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Dog Mange or Allergy?

by Gail
(Palm Desert, CA)

rash on Abby's abdomen

rash on Abby's abdomen

rash on Abby's abdomen
rash on Abby's abdomen
itchy spot on Mia--no rash

Is it possible to tell the difference between a dog allergy and mange from a picture of the rash? I had my 2 yr old Standard Poodle, Abby, to the vet about a month ago--Oct. 15th. She was very itchy - scratching and biting her flanks, abdomen and the front of her front legs and had a slight rash on her abdomen.

I had her in about a month before that (Sept 9th) for an ear infection and she was given an injection. I don't remember what it was and it is only listed as an injection on my bill. When I had her in on Oct. 15th the vet said it could be allergies or it could be mange and that it was best to treat her for mange before starting on the allergy route.

He gave her an injection of ivermectin and I returned a week later for a recheck. She was still itchy but not as bad. He recommended revolution for her and my other dog at home (a miniature poodle). I gave them both revolution and repeated it in 2 weeks per his instructions.

My other dog (Mia) has been slightly itchy but no rash and not as bad as the Standard. They seemed to be getting better and the rash disappeared but it has just returned.

I have included a couple pictures of the rash on Abby my Standard and a picture of red skin where my miniature Mia has been scratching.

Do you believe that the ivermectin and the revolution would have cleared up the mange if it had been
mange and that they probably have an allergy (I have ordered a Nutriscan test from Dr. Jean Dodds for my Standard to check food intolerances), or could it still be mange?

My concern is that we are to go to my daughter's for Thanksgiving but she has 3 dogs and I do not want to take my dogs there if there is a chance that they have mange.

The rash has never gotten any worse than what you see in the picture. There is no crusty skin although I did notice a little dandruff.

They are both on a raw diet and get ground beef, ground turkey, steak, chicken mixed with Honest Kitchen dinner mix or See Spot Live Longer dinner mix.

Abby is due this month for her yearly vaccine and I will do a titer rather than vaccinate. I did a titer on my miniature when she was due for her last yearly vaccine rather than have her vaccinated.

Abby (the one with the rash) is also very thin. She is only 31 lbs and not at all interested in eating although she does eat between 20 and 24 oz of meat plus dinner mix a day. She is a very active dog and also a nervous dog so that may be why she does not put weight on. The miniature loves to eat!

I guess my question is can you say that it is likely not mange or is there a chance that it is mange and the medication has not cleared it up? And if it is, should I continue to use revolution?

Comments for Dog Mange or Allergy?

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Nov 20, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Mange or Allergy?
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Gail,
There are two types of mange, Demodex and Sarcoptes. See our page on How to Treat Dog Mange.

Demodex is NOT itchy. Nor is it contagious to humans or other dogs.

Sarcoptes IS EXTREMELY itchy, especially on the front of the chest, elbows, and ears. It is contagious to humans and dogs. If your dogs had sarcoptic mange their skin would be discolored black and very thickened with loss of hair, on the locations listed above, NOT on their abdomens.

Apparently, your veterinarian is treating for Sarcoptic mange. From the photos you have sent, I strongly suspect allergy, not mange. Probably inhaled allergy, food allergy, flea allergy , contact allergy or a combination.

Allergy is not contagious. And since BOTH dogs have improved with the Revolution, they may have had a mild flea allergy combined with other allergies.

DIET sounds good.
Vaccination titers is an excellent idea, in lieu of giving a vaccination.

Abby the thin one, probably needs more grain in her diet. Although, that can tend to exacerbate some allergies. But you should give her Rescue Remedy, diluted 10-20 drops in a 2-4 oz pump spray bottle, filled with Spring Water. She can have some in her mouth, and sprayed onto the areas where she is licking/itching to calm her down and to calm her skin down.

Mia does not sound as nervous, but it would not hurt to spray this on her skin too, to calm it down.

Bathe both dogs one time per week, with an oatmeal shampoo
to help calm down the skin.

DO NOT continue the Revolution. It is NOT healthy for them. Seek the help of a holistic veterinarian for homeopathic remedies and supplements to treat them for allergies.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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

Nov 20, 2012
Dog Mange or Allergy
by: Gail

Thank you Dr. Tillman for your prompt response.

Abby's rash has been getting worse--it did clear up at one point but had started to come back when I emailed you. It has now spread and although I can't see it very well under her black coat I can feel the bumps on the back of her neck and around her flanks and on the front of her front legs and I can see a few bumps in the groin area--is this still indicative of an allergy?

They had just come home from the groomers when the rash started up again. She is also losing some hair but her skin is still not black or hardened.

I did read that oatmeal shampoo can cause a problem if the dog has allergies because it is wheat based--is this true or is it okay to use oatmeal shampoo. When you say Abby could have more grain in her diet what would you suggest?

I have some rescue remedy in the house--I tried using it once on Abby because she is nervous in the car but it did not help but I will try it for the itching. Thank you so much for your help.

Nov 22, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Mange or Allergy?
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Gail,
If the bumps are relegated to the back of the neck, around the flanks, and groin area, it is more likely to be allergy, especially if there is itching. And, specifically FLEA allergy.

Are the bumps scabs or pimples? If either of these, then it would indicate that the itching has now created a superficial 'pyoderma'. This means that the bacteria in the skin have proliferated due to the trauma of itching and caused a mild infection.

Maintaining CLEAN skin by bathing two times per week will help. Oatmeal shampoo
is oatmeal based, not wheat based. And bathing two times per week with an Oatmeal shampoo will NOT dry out the skin.

You may also need to make both dogs wear a t-shirt, to help prevent more trauma from itching. But, if the Rescue Remedy helps to 'calm' down the skin, it would be best to let the skin 'air' out and not use a t-shirt.

If this itching started after a visit to the groomer's, then perhaps the shampoo used was too drying for the skin, or the dryers were left on too long and dried out the skin. Or it was a coincidence?

For Abby to gain weight, adding rice or barley would be good choices to add to her diet. See Dr. Richard Pitcairn's book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, for more recipes.

And seeking the help of a holistic veterinarian, for homeopathic remedies, instead of resorting to antibiotics, would be best.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please continue to keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Dog Itchy Skin,
- Dog Skin Rash,
- Dog Skin Allergies,
- 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

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

Mar 16, 2015
Mange or fleas?
by: Kayla

Recently I reacued two 10 week old puppies. When we got them, we noticed they had white, flaky, dandruff like skin. They were also very itchy and had scab/ hair chunks with yellow and red spots. Their was a rash on their abdomen. We took them to the vet and had them tested for mange, and the test came back negative. He said, it could be just because of the environment they lived or dry skin. The vet prescribed them an antibiotic to help with the skin infection. He had mentioned that it might not go away right away and would most likely have to continue the antibiotic for a while month. Well, this is their second dosage and things seem to be the same. I also have a 4 year old Huskey and he now has the white, flakey skin, scabs, itchy on his tail, ears, feet, and boyfriend and I are also itchy and have bumps like mosquito bites. I'm just worried it is mange. How do I know the difference without continuing breaking my bank account for 3 dogs? Is their a more simple treatment that might help with the itching? I give the puppies a bath every Sunday and clean out their bedding 2 a week. Please help me.

Mar 16, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Mange or Allergy
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

March 16, 2015

Hi Kayla
Thanks for your question. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.

Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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