Demodex canis aka “Red mange”
Demodex are cigar-shaped, eight-legged parasites commonly found in dogs. They are normally found within the hair follicles of your pets and though rare, becomes a problem in dogs with weakened immune systems. Certain breeds (i.e. Chinese shar-pei, shih-tzu, West Highland white terrier, pug, boxer and Border terrier) are more prone to demodex infestation as compared to other dog breeds. Some conditions that increase the chances of an overgrowth of demodex include cancer, hormonal issues or other infections.
Symptoms and Diagnosis:
There is no risk of transfer to humans and other pets. However, demodex infestation can cause a variety of problems in your pets.
Diagnosis of demodex mites requires a skin scrape test which can be done by your veterinarian to look for the presence of these mites.
Treatment and Prevention:
Once your veterinarian has diagnosed demodex they will begin treatments to get rid of the mite overgrowth. Treatment involves administering anti-parasitic medications. Antibiotics may also be used in cases where secondary bacterial infections have occurred. Further investigations into an underlying health issue resulting in immunosuppression may be recommended.
By nurse Koh Mynn