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Demodectic Mange

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Demodectic Mange
  • My new pup has demodex confirmed by the vet. He wanted me to do a mitaban dip but I said no since it is so toxic and since IGs really do not fare well with the dip. I'm applying fresh lemon juice in the morning, goodwinol ointment and a sulphur pill in the evening and then at night before we go to bed I'm applying a sulphur lotion. She has many small bald spots all over her body.

    For breakfast she's been getting some scrambled eggs and some canned mackeral sprinkled with nutritional yeast. Dinner is a healthy kibble.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for curing mange? I just read about a hydrogen peroxide and borax treatment that is supposed to work really well and I just so happen to have a box of borax in the trunk of my car.
  • we treat demodex with medicated dip bathes (these help to sooth the skin and make it not so itchy) and they get a dose of cepalexin (sp?!) twice a day.
  • Email Callie (calliecritturs). She has a really long, very good article on demodex and the way she's treated it successfully. Her way really works for my (chronic) demodex dog. She is almost always fully coated.
  • If it's "localized" (i.e. fewer than 6 spots), then it will get better no matter what you do (or don't do)--it just takes a while. Generalized Demodex is harder to treat. If you have a dog that doesn't do well on Mitaban, then there is a protocol for oral ivermectin and also one for Interceptor.
  • Here's another vote for the oral ivermectin. Ask to go this route if she's experiencing secondary problems from the parasite like infections, or if it's spreading in spite of whatever topical therapy you choose.

    for a pup it's mostly a waiting game - once her immune system matures it should go away. Spay her as soon as possible, too - her heat cycles would very likely trigger a recurrance the first few times. Demodex dogs should not be bred - there's a strong genetic component to demodex susceptability.
  • I got bounced out when I tried to post before dinner.  If you'll email me I'll send you my article.  It's long but it's thorough.  I don't sell a thing -- I'm not a vet.  I'm just a lady with a ton of demodex (and sarcop) experience.  Most of the stuff I'll recommend to you either can be bought at Wal-Mart or a health store. 
    Unfortunately I've seen the bad side of what ivermectin can do.  Some, as our vet friend llps has pointed out, will self-resolve -- but some won't. 
    Spaying sooner, rather than later, can greatly help because it's sexual maturation (in both sexes actually) that is one of the primary triggers for demodex. 
    Ivermectin hasn't been proven to 'kill' demodex mites.  They don't touch the blood supply -- they eat skin oil.  Vets often give it in enormous doses (over 100 times what is given for heartworm 'prevention' but given daily rather than less often).  But there is a side effect to it that manipulates the immune system. 
    The problem is that the dogs that don't self-resolve may have to stay on it forever, and typically it will eventually fail (and the drug is really hard on the liver, among other organs).
    But boosting the immune system so it can stand on its own has enormous benefits.  I know Brookcove feeds an excellent diet to maximize the immune system and she doesn't give the ivermectin every day I don't think (if I'm remembering right).
    What I do is a lot of work but it's very gentle and it won't hurt the dog long term.
  • Amen to boosting the immunity. Generalized Demodex is caused by a deficiency in cell-mediated immunity (not the kind that is related to antibodies in the blood) and it is genetic. Those nasty little creatures live inside the hair follicles and most dogs have small numbers. They go haywire and reproduce only when the body's immune system fails to keep them under control. Anything that makes a dog healthier will improve the immune system. Corticosteroids are the worst thing to use, because, not only do they decrease the immune response, but they clog the hair follicles and give the Demodex mites more to eat! Yuck.....
  • Yeah, I don't do any more than the normal HW dose and I start cutting back as soon as I see improvement, then find a level where equilibrium is reached with minimal hair loss. I continue to experiment with cutting back until the dog seems to have developed the ability to stablize the mite population on its own.

    I'm guessing the ivomec "taints" the skin cells. It is also shed out in manure - you can spot the piles of livestock manure on the day they administered wormer because it's not being broken down by dung beetles. It's the piles with all the dead beetles in it.

    It permeates all tissues extremely quickly (hence its scary and potentially deadly effect on dogs with a genetically defective and fragile blood/brain barrier). Ivomec is also used to treat mites in cattle and liver flukes in sheep, and roundworms in livestock - several of which don't make contact with the bloodstream, but sort of hang out in tissues to breed.

    It's actually not as horrible as a lot of stuff that is given to dogs theraputically - NAISIDs for instance. Certainly not at a normal dose, anyway - I should think anything given at one hundred times recommended, would be asking for trouble, lol. It's a safe drug for pregnant and nursing livestock and can be given to neonatal lambs if needed for something critical (like flystrike - a maggot infestation - yuck).

    It shouldn't be the first thing one reaches for - but for the dog in or approaching crisis it's a good second line. And one-tenth the cost of Interceptor. For me it's a no brainer - there's no official known cases of ivermectin sensitivity in BCs but many documented cases of sensitivity to Interceptor. That's why I go this route when necessary.
  • In brief what the article says (and both of you have it I think, but just for general info) -
    Frequent bathing with the benzoyl peroxide shampoo (which opens skin pores) decreases the oil they eat but also simply washes them away on that day (but they'll be back) and a final rinse in tea tree and water (just a few drops) seems more effective than anything at repeling mites.
    But the critical thing is boosting the immune system in a way that won't cause the dog to crash when you stop -- herbals do that better than anything I've found, and don't cause the 'crash' of the immune system you can get when you withdraw ivermectin (I've picked up the pieces of that one far far too many times).
    Vitamins/supplements do that on a cellular basis -- actually helping the immune system be all it can be -- but it takes months that way.  Helping people identify triggers -- particularly impending sexual maturity, and longer term triggers in dogs where it is beginning to generalize.
  • Our dog Minsi was going to be put to sleep at an animal shelter when we saw her and brought her home about 3 years ago.  Her previous owner's vet had her on steroids which was actually suppressing her immune system and she was in bad shape.  A lot of hair loss and oozing sores (first picture), and the hair loss was all over, her face, her belly, her hind legs...  We adopted her and brought her to our vet who put her on oral ivermectin, and we gave her twice weekly baths with Sulfoxydex shampoo.  It took a while, but we got her on a decent quality food and kept up her care and she is doing wonderful today.  She has a little bit of scarring on her face but otherwise she is absolutely fine now.  Good luck with your pup!

  • Here's Minsi now....

  • Hmmm. Supposedly*, the normal heartworm dose is not effective in controlling mite populations in generalized demodicoses (i.e., the immune deficiency kind). Have you had personal success with it in the generalized cases?
    *I can post references, if you are interested, but you probably know some yourself.
  • hello. frankie, my 6 month old westie was diagnosed with demodectic mange. she has some bald spots around her body and are red. they gave her a medicinal bath at the vets today, i'm not sure what it's called. but we've to go back there once a week for the next 5 weeks for the bath treatments.

    i just feel bad for her because she's just a puppy and she's lethargic from the bath she got at the vets. she scratches once in a while but not like crazy.

    according to the vet, this condition is not uncommon for westies - especially for pups. he said westies generally have very sensitive skin.

    we've upgraded her diet to solid gold to boost her resistance.

    does anyone have any advice on how i can help my puppy? [:(]

  • The problem with ivermectin is very often the dog gets 'hooked' on it.  Because ivermectin really doesn't kill demodex mites well (demodex mites eat skin oil -- they don't touch the blood stream), what the ivermectin is really used for is to take advantage of a side effect of the drug where it chemically 'controls' the immune system.
    The problem is, that unless you very very carefully boost the immune system at the same time, when you take the dog off the ivermectin often the dog rebounds and the demodex gets far far worse.  Particularly if daily doses of the ivermectin were used (even small ones -- it's that manipulative of the immune system). 
    I've had really good success with what I've encouraged people to do -- no, I'm not a vet, but I've had many vets look at this article of mine.  The biggest comment is 'As a vet people pay me to give them somet THING ... one thing usually ... to 'fix' it.  As a vet I couldn't ask my clients to do something that work-intensive -- but I'm sure it works."
    The stuff in my article is all stuff you can find at Wal-Mart or a health store.  It's not toxic or dangerous ... It's just kind of a 3 pronged system of keeping the dog 'clean' with benzoyl peroxide shampoo/tea tree final rinses and avoiding all other oils and conditioners.  Then using herbals, supplements and vitamins to boost the immune system so the body can catch up immune-wise and do what it needs to do.  Otherwise for the 3rd 'prong' you have to avoid the triggers that make demodex worse -- things like getting the dog spayed/neutered as early as possible (because sexual maturation is such a bugger to make demodex worse and keep it riled up), avoid vax that are unnecessary (and plan the necessary ones carefully), etc.
  • dieselgirl_77
    i just feel bad for her because she's just a puppy and she's lethargic from the bath she got at the vets.

    Frankly these pesticide baths are very toxic and I wouldn't use them.  I would spay the pup, click on calliecritturs, and email asking for her treatment program (don't PM because she needs to send attachments).  You do not want this pup going into heat because the stress can severely aggrevate demodectic mange (red mange) and there is a genetic component to the condition!
    Demodectic mange is an immune system problem and the baths are just "bandaids" given with the hope that she will outgrow the problem.  Some puppies will and some puppies won't.  Normal canine immune systems have no problem controlling the mites and most dogs have them.
    Demodetic mange