If your dog has started to develop small, red, hairless areas on its body, it could have mange. While you might associate mange with dogs that don't receive proper care, it's actually an ailment that can bother even dogs that are well-cared for. In fact, mange is actually transmitted by small mites that burrow under the skin and cause severe itching. The itching will make your dog scratch, which will cause open sores to develop all over its body. If you notice red, oozing sores or hair loss on your dog's body, you should schedule an appointment with the veterinarian. If your vet determines that your dog has mange, here are four steps you can take to treat the problem and alleviate the itching.
Do the Laundry
If your dog has been diagnosed with mange, you need to treat the bedding as soon as possible. Mites will hang around and wait for the opportunity to re-infest your dog. Wash all of the bedding in hot water and add about ¼ cup of bleach to the wash water. Throw the bedding in the dryer and send it through a full dry cycle on high. Be sure to wash any plush toys your dog may play with on a regular basis, as well as any clothing it might wear—including bandannas.
Clean the Carpets
Mites usually tend to stay near their host, which means you'll find the most activity near your dogs bed. However, if your dog sleeps in various areas of the house, you could have mites hiding in the carpeting. Vacuum each room in your home and then follow it up by steam cleaning your carpeting.
Increase the Baths
While your dog is recovering from mange, it's a good idea to increase the number of baths it receives. Giving your dog a bath at least once a week will help get rid of the mites and help keep the wounds clean so they can heal properly. Be sure to dry your dog off thoroughly after each bath.
Treat with an Antihistamine
If the scratching is getting out of control and making your dog miserable, you should talk to your veterinarian about antihistamine treatment. An over-the-counter antihistamine each day will help control the itching so that your dog can heal.
If your dog has been diagnosed with mange, get the symptoms under control. The tips provided here will help alleviate the discomfort and get rid of the mites. If the symptoms continue, be sure to speak to a veterinarian like those at Lamb's Gap Animal Hospital.