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Demodectic Mange or Something Else?

by Angela
(Nashville, TN)

My 3.5 month old Australian Shepherd pup has been diagnosed with Demodectic mange. Her symptoms are:

Itchiness, red skin, aversion to heat, lots of small (tiny) round scabby places - mostly on her belly and legs, more itchy with exposure to water, a few larger scabby places, no significant fur loss, no patches on her face ever, occasional "pimples", flaky skin on her back.

After this diagnosis, I have started her on raw food and given her many supplements including:
Flax oil, salmon oil, Nupro dog vitamin, Dinovite dog vitamin, Vit c, echinacea,zinc, coq10, borage oil, and immune booster. She has been doing the supplements for about 5 weeks, raw diet is still transitioning, but I was feeding her Blue Buffalo wilderness.

The vet also prescribed 5 mitaban dips. I let them do 3 dips, on the last one her skin seemed burned. No more dips. Plus, I think the dips where canceling out what I was doing with the vitamins. Also prescribed 1/2 antihistamine twice daily. This doesn't seem to do anything.

She has a good energy level most of the time (except 2-3 days after the dips) and runs and plays frequently. Her appetite has improved since adding the raw food.

I am a big advocate of herbs & vitamins rather than drugs, etc. I can't find anyone in my area who can advise in this arena.

I am using the book by Dr. Pitcairn as a guide, but the amounts are sometimes vague, etc. For instance, he says to treat the mange with sulphur 6c, but doesn't say how much. I have been treating her for about 2 weeks with 2 pellets twice a day and it doesn't seem to be making a difference.

I am starting to believe that she doesn't have mange at all but some other skin condition. Based on her symptoms, it seems there is something else at work here. Can you provide your opinion and offer any suggestions as to the changes in care I should be providing?


Comments for Demodectic Mange or Something Else?

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Aug 30, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Demodectic Mange or Something Else?
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Angela,
After reading the description of skin lesions on your 3.5 months old Australian Shepherd, I am not sure I agree with the diagnosis of Demodectic mange. Was your puppy diagnosed using a skin scraping?

Although, since you did not include a photo, I am at a loss to tell you that it is NOT Demodex.

With the raw diet you have started, the supplements and following Dr Richard Pitcairn's book, Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, you are on the right track for improving your pup's health, no matter what the cause may be.

Just to give you a few suggestions:
- I would omit the flax oil and borage oil, but continue the Salmon oil.
- Make sure Vitamin C is 'buffered' and NOT Ascorbic Acid.
- Continue everything else.

Also, make sure you are feeding the Puppy diet in Dr. Pitcairn's book to ensure your puppy is getting the correct Calcium and Phosphorus ratio.

Regarding the homeopathic remedy Sulphur, that seems like the appropriate remedy to start with this case. A 6c potency is very low. Giving it two times daily, I would NOT expect to see any change or improvement in just 2 weeks, especially following three Mitaban dips! I would continue to give the Sulphur 6c two times daily (you only need to give one pellet by mouth on each dose), for another 3-4 weeks.

Ideally, having a holistic veterinarian guiding you in person would be the best treatment option, in which case higher potencies could be used. And choosing the best constitutional remedy would be best.

Otherwise, see if you can send a photo on the next follow-up in about a month (send it to

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area

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Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section.
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Hair Loss Section

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