(Sometimes called “Red Mange”)
THE CULPRIT – DEMODEX CANIS
Demodectic mange is caused by a microscopic mite called Demodex canis. All dogs raised normally by their mothers possess this mite as mites are transferred from mother to pup via cuddling during the first few days of life. (After the pup is older it is unable to pick up demodex mites. Puppies raised by hand, do not ever get demodex mites.) For some reason, conditions change in certain dogs to allow demodex mites to “gain the upper hand;” the mites proliferate and can cause serious skin disease.
Mites are not transmitted to people or other dogs except from mother dog to pup as described. Demodectic mange (unlike Sarcoptic mange) is not contagious.
Mites live inside hair follicles — a difficult place for miticides (chemicals that kill mites) to reach.
Mites are a normal residents of dog skin; it is only in some individual dogs that mites cause problems.
DEMODICOSIS — THE DISEASE ITSELF
Demodectic mange — also called “demodicosis”– has three forms: