Mange (Mange Mites in Pets)


It is one of the most common transmissible skin diseases of mostly outdoor dogs and cats having contact with other stray animals. It is caused by a parasite or scabies mite that burrows into the skin. It causes sores, rashes and intense itching especially in the area of ears, head, face, and legs. Scaling, crusting, hair loss and chewing / scratching are the most common symptoms. It usually affects other pets in the household and occasionally the pet owner or people in close contact. In other words this kind of mange mite is very contagious. As the disease progresses the skin becomes more scaly, even wrinkled and also develops skin infection. The mite lays eggs in the skin and completes the life cycle in 2-3 weeks thus continues to multiply further.

Scabies is readily diagnosed by a skin scraping and microscope examination or rarely a skin biopsy. An appropriate treatment usually cures it in few weeks. The affected dogs or cats are kept isolated from other animals and people should avoid contact till the animal is completely recovered. Recommended treatment schedule should be followed or it may not completely resolve. If you have any other question about your pet then please call us but for any human related question please call your physician.

Ear Mites:

Ear mites are the third most common parasites in cats and cause intense irritation of the ear canals, inflammation and secondary infection. Less commonly dogs also get it. Ear mites are contagious and not host specific and can be found in human beings as they feed on ear-wax or debris. Females ear mite lays few eggs daily deep in the ear canal which hatch in few days and completes the cycle thus more than one generation or stages are found in ear canal. Most common signs include shaking head, severe itching and scratching around and behind the ears and a thick brown to dark-black crusty debris in the ear canals. If left untreated, a serious chronic bacterial and yeast infection can develop and even occasionally ear hematoma which requires surgical management. That’s why early diagnosis and aggressive treatment of ear mites is important.

We, at Garfield Animal Hospital, want to help your pets and educate you to take better care of them, have a healthy pet and a joyful companionship. If you still have any question, please call 562-630-2082 and make appointment with the doctor to discuss.


It is commonly caused by Demodex mites and acquired from the mother at birth and is not contagious. The affected pets have very weak immune system and the condition is associated with secondary bacterial and occasionally yeast infections of the skin. It is most common in purebred, less than a year old short hair dogs. Localized hair loss areas of face and front legs are noticed first but it can spread to whole body becoming generalized. Mild cases resolve as they grow older but others need more aggressive treatment to control infections. Mostly the diagnosis is confirmed by a quick microscopic exam of skin scrapping of the affected area but in some old or chronic cases a skin biopsy may be needed.

Unfortunately, these mites do not easily die and they need very strong medication. Mitaban (Pfizer) dip, was the only product approved for treatment of Demodicosis in dogs. It is very important that special shampoo bath is given before the Mitaban dip to be more effective especially with skin infection.

Treatment of demodicosis in dogs, is very successful typically in 2-4 months along with the concurrent control of skin infection and identifying or resolving any other underlying factors like Hypothyroidism. Dogs that relapse or cannot be cured need to have maintenance treatment protocols established to keep their disease in a clinically acceptable state. Because these are very strong medications, it is very important to understand some toxicity or poisonous effect of their use. Some side effects with the use of these medications can be expected but most of them are reversible once treatment is discontinued.

Please, call for more information and feel free to discuss options with the doctor during appointment, if you have any question.

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