Please DO NOT pay attention to the horror stories you may hear or be
told about mites.
Nearly all dogs acquire mange mites from their mother in the first few
days of life. These mites are considered normal skin fauna when present in
small numbers. They produce disease only when an abnormal immune system allows
their numbers to get out of control. This occurs primarily in puppies, and in
adult dogs with lowered immunity.
Stress is a common cause when a dog or puppy suddenly breaks out with
demodex within days of changing homes or when a female goes through a heat
cycle at or before 1 year of age. It has been linked with an "immature
immune system". Some dogs' immune systems may not be fully mature until
approximately 3 years of age.
The presence of an active case of demodex in an immature dog or bitch is
not an automatic marker to have the animal spayed or neutered. When the immune
system rebounds the disease can spontaneously heal itself. Once the immune
system is fully mature, the decision for sterilisation can then be made.
However dogs presenting with generalised mange who take a long time to recover
and it keeps recurring, should not be bred with.
This disease occurs in dogs under 1 year. The appearance of the skin is similar to that
of ringworm. The principal sign is thinning of the hair around the eyelids, the
lips and the corners of the mouth, and occasionally on the legs and feet The
thinning progresses to patches of moth-eaten hair loss about one inch in
diameter. In some instances the skin becomes red, scaly and infected. If more
than 5 patches are present, the disease could be progressing to the generalised
form. This occurs in approximately 10% of the cases.
This starts out as a localised case but instead of improving, it gets
worse. Treatment can be prolonged and can require frequent changes in
medication. Dogs with generalised disease develop patches of hair loss on the
head, legs and trunk. Some cases are a continuation of localised mange - others
develop spontaneously in older dogs.
When generalised demodectic mange develops in dogs under one year of
age, there is a 30-50% chance that the puppy will recover spontaneously.
Your vet can tell you very simply if it is a case of mites by a skin
scraping, another one at 1 month and two months to tell you if you are in the
Research has shown there are at least three types of mite infestations.
Whatever type shows up in our dogs is very easily and fairly inexpensively
treated (as long as it has not been neglected) - treatment of choice is
Cydectin, second choice Ivornec (it is fairly foul tasting so treating with the
injectable type - but given orally— means less volume is necessary). The dosage
is dependable on weight and is given for about two months. Veterinary treatment
Hot temperatures can also stress the dog, and flea and tick infestations
can also cause the onset of mites as well as heat spots if left untreated. It
is recommended that in the hot Summer months when this occurs, that tick and
flea injections be used on a monthly basis to prevent mites or even Advocate
which is used for worming amongst other things. Remember this is only used as a
preventative and if your dog is actually diagnosed with mites then proper veterinary
treatment is required immediately.
After approximately two months of treatment, the hair begins to grow
back. In three months most cases are healed.
As a general rule please do NOT wash your dog a great deal!! Every time
you do it you are taking out the essential oils for a good coat. Many shampoos
are suspect with colouring, perfumes etc. Simple brushing will encourage a good
coat. If they do get wet (and they love to sit in kid's paddling pools etc)
take time to dry them thoroughly especially between the toes-wet, hot skin is a
prime place for infections, skin problems etc. Leather collars left on next to
wet skin can cause problems.
note that these notes are advisory only and you should check with your
veterinarian to discuss treatment if you think your dog has mites.
Get a good pair of nail trimmers and/or dremmel.Keeping bulldog nails trimmed is extremely
important. The more often you trim the nails the better.If you let their nails grow long the quick
grows with them, then when you go to trim them back you will cut the quick (if
this happens dab on a little Betadine).Cutting the quick is painful for your dog.You can use trimmers to cut off any excess
nail, then use a dremmel to file them down close to the quick.
Baby wipes can be used (or soft cloth with salty water) to clean out
your Bully’s wrinkles.Desitin can be
applied in the wrinkles to keep them from getting moist.Make sure the area is completely dry prior to
Clean out your Bully’s ears at least once a week, especially after a
bath.I recommend using vet prescribed
ear cleaner, it has a good drying agent in it.