Demodex mange, also known as “red mange”, is an inflammatory parasitic disease of the skin. This type of mange if present, usually presents itself within the first two years of life. Demodex can also present itself later on in life and is known as “adult onset demodicosis”. Demodex is a type of mange that is hereditary and is passed on by way of an animals genetics. This type of mange is not passed on by direct contact. For this reason, demodex is not a desirable trait and it is therefore recommended that any pet that has this genetic trait not be used for breeding purposes and that the pet in question be surgically altered to prevent further spreading of this type of mange.
Demodex is usually diagnosed by way of a procedure called “skin scraping”. Because so many conditions of the skin can look the same to the naked eye and can cause hair loss, itching, etc., it is always recommended to do a skin scrape before diagnosing demodex. After the skin scrape is performed, the sample is examined under the microscope. The treatment of this skin condition requires a special type of parasitic dip for a certain time period. Antibiotics may be necessary during this period of time in addition to medication to control itching depending on the condition of the pet in question.
It is the experience of de la Houssaye Animal Hospital that if the protocol of treatment is followed appropriately, this condition can be readily cleared. It is important to note that this condition on occasion, can reoccur later in the pet’s life. For this reason, once a pet is diagnosed with demodex, it is important to always pursue skin problems with the pet as soon as possible to afford a quicker solution to the problem because these conditions can cause a reoccurence of the demodex mite.
It is also important to note that not all cases of demodex mange are readily and easily treated. Some cases can be very difficult to deal with which may make the treatment period longer, complicated and more costly. It is impossible to predict how each case will turn out so it is important to begin as soon as possible to decrease the risk of treatment failure.
The staff at de la Houssaye Animal Hospital would be happy to discuss this condition with you.
The above information is only meant to serve as a brief description of demodex and is based on information in veterinary literature and the experience of de la Houssaye Animal Hospital. Treatment protocols may vary between veterinary hospitals.