermectin to treat demodex for quite a while. Some new compounds show great promise, under the trade names Bravecto and Nexgard.

sandra C

What type of food and supplements could I use to help my new dog with d. mange to not get another outbreak. I heard it can get worse with a high carbohydrate diet and that omega 3's are helpful....

Also, would working a dog like this (via traveling, training, crating etc) aggravate her condition? IE: life stresses


Hello, Sandra C,
Pups with localized cases usually develop enough immunity that they don't have recurring problems unless severely stressed: pregnancy, severe injuries, severe illnesses, cancer, etc.

Dogs that have more generalized cases usually require long-term treatment with ivermectin before the parasite gets under control. There are some very encouraging results with a new product called Bravecto, giving it orally only once every 3 months. I have tried a related compound, Nexgard, with very poor results, having to go back to the ivermectin.

I don't know that any particular nutrient is going to be making things worse. A well-balanced diet is important to support the dog's general health, which is what you want to do. The Omega 3s are helpful in maintaining the dog's natural skin barrier function, which is good in preventing secondary infections. I don't think it will have a great deal of direct effect on the mites.

As long as the dog maintains good physical condition (i.e. not worked until losing weight), I don't think that training, crating or traveling will make things worse.

I would avoid drugs that suppress the immune system, like any form of corticosteroid, Apoquel, or cyclosporine.


Hello, I have a pug puppy who is 11 weeks old. I got her off someone who had him off the breeder, after I brought him home I noticed lumpy spots on his head and chin and a little hair loss. I took him to the vet and they said puppy acne and prescribed antibiotics. It seemed to help and thought he would be fine. A couple of weeks later I went away for 4 days and my mum had him. When i came back his skin was a totally different colour, he has gone from pink to almost black mainly on his stomach and tail... It's possibly all over but hard to tell under his hair. He also has spots now on his tummy near his pelvis and around his back legs and fur loss on his front legs, they look like human spots. I took him to the vet and at first said the darkening was normal but saw how worried I was and agreed it could be an allergy or mange. He is on nex guard (not done a skin scraping) just to see if it helps if it is mange. Do these symptoms sound like mange? I want to bath him but not sure if I should or what I should use? I am worried about him and it's frustrating as I don't exactly what it is, I know before doing a skin scraping it is hard to tell I just wanted your opinion. Thanks.


Hello, Amy,
The veterinary dermatologist always recommend a skin scraping in cases like this. I would certainly be concerned about Demodex ("red mange"). Slick-haired dogs often do get bacterial skin infections, and the antibiotics should help with that. Sometimes you have to use a different medicine - there's no one antibiotic that kills all germs.

Medicated shampoos with chlorhexidine are good to kill fungus and bacteria.

I often see temporary dark spots on the skin when it is healing from a pimple-type rash.

Bravecto is a tick and flea control that has been shown to be effective in many cases of Demodex. Nexgard is a very similar compound, so one would think it would help. I have used it in two pretty severe cases and it did not help either of them. Not exactly a controlled study, but not a ringing endorsement, either.


I have a 2 year old rescue German shep mix. She started off cleaning her feet and legs frequently.mthe vet said allergies - change her food and give her apoquel. One month later she was still cleaning biting and scratching and her hair started to fall out. Vet said continue apoquel and try revolution. She had her first dose last week. She is still losing hair and her coat is very greasy. Her ears twitch a lot and she scratches under her legs until they are raw and scabby. No numbs or pus.Her appetite is normal. Are we on the right path? I don't see anyone else reporting oily/ greasy coat.


Hello, Elle,
Any condition that causes excessive scratching and chewing will result in secondary changes in the skin over time. Flaking of the skin and excessive skin oil secretion will eventually occur whether the underlying cause is allergy, infection, mange mites or whatever.

Apoquel acts to suppress the itch receptors in the skin that are aggravated by allergic reaction. It has many fewer side-effects than corticosteroids like prednisone and other forms of cortisone. The prescribed dose given twice daily for two weeks usually gets itching due to environmental allergens under control. It is not likely to be helpful for food allergies.

Simply changing diet is not adequate to diagnose a food allergy. One must eliminate ALL of what the dog has been eating previously. Feed ONLY a special hypo-allergenic diet. No treats. No flavored medication. "No nothing" but the diet.It takes four to 12 weeks to see if it is working.

Treating three times with Revolution at 2-week intervals usually clears up Sarcoptic mange mites (Scabies), but it has no effect on demodex mites.

Excessively greasy skin can be improved by bathing with an anti-seborrheic shampoo once or twice weekly. Decontamination of the skin by bathing also removes things you are allergic to from the skin surface.

Oral supplements with Omega-3 fatty acids can help, as can topical products to enhance the skin's natural barrier function (like Dermoscent 6, or Douxo spray).


Hello. My 2 month old french bulldog was diagnosed with demodex mange. Luckily we cought it at a very early stage. It's mainly on his face and behind the ears. No inflamated spots, no itchiness. He started Milbemycin along with antibiotics. What worries me is that after he started the medicine, his baldness got worse. He definitly looks worse then he did 2 weeks ago even though the second scrubbing showed no signs of live mites( only dead ones) . Is this normal? Does it get worse before getting better??? Thank you. Iza


Hello, Iza,

There is no regular rule about it getting worse before it gets better. Usually it just gets better.

However, it is certainly possible that damaged hair follicles continue to lose hair, even though the mites are being killed.

If the problem continues to worsen, your veterinarian will re-evaluate the treatment. Sometimes you have to treat secondary skin infections. Sometimes you need to use a different drug.

I wouldn't be too worried at this point. Just keep your veterinarian informed of how things are going.

Sara Jenness

Hello! I have been searching the internet to find an answer to how you will know that the ivermectin is working? My 10 year old chihuahua was diagnosed about 3 weeks ago after being treated for a standard bacterial skin infection. Since starting the ivermectin, the skin is definitely less red and more a natural pink, and looks less thick. However, we are still seeing the patch of hair loss grow, flaking around the fur surrounding the patch and pin head, I'm assuming, scabs on the furless area. It almost feels like sandpaper. She definitely seems happier since beginning treatment. Hoping we are on the path to recovery as blood work came back great. Thanks for any help you can provide!


Hello, Sara,

The mites live in the hair follicles. Even though you are probably killing them, it takes a few weeks for the follicles to recover and begin to grow new hair.

Some continued hair loss (small) is probably not a problem.

Rechecking the skin scrapings can give you an idea as to how the treatment is working.

When the diagnosis is first made, we typically see a lot of mites, and all the different life stages of the mite: egg, larva, nymph, adult. As the patient begins to recover, we typically see fewer mites and fewer life stages present.

Treatment is generally continued until the dog looks normal, and one can no longer detect mites on a skin scraping. Then we treat for two more weeks.

It is also important to fully treat the secondary skin infections that develop in the damaged hair follicles.

Medicated baths can help with the pet's recovery.


In the past few months Ive hit a bit of financial hardship and concurrently, I have noticed my 6 yr old moodle has developed patches. I thought it might be mange. I put some hydrogen peroxide through an oatmeal shampoo and it seemed to settle but recently whatever it is has flared and he has missing fur on ankles, stomach, chest and face. Heaps of other animals here with nothing like it. I'm a few weeks off being able to afford a vet consultation and was wandering if I could try the wash treatment I did when I first discovered the patches? Is there anything I could get him to minimise the itch other than the oatmeal part of the wash? I have him in a head cone and I'm looking for...booties. Is there an over the counter anti-hystemine? I'm kind of embarrassed for people to see him in public :( I have that medicated (predominately iodine) wash too, will that help?


Hello, Michael,
The oatmeal shampoo is soothing, won't cause problems. A tamed iodine wash (povidone iodine or "betadine") is safe, and would help kill bacteria or fungus on the surface of the skin.
I cannot recommend a dose of antihistamine without seeing your dog. If you have taken him to your veterinarian in the past, you could call and ask for a recommendation.


My dog has demodex and I am currently treating with ivermectin orally 1/10 cc per pound of body weight every 24 hours. (Do you agree with that dose?) I also bath her with blue Dawn dish soap and benzoyl peroxide shampoo. Could you please tell me the type of antibiotic and mg you recommend for the secondary infection, she is 72 pounds? Also what do you recommend to treat the secondary yeast/fungal issues that seem to come along with demodex? Thanks in advance.


Hello, Rachel,

The dose I usually use is 600mcg/kg. That's about 300mcg per pound (mcg = micrograms, NOT milligrams= mg). Ivomec is 10,000 mcg per ml, so you are giving about 1000 mcg per pound, which is quite a lot. If the dog is tolerating it, it may be fine. You should really consult with your veterinarian about this.

Benzoyl peroxide has a follicular flushing effect to help clean the junk out of the hair follicles. This should make it easier to clear the secondary infections.

I like Cephalexin as my first choice in these, but again you should consult the doctor who is actually seeing your dog.

Dawn is really drying to the skin. It's great if you've been caught in an oil spill, but is a little too much for a lot of dogs.

Yeast infections can be treated topically with shampoos that contain miconazole and chlorhexidine. When you use a medicated shampoo, you need to leave the lather on for at least 10 minutes, 15 is better,then rinse thoroughly.

Systemic antifungal drugs like ketoconazole are good, and terbinafine is usually pretty good, and more economical.

For systemic medication doses, you really need to talk to the doctor who is seeing your dog.

Dee James

Our french bulldog pup is being treated by our vet for demodex mange. She is getting oral Ivermectin. I am bathing her twice a week with a medicated shampoo, my question is..how do you keep shampoo on a puppy for ten minutes? We are both soaked after 2 minutes!! Is there a trick to this..of so please share!!


Hello, Dee,

First, I would definitely plan on getting wet.

I would put on some music I enjoy a lot.

I would have the puppy hungry, and have a lot of very tiny treats to give during the process.

And I would plan on getting wet. Did I say that already?


You could also consider wrapping her in a towel. We're just interested in ten minutes of skin contact. She'd still be wet, but she wouldn't be shaking it on you.

Then rinse and dry her after the time is up.


What's your take on Head & Shoulders shampoo?


I don't have any experience using it. It is sold as a dandruff shampoo. It may or may not help with the follicular flushing (like benzoyl peroxide does). It wouldn't do anything to kill the mites.

A lot of doctors are having good luck with drugs like Bravecto and Nexgard.

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