This was posted on a now defunct message board by Steph, some very good information here that should not be lost.
Mild demodex mange may clear up all on its own. This is something to
remember. In a dog that does not have allergies, battles with yeast, or
immune system stresses, a simple switch to raw diet and mild TLC may
eleminate the mild mange problem.
Demodex mange mites live on all dogs, but generally there is a balance and
the dog will never experience any discomfort or breakouts. Stess to the
immune system, general enviromental stress or change, allergies, or crowded
situations (a shelter, for instance) can bring on mild mange outbreaks.
Usually mild mange is "localized", meaning it is isolated to one or a few
small spots on the dog. Face, forehead, ears, tail, and legs are common
places for localized mange outbreaks.
Localized mange can become worse. It can become more generalized or turn
into a serious mange problem. This is not due to the nature of demodex but
rather the conditions of the dog (which is effected by exterior attributes
and genetic predispositions). It is important to understand that when
treating for mange you are treating the dog - not the mange. The goal is not
to kill as many mange mites and eggs as possible, but rather to use
treatments with the dog to get the balance back to "normal". (Which in turn
does kill mange mites.)
First noticable signs of mange may consist of a small (penny to sliver
dollar sized) spot of what looks like dried skin. There may be hair loss on
those spots. Also, you may notice thinning fur in some areas, like the
forehead or tail. Other signs to consider are not signs of demodex, but
rather of yeast and/or allergy, which go hand in hand with demodex. These
signs are red or swollen eyelids, lips, ears, belly area, and paws. Ears
that have brown buildup and/or scratches on the inside or backs are probably
suffering from yeast production and, commonly, a mange mite outbreak. Yeast
on the skin and ears encourage mange.
So... dry/itchy spots? Small bald spots? Yeast/allergy has cause concern for
mange? Dog just came from shelter and there are thin spots in fur? Here are
Think critically about what has been going on in the past few weeks. What
has changed? Are there any new stresses? Have you started feeding a new
food, different treats, using new cleaning chemicals, new laundry detergent,
or have anything new in your regular routine? Mange problems can be brought
on by allergies or situational stess. If you can think of any possible
cause(s), try removing them or changing before implementing other
Run out to your local feed store and buy a bag of Terramycin. It is a yellow
powder - a mild antibiotic. Put one teaspoon to a gallon of water. Use this
ratio, and use the mix as your dog's water for two weeks.
Switch to a raw meat diet. Keep it really simple until all of the spots are
completely clear and hair has grown back. Use one type of meat. Also use one
raw egg a day. Crumble up the shells and add them in. The calcum in the
shells is great, but the biotin is really invaluable as it helps to regulate
DO NOT FEED DAIRY, not even yogurt. It produces skin yeast. Also, steer
clear of feeding vinegar, as it turns into a sugar when digested and can
produce yeast, as well.
DO NOT use any oatmeal-type shampoos or soaps - as they can cause mild
allergic reactions with already needy and sensitive skin.
Get the dog on a good dog multivitamin. Give a sugarless calcium supplement
as well (like unflavored TUMS).
Give one clove of fresh garlic after a meal. The garlic will act as a mild
natural bug repellant, and is secreted out of the dog's skin.
Give benydril twice a day - this will help the dog not to scratch. The
scratching stimulates yeast production and can also engender skin infection.
Irritated skin can cause the mange to become more serious.
Make a mix of eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil.
Use the actual essential oil, not perfume. Mix the above oils with olive oil
or castor oil. Apply directly to affected skin, and apply liberally. Do this
at least twice a day. These oils are good for the skin, but will also kill
Make a mix of white vinegar (apple cider is the best) and water at 50/50
ratio. Cover affected skin and red/swollen areas at least once a day. Leave
Once every 5 days or more give a warm bath. Throw in a handful of sea salt
and some of the above oils when making the bath. Do not use any shampoos or
soaps. Just scrub well with very warm water, and then rinse with the above
mentioned vinegar mix.
Ask your vet for ResiCHLOR. It is a leave-in lotion that is an antimicrobial
and antiseptic. It containes chlorhexidine gluconate (2%). Put this on any
affected spots, and leave it on. Wash hands and do not pet those spots until
the lotion has dried.
Oregano oil both orally and topically may help eleminate yeast and is also
an effective bacteria killer.
If after 2 weeks of treatment you do not see any changes or if things seem
to be getting worse, there are two options that I suggest. Both are viable.
The first is to skip preimptivly to the steps for caring for a serious mange
problem. The second is trying topical ivermectin along side the above
suggestions for mild mange treatment.
For the ivermectin: Visit the vet for a skin scrape. If there are a high
number of live mites, consider in addition to the above treatments, adding
.1cc of Ivermectin to 1cc of the above oil mix. Use this topically twice a
day on affected areas.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT get any on your skin. Put pooch in a crate after putting
on the ivermectin and oil mix for at least 20 minutes, and do not let
children around the dog for 2 hours.
Continue this treatment for 2 weeks. Note that when using ivermectin, you
may notice more hair loss before things get better. Think chemotherapy for
cancer - ivermectin is a stron chemical that harms as well as helps. This is
why treating serious demodex (especially orally) with ivermectin can
perpetuate the mange problem rather than help. Ivermectin is not tolorated
well by all dogs, as well.
After two weeks, get another skin scraping done by your vet. You should see
the number of live mites go down. If the number has not gone down, continue
the ivermectin treatment IN ADDITION TO THE OTHER TREATMENTS MENTIONED for
another 2 weeks. Get another skin scraping. As soon as you get a scraping
with less live mites, stop treating with the ivermectin and continue with
the above treatment until all of the mange spots and thin fur has ceased.
If the mange spreads to large patches, the fur becomes very thin or thin in
many places, or if there is significan blading and redness/bumps/open sores,
please read my suggestions for Help For Serious Mange.