Scabies in dogs - Symptoms, treatment and contagion


Scabies is caused by scabies mites, small parasites similar to insects that infect the most superficial layer of the skin. Scabies causes rashes, irritation and itching. It is easily transmitted from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact.

Scabies mites dig tunnels in the outer layer of your skin and lay eggs. Of the eggs, more mites are born, although most people with scabies only have between 10 and 15 mites in the body at the same time. Mites are very small so you may not see them, but you probably notice the itching and irritation they cause.

Scabies can be very annoying, but in general it is not dangerous. It can be cured with pills or medicated creams.

How is scabies spread?

Scabies is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. This usually occurs during sex, especially when the bodies are close or in contact for a long time (for example, when sleeping together).

Most adults become infected during sexual intercourse, but it can also be spread by other means. Scabies can be transmitted to other people in your home and is common in crowded places where there is a lot of direct skin contact (such as nursing homes, prisons and childcare centers). Sometimes, scabies is spread by sharing clothes, towels or sheets with an infected person.

It is very difficult to get a quick and casual contact, such as a handshake or a hug. You don't usually get scabies either by sitting on a toilet. Most of the time, very close personal contact with an infected person is required for the disease to be transmitted.

Ear scabies

This scabies is produced by the mite Otodectes cynotis and it is more common in cats than in dogs. It is spread by contact and affects the ears and ears of our pets In addition to the usual clinical signs in scabies, it ends up producing otitis secondary to the animal. These mites are visible inside the ear and if we look closely we see some moving white dots.

Sarna Cheyletiella

It is also known as keiletielosis or walking dandruff. This scabies is produced by the mite Cheyletiella spp. Although it is more common in cats, it is highly contagious among dogs and especially in puppies. It can be transmitted to humans producing a red and irregular rash.

Scabies pneumonyssoides

The responsible mite is called Pneumonyssoides caninum Y it is given in the dogs nose and other carnivores. It is not very frequent and usually does not cause serious symptoms. In case of massive infestations it can cause chronic sneezing, nosebleeds and nasal secretions. It is transmitted from one dog to another by contact of the nose.

Notohedral Scabies

Plus common in cats that in dogs, this type of scabies, called Cat notoedres, it develops mainly in the face of the affected animal and the ears. As it expands and reproduces, it reaches other areas of the body.

Ways to spread mange in dogs

The main form of contagion is through direct contact with any dog ​​with scabies or their objects, which may also be infested with mites. However, it is not the only one, and it is also common for dogs to become infected when they suffer a significant drop in defenses. In these cases, the usual mites in dogs' skin seize the opportunity and spread uncontrollably. Another way to spread scabies is during childbirth and lactation of puppies If the mother is infested.

If the animal is healthy and strong, the chances of contracting this pathology are lower, but we will see it very frequently present in already sick and malnourished individuals With low defenses. Contact can occur between dogs or objects and mite-infested places where an animal with this parasitic disease has been.

How to avoid the spread of scabies in dogs?

There are factors that make our pet more likely to get scabies, for example lack of hygiene, an unhealthy environment, poor health that leads to low defenses, malnutrition, constant contact with many dogs abroad, among others. For this reason, prevention involves ensuring optimal hygiene, an equally healthy environment, adequate food and visiting the veterinarian on a regular basis.

On the other hand, in the case of demodectic mange there is more propensity in specimens of short hair and in some breeds such as the Beagle, Dalmatian, Dachshund, Dobermann, Boxer, English Bulldog, English Pointer, Shar Pei and others. In these cases, hygiene measures should be even stricter, as well as regular visits to the specialist.

Symptoms of scabies in dogs

To detect canine scabies we must look at several symptoms that occur, fortunately, are quite specific signs of this type of skin condition and immediately call our attention. The most common symptoms Scabies in dogs are:

  • Itching and burning of the skin.
  • Redness and inflammation of the skin.
  • Constant scratching.
  • Rubbed against objects and the ground for relief.
  • Stop eating (anorexia).
  • Great weight loss
  • Loss and weakening of hair with areas completely without fur.
  • Skin rashes (red spots).
  • Skin scales
  • Wounds and skin sores.
  • Bad smell of the skin.
  • Dry, crusty and thick skin in the most advanced stages of scabies.

If we detect some of these symptoms in our pet we must act quickly to prevent the spread of the condition. Although we can relieve symptoms of scabies in dogs with some remedies that we will see later, it is vital that let's go to the vet and follow the appropriate treatment for each type of scabies as instructed by the specialist.

Treatment for scabies in dogs

Scabies in dogs heals. So, if our dog shows symptoms of scabies, we must go to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that you can diagnose whether or not it is this pathology, and what type it is to offer us the best solution. The treatment to follow will not only depend on the type of mange that our dog suffers, but will also depend on the breed and age among other factors.

How to cure scabies in dogs?

The treatment for scabies in dogs that the specialist will prescribe can be composed, mainly, by a oral, topical or injectable acaricide, usually with ivermectin, selamectin, moxidectin and milbemycin oxime. In addition, it will provide us painkillers, anti-inflammatories, some shampoo or bath powders with skin soothing products, with acaricides and some more specific medication for a secondary skin problem, such as a possible infection by bacteria (bactericide or antibiotic) or by fungi (fungicide).

In the case of ear scabies, the acaricidal medication will be one of special topical use for the ears and we will administer it to our dog by throwing a few drops in the ears and massaging to penetrate. It will be vitally important that it be mange, let's do the complete treatment every day for as long as the veterinarian tells us and we will never finish it before, although at first glance the dog seems to be cured.

If we withdraw the treatment early because it seems to us that the problem has passed, it is most likely that scabies will reappear in a few days or weeks, since the few mites that may have remained will recover and proliferate again.

Injection for scabies in dogs

Although it is true that there are injectable treatments to cure scabies in dogs, it is not always the treatment of choice by veterinarians due to the side effects that occur in certain dog breeds. Today, we have tablets and syrups that offer good results without being so aggressive for the dog's organism. However, It will be the specialist who will determine the best treatment depending on the type of canine scabies and its severity.

How to prevent scabies in dogs?

As they say, Prevention is better than cure and in this case it is no less. The most effective way to fight scabies in dogs is to prevent it, although we also know that this skin disease can be cured with proper treatment and necessary care. It is a slow process that causes our pet to suffer from the extremely annoying symptoms.

To prevent scabies in dogs we will follow the following guidelines:

  • We will keep one good daily hygiene of our faithful friend, in addition to providing monthly baths with a suitable shampoo and brushed daily.
  • We will also maintain proper hygiene of your environment.
  • We will avoid contact with animals that may be infected by scabies and, if we suspect that ours suffers from it, we will also avoid contact with others so that he does not transmit it to others.
  • We will respect the calendar of veterinary reviews, external and internal deworming, and vaccination. This will give an early detection of the problem and avoid infestations and diseases that can weaken our dog and make it more prone to get scabies.
  • It is very important as prevention against the reappearance of scabies, which is very easy, extend the treatment as much as possible and go to several revisions to the veterinarian until you can confirm with great certainty that the problem has disappeared.
  • We will also treat all other animals that may have been in contact and we will disinfect all things such as blankets, beds, collars, feeders, drinking fountains, among more objects that have been in contact with the sick dog.
  • We will provide a adequate food and heals our dog so that he and his immune system are strong.
  • To avoid scabies we must provide a good care and hygiene of the ears To our pet.

Home remedies for scabies in dogs

Reduce symptoms Scabies in dogs and accelerate the healing process is possible thanks to the use of natural remedies such as vegetable oils, medicinal plants such as chamomile or fruits such as lemon. There are no home remedies to cure scabies in dogs, but there are remedies to relieve such annoying symptoms that help our pet overcome the process. Before proceeding with any of them, a consultation with our trusted veterinarian will be advisable to indicate what are the most appropriate remedies for the case of our dog.

Next, we see a series of Home remedies for scabies in dogs that help complete the veterinary treatment:

Baths for dogs with scabies

Baths are vital for the treatment and to relieve itching excessive that our partner feels. We can bathe our scabies sick dog every week or two with a white, neutral and / or acaricidal soap prescribed by the veterinarian, with warm water and very gently. We must let the soap act for a few minutes before rinsing it, preventing the dog from licking it. We will have to wear latex gloves whenever we handle our sick pet. We will never brush it, but with our hands we will gently massage your fur and skin. We should let it dry by itself or dry with a towel with soft touches and we should never rub the skin with the towel.

Raw food

It is very good during the healing process of scabies that the dog eats raw food such as vegetables and herbs. The most suitable are Kyolic garlic, cat's claw and olive oil extract. We will chop the very small vegetables to feed them more easily and provide this home remedy for scabies in dogs.

Scabies oils in dogs

He olive oil It is one of the most effective natural remedies for scabies in dogs, since it can help weaken mite deposits and eliminate weak ones. In addition, you can combine lavender, almond and neem oils that will serve as a topical treatment and will also weaken mite nests. You can put it in the affected areas twice a day, always after baths. With the oil we will prevent the skin from drying out more and moisturize it. We will never use engine oil, which has become quite popular to treat scabies and really does not help in the improvement of the skin and we run the risk that the dog becomes seriously intoxicated if it is licked.

Some herbs and plants are very beneficial and can be applied as a home remedy for scabies in dogs mixed with oils or in food. These herbs are the neem, the cymbopogon and the niaoli, which due to its antiseptic, antibacterial and regenerative properties of the skin are ideal against canine scabies.

Garlic, antiseptic and healing

Garlic is a natural antiseptic Very effective in addition to healing. We can grind a couple of garlic cloves and mix them with olive oil and apply it directly on the affected areas. We can leave it on overnight and in the morning we will remove it with a damp cloth with soft touches.

It is a natural remedy for scabies in dogs and a very effective insect repellent. We will boil a few leaves in a liter of water and when the infusion is warm we will bathe our partner carefully. We must do it a couple of times a week.

Oatmeal, ideal for relieving scabies in dogs

Either with a oatmeal shampoo or with oatmeal mixed with water, we will apply it on the skin of our dog with gentle and circular massages in the affected areas. We will let it act a little to calm the dog's skin and rinse it gently.

To use this natural remedy we will have to gently rub some lemon slices in the areas affected by scabies or with water with homemade lemon (we can leave some lemon slices in hot water overnight to use it in the morning). Using the lemon we will disinfect the skin of our dog.

Is scabies in dogs spread to humans?

If your dog suffers from scabies, it will be essential to take some precaution when handling it until receiving the diagnosis, since some types of scabies are transmittedto the people. It is a zoonotic disease but, what types of scabies in dogs stick to humans?

  • Demodectic mange: NO humans are spread.
  • Sarcoptic mange: YES it is spread to humans.
  • Ear scabies: YES it is spread to humans.
  • Sarna cheyletiella: YES it is spread to humans.
  • Scabies pneumonyssoides: NO humans are spread.
  • Notohedral mange. YES it is spread to humans.

Videos of scabies in dogs

In the following video, Alfonso Fernández, a veterinarian at the San José Clinic in Barcelona, ​​talks about the most common types of scabies in dogs, the parasites that produce them and the most common treatments for each of them. Likewise, images of these parasites and the symptoms they produce are shown.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Scabies in dogs - Symptoms, treatment and contagion, we recommend that you enter our section of parasitic diseases.

What is dog scabies?

Scabies is a disease of the dog's skin caused by an infection of mites, microscopic animals that look like a tiny spider. And, like spiders, the mite has four pairs of legs. Mites are annoying parasites for our dogs, which causes inflammation, pain and intense itching.

The scabies mite lodges in the dog's skin to feed. The mites take advantage of their tiny size to go unnoticed. Thus they can bite the dog's skin, dig galleries in its upper layers and infect it at ease. And as in most canine parasites, the female mite is very prolific: it is her strategy to invade as soon as possible the body of our dog.

Sarcoptic mange versus red mange

Sarcoptic and demodectic mange are the two main types of mange that affect the adult dog. Each type of mite causes a different mange in dogs, to which it gives its name. In this way, the mite called sarcóptide originates a type of mange called sarcoptic mange.

For its part, demodectic mange (or red mange) owes its name to the demodex mite. "The demodex mite lives regularly on the dog's skin," explains veterinarian Lola Muñoz. In cases of disease or lowering of the defenses, this tiny parasite takes the opportunity to reproduce uncontrollably.

How to recognize scabies in my dog?

The presence of the mite causes intense itching on the dog's skin. The animal will scratch the affected areas persistently. If the dog scratches, it will cause wounds on its skin. When scabies is very advanced, bald spots and a strong stale smell appear.

Skin scrapes are necessary to detect sarcoptic mange, due to the deep galleries that excavate the mites that cause it. A prompt visit to the veterinarian is key to the recovery of our dog, since the disease worsens over time.

Red spots on the skin may alert that our dog suffers from demodectic mange. It is these reddish spots that explain that this type of mange is called red mange. Annoying rashes can spread throughout the body. When these symptoms are detected, you should go to the veterinarian.

How does a dog get scabies?

The impact of scabies on the health of our dog and on the people who live with it (in the case of sarcoptic) is great. Therefore, it is important to take serious measures to prevent the disease.

A healthy dog ​​is stronger to resist infections. The measures of care of our pet that serve to prevent scabies are simple: ensure the health of our pet, respect its hygiene calendar and brushing the dog's hair, and offer a balanced meal of good quality. Scabies is fattened with weak dogs and those with intestinal parasites. In addition, some types of scabies are very contagious: keep the dog away from animals infected by mites.

Is scabies dangerous in dogs?

Scabies begins as a localized disease, but it does not take long to spread through the dog's skin. A female mite ejects between 20 and 40 eggs at each laying. The mite eggs hatch within five days and, after two weeks, the annoying mites are ready to reproduce again. The speed with which the parasite reproduces forces extreme vigilance.

"However, scabies alone is not fatal to the dog," explains the veterinarian, who warns of the possibility of scabies getting worse with "subsequent infections of bacteria and fungi." These infections, if they are accentuated, can be fatal for the dog.

The animal responds to the itching of scabies by scratching the parts of its body affected by the disease. Repeated scratches in the same areas do not allow wounds to heal properly, so they can become infected. If the contamination by microorganisms, bacteria and fungi expands, the infection can end the life of the animal.

Persistent itching also has effects on the dog's mood. It distracts and stuns you. And a bewildered animal can forget to eat if it is not able to concentrate on food. If the lack of food is prolonged, it can be deadly for our pet.

An animal affected by scabies, and disturbed by the constant itching, can also abandon water intake and die of dehydration. In the case of sarcoptic type scabies, the disease can be transmitted to the surrounding people, so prevention measures must be taken.

Dog scabies: treatment

Veterinary treatment of scabies includes insecticides injected and applied to the skin. Sometimes they are shaped like dog shampoo or lotion, which include products that kill mites and reinforce treatment. If the scabies are spread throughout the dog's body, it is recommended to shave the animal's hair to increase the effectiveness of the lotions. In any case, the veterinarian will inform you of the appropriate treatment for each dog.

A female affected by scabies that still feeds her offspring can transmit the disease to the puppies. Sarcoptic mange is very contagious: it passes to infants through milk. The condition of the little ones is usually concentrated in the area of ​​the face. However, mite infections in puppies do not usually need treatment, as they tend to disappear on their own. If they persist for more than a month, you should go to the veterinarian.

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How to prevent the spread of canine scabies

The good thing about scabies is that it can be treated. If you see that your dog falls out of hair, scratches a lot or has skin in live flesh, what you have to do is go out and bite your veterinarian. He will establish what type of mange is the one that affects your dog and will assess if it has infected you, by referring you to a specialist. Not all dog mange are contagious and there is not always contagion, so don't be scared.

The best way to prevent your dog from getting scabies is to make your immune system always strong. To achieve this, you have to feed it well with food of first quality, varied and rich in nutrients. You also have to drink a lot of water, play and be very happy. This is something any veterinarian will tell you: a happy dog ​​is a healthy dog. This tip will help you fight even the distemper, so sign it up! ,)

To avoid scabies symptoms in dogs, feed it well

It is important that your dog is healthy and has its defenses always prepared for any invasive attack because the culprit is a mite, an opportunistic parasite that jumps from guest to guest looking for someone weak to stay at.

If your colleague has them ready, he has less chance of becoming infected. However, if you don't sleep well, if you eat badly and you're stressed, you can get scabies and then pass them on to yourself. Another determining factor is hygiene. Remember that it is not appropriate for you to bathe your dog every day, but it does need a proper grooming. Leave your question to our veterinarians online, depending on their race, weight and age we will explain when you have to bathe it. Scabies mites love dirt and grime.

Scabies is not always spread from one dog to another. Sometimes, these mites are lurking in dirty remains, waiting for your dog to pass to stay in his body.

Are there home treatments to cure scabies?

Don't even think about using homemade medicines or natural treatments to fight scabies, neither for your dog nor for you. The problem with this disease is that the mites that cause it reproduce very quickly. If you use herbs or tonics on your skin or on your skin, you may be able to relieve itching, but you will not cure root mange and it will only be a momentary relief.

That is why you always have to go to your veterinarian. Depending on the symptoms he sees, will determine if it is a type of scabies or another. It is important that you do so and that you issue a correct diagnosis because, sometimes, powerful acaricides will have to be applied so that there is no trace of the disease.

My dog ​​has scabies and it is not removed, what do I do?

One of the problems associated with the cure of scabies is that it does not go away. There are cases of caregivers who interrupt the treatment before the date indicated by the veterinarian for believing that the mites are dead, this is a mistake. As with antibiotics, it is necessary to use them until instructed by the doctor, because they have to eliminate every last trace of the invader.

Another crucial agent in the cure of scabies is that you improve your hygiene habits and those of your dog, that you have an unpolluted house, that you do not travel through areas with garbage or dirt and that you better feed. As we have said, scabies mites can survive on dirty things, it is useless to treat yourself if you do not improve your health and your environment.

This article on the spread of mange in dogs and humans and how to cure it is merely informative. Remember that you have our online veterinarians to receive more information.

Have you been left with doubts? Ask our veterinarians:

Types of scabies

First of all you should know what scabies is. Let us explain to you, scabies is a skin disease caused by a microscopic mite or external parasite, which is housed in the canine's skin. Although many say so and others do not believe it, if your dog has this disease it can be transmitted.

Now, according to the type of mange there is risk or not of contagion to humans. The type of scabies is in turn derived from the type of mite that affects your dog. These are the types of scabies:

Otodectic It is the least frequent in our dogs and is caused by mites housed inside their ears. It is one of the easiest to identify since this type of mite can be seen with the naked eye.

Demodic Also called Red Scabies, produced by the Demodex canis mite, which naturally lives on your dog's skin and attacks it when your friend is under defense. It becomes deadly according to its subtype. The one that appears on the legs of your hairy is the most serious.

Sarcoptic It is one of the most common, originated by the mite called Sarcoptes Scabiei. This is a microorganism that reproduces rapidly and is more aggressive than others.

Pneumonyssoides It is produced by a mite that bears the same name as this type of mange. It is among the less aggressive and frequent types of scabies in our dogs. It differs because the mite of this type is normally housed in the nose area.

Cheyletiella It develops mostly in puppies because of the mite with the same name and is very contagious.

Symptoms of scabies in dogs and humans

The symptomatology of scabies in dogs and humans is very similar. These are the symptoms that you must identify in both dogs and humans.

Your dog may have Scabies if it has the following symptoms:

  • Alopecia or lack of hair.
  • Inflammation
  • Bad smell
  • Itching or extreme itching.
  • Skin scales
  • Redness in the skin

This disease causes so much itching that can get to bite and lacerate allowing fungi or bacteria to worsen the picture.

What types of mange in dogs is contagious to humans?

One of the types of mange that your dog can infect you is Sarcoptic Mange, which is an inflammation of the skin produced by a mite, as we told you. This mite can usually be in the skin of all animals, but in some it does not cause discomfort thanks to its immune system.

It is very important to constantly strengthen your pet's defenses to prevent the evolution of the infection. Once the pet is infected, it can be transmitted to humans by direct contact over the affected area.

Other types of scabies that dogs can spread to us, although less common, are Cheyletiellosis and Otodectics.

What treatment should you follow if your dog transmits scabies?

If you suspect that you may be infected, consult your doctor. If the presence of microorganisms is found, the treatment that your doctor can apply will be to eradicate them from your skin using antihistamines, topical or oral corticosteroids, permethrin, benzyl benzoate or ivermectin.

The treatment also includes medications to relieve itching, which is vital to prevent lacerations and wounds that can make the infection worse. In addition, it is necessary to include preventive measures to avoid contagion towards people and animals living with the infected person.

How to cure scabies in dogs?

As in humans, the treatment for dogs will be to kill the mites and counteract the itching. Generally, the veterinarian formulates your dog shampoos, lotions, ointments and oral medications to eliminate mites and itching. This must be accompanied by:

  • Good hygiene conditions.
  • Balanced and high lime food>

Preventing scabies in your pet will always be better than cure it, and of course, it will prevent you from suffering from it too. Make it easier by maintaining a good diet in your dog, hygiene habits and periodic medical checks. Take care of your dog and take care of yourself!