Saturday, November 8, 2014

Holistic Treatments For Demodectic Mange


Mange is a parasitic skin disease caused by microscopic mites.  The most common in dogs is Demodectic mange, it is  also known as  "demodex" or "red mange". It causes lesions , beginning on the head and face.  All dogs (and humans) have mites-- they are passed from mother to pup. Usually they cause no problem or irritation, but in young pups (less than twelve to eighteen months of age) and those pets with compromised immune systems, the condition can become problematic. 

Symptoms
Your dog may develop a few (less than 5) isolated lesions, referred to  as "localized mange" or they may have generalized mange, in which case, there are more than 5 lesions over their entire body, which would require more aggressive treatment.

  • Hair loss  begins around the muzzle, eyes, and other areas on the head
  • Crusty
  • Red skin 
  • Lesions may or may not be itchy
  • A greasy or moist appearance  (mites prefer to live in the hair follicles, so in most cases, hair loss is the first noted sign)
  • Often a secondary bacterial infection - which can result in a fever, lose their appetite, and become lethargic.

Diagnosis
Diagnosis is made by performing a skin scraping, in which case, the mites can be seen with the aid of a microscope. If a larger than normal numbers of Demodex mites is found in skin scrapings, it confirms the diagnosis.

Older dogs diagnosed with demodectic mange should be screened for certain other diseases such as Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, cancer, and heartworm disease. Nutritional history and any history of treatment with corticosteroids or other immune-suppressing drugs should be noted.

Treatment
The localized form of demodectic mange is usually treated with topical medication. The generalized form requires more aggressive treatment using special shampoos and dips, along with oral medication. If a secondary skin infections is present it could require antibiotic therapy. Dogs with skin infections often have very red, inflamed skin. This is the source of the term "red mange."

Holistic treatments are  a crucial part of treating Demodectic mange.  It involves supporting the immune system and treating the lesions.   Most of the time, dogs that have demodectic mange in puppyhood will continue to have a compromised immune system in adulthood, so using supplements can help to strengthen their immune function.

Supplements that can help:

  • Amazing Omegas - To improve skin and coat...a powerhouse of omega-3 nutrients (essential fatty acids)
  • Colostrum-- Essential nutrient for puppies and kittens.  Supports the digestive tract and helps to ward off worms and parasites.  Since the majority of your pet's immune function is located in the intestinal tract, this is the first line of defense with mange.
  • Power Probiotic - Powerful immune support. Supports digestion and overall good health (great for all pets!) 
  • Quentans - strengthens immune system and promotes healing. Powerful infection fighter, especially effective on viral infections.
  • Argentyn - can be used topically on any type of irritation of inflammation--even in the most sensitive area s. Just watch as this miracle formula helps to heal the skin.

Feeding a raw food diet can also be beneficial as the fresh nutrients provide enzymes and the food is highly digestible, thereby reducing allergy symptoms.

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