(Natural News) Imagine a “mangy dog.” The words may conjure images of flea-bitten and disease-ridden canines with filthy, disheveled coats of fur. These dogs may look like they haven’t had a good bath in months. They may look sickly and unhealthy, and in fact, they most probably are. Mange is a common skin problem for dogs. It also affects cats, birds and other animals. Fortunately, there are many inexpensive, natural remedies out there that can help eliminate dog mange.
Knowing what type of mange your dog has is helpful in knowing how to best treat it. Mange is caused by parasites and typically comes in two forms. Sarcoptic mange is also known as canine scabies and is caused by the microscopic Sarcoptes scabiei mite. Be careful when attempting to treat this as mange spreads by skin contact, and this form is contagious to both humans and dogs. It is characterized by excessive scratching, skin rashes, crust formation and hair loss.
The other form of mange is demodectic mange. It is also known as demodicosis or red mange, and it is not contagious to humans. It is caused by the Demodex canis mite, which is so small that it is practically invisible without a microscope. On their own, the Demodex mites are harmless, even expected, as they are actually a normal part of the microfauna in your dog’s skin. However, if your dog’s immune system is compromised, or if they grow in number and irritate the skin of the affected area, this is when demodectic mange develops. Symptoms of this condition include skin lesions, hair loss, and redness of the skin.
Both forms of mange can cause great discomfort and affect your dog’s overall health so it is best to treat it immediately. (Related: How to treat canine mange naturally.)
Natural remedies to treat dog mange
Remedies applied directly to the affected area or skin of the dog are more aimed at treating sarcoptic mange, whereas remedies involving a change in diet are directed more at boost your dog’s immune system and treating demodectic mange. That said, your dog may respond differently to each treatment. You may experiment and use your best judgment to see what works and what doesn’t. Here are some possible treatments to get you started:
- Neem. Also known as Indian lilac, neem has antiseptic properties to help control the mange infection. It also promotes the quick regrowth of hair. Mix 1 teaspoon (tsp.) of neem oil with 1 tsp. lavender oil and 9 tsp. virgin coconut oil. Apply the mixture to the affected area twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
- Honey. Honey has both antiseptic and antioxidant properties that can heal and protect your dog’s skin from further infections while also making it difficult for mites to survive. It can also alleviate the severe itching caused by mange. Apply the honey directly on the affected area twice a day and allow it to sit for a few hours. The honey may attract ants and other insects, so be sure to clean the area of the excess honey using water.
- Lemon juice and witch hazel. Mix 3 tablespoons (tbsp.) of fresh, organic lemon juice with 2 ounces (oz.) of witch hazel and 4 oz. filtered water. Apply the mixture on to the affected area twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
- Change in diet. You can improve your dog’s immune system by changing your dog’s food to a more raw and natural diet. This can help your dog fight off the mites and return their numbers to a healthy amount. You can also remove wheat and processed foods from your dog’s diet. Mites thrive on yeast and wheat intake causes yeast to accumulate in the pores of your dog’s skin.
- Pet supplements. Give your dog beta glucan supplements to strengthen its immune system. Carefully follow the recommended dosage of the supplements.
If you want to learn more about dogs and how to take proper care of them, you can read more articles on PetHealth.news.