Ohio State University Extension Bulletin

Ohio State University Extension

Extension Entomology Building

1991 Kenny Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1000

Phone: 614-292-5274 Fax: 614-292-9783
e-mail: extento@postoffice.ag.ohio-state.edu

Pet Pest Management, Bulletin 586

William F. Lyon


Mange is a skin disease caused by small microscopic mites actually living within the skin. Dogs and cats have different kinds of mange.

Demodectic, Follicular, Red or Puppy Mange, is caused by a mite (Demodex mite) that lives principally in the hair follicles of the skin. The first evidence is usually the appearance of new bald areas. Itching becomes pronounced as the spots spread, and the area reddens. After the invasion by the bacteria, the infection becomes pustular, the skin becomes thicker, poisons formed by the bacteria affect the health of the animal, and a disagreeable odor is emitted. Young dogs are often affected. Lesions develop around the eyes and spread to the rest of the body characterized by hair loss, skin cracking and weeping of a pink-tinged fluid. The infestation may last for several years and can cause death if unchecked.

Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange - Scabies or Sarcoptic Mange is caused by the Sarcoptic mite which is a disease in dogs, cats and most mammals (including people) of all ages. It occurs anywhere on the body, especially the head and chest. Scabies causes a severe itching sensation leading to self-mutilation through scratching and chewing. Red spots develop into small blisters. Scratching causes the reddish area to spread rapidly. Skin becomes dry and covered with crusts, hair may come out, skin is thickened and wrinkled. Itching is intense. Bacterial action in the scabs and sores causes an unpleasant odor. Digestion and other body functions become impaired and death may result.

Puppy Mange or Walking Dandruff - Puppy Mange or Walking Dandruff is caused by the Cheyletrealla mite which usually affects dogs, but occasionally cats and people. Lesions are normally found on the neck or chest.

Nasal Mange or Nose Mites - Nasal Mange or Nose Mites is caused by Pneumonyssus mites. These live in the nose and sinuses causing a chronic sneezing and nasal discharge.

Ear Mange or Otodectic Mange - Ear Mange or Otodectic Mange is caused by the Oteodectes mite or ear mite. These cause a chronic ear infestation characterized by extreme itching and a reddish-brown discharge similar in appearance to coffee grounds. Certain types of mange can be treated with shampoos and other formulations of refined coal tar, sulfur, salicylic acid, benzol peroxide, etc., available from pet stores and prescribed drugs from veterinarians.

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