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vsevans, Breeder
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 40
Experience:  40 years exerience owning dogs, 7 years as rare breed breeder, show handler, therapy dog trainer
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Are bare spots on dog skin mange or allergy

Customer Question

What does mange look like and what causes it? After my 20 month old golden was treated for an unknown allergy with stereiod shot, she very shortly thereafter presented with big spots on her forehead and around head then these dried up for the most part, looked rather black, but several took over a month to heal, and the only reason I believe they healed was a dip in the ocean almost every day in clear, clean water. THe hair seems to be growing back but slowly. Any suggestions? I feel that Advantix also had something to do with it since my other 1year old golden (no allergies at this point) also had advantix and also broke out in spots although not so severally or lasting. Thanks for your help. Barbara
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  vsevans replied 10 years ago.
Mange has two causes. The hereditary kind, non-contagious, is demodectic, and is caused by a "short" in the auto-immune system inherited from one or both of the parents that allows naturally occuring mites on the skin to grow in large numbers and cause infections. This is miserable for the dog, but not contagious to other dogs or humans, often called "red mange" from the total scratching misery that breaks skin and makes infections.   The dogs can be treated, but usually grow out of this by the age of 18 months-2 years old. The contagious kind is sarcoptic, again caused by a different kind of mites on the skin, and people can catch this as well. It causes hair loss, itching, and irritations from the scratching resulting from tiny skin infections from the claws.
If your dog is not itching and scratching, and has hair regrowth without further treatment, she COULD have had a flair-up of demodectic mange, but you usually see that condition by the time the pup is 4 months old. It may have been the result of an adverse reaction to Advantix. You will want to ask your vet about Frontline Plus or Revolution rather than the Advantix for both your dogs if you feel they are sensitive to this product. Use Benedryl if they exhibit itching without hair loss, and a vet visit if the hair proceeds to start coming out rather than growing back in.

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