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Dr.Beth, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 631
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
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A question about Demodectic Mange

Customer Question

My puppy was diagnosed with Demodectic Mange. The vet prescribed Ivermectin. The instructions given to me said to up the dose of Ivermectin everyday, until day 6 then stay at the same dose. The doses start from little to big Why is this? Why can't my pup just start on the same dose and end on the same dose? The vet also said to come back in a month for another skin scraping, why do I need to do another skin scraping once the Demodex is gone? And also why do I have to administer the medicine for a month? That is a long time.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for the question. We start dogs on a low dose of Ivermectin and slowly ramp it up for safety reasons. Dog can have adverse reactions to the medication and it is safer to start slowly. Potential side effects to watch for include drunken gait, tremors, depression and anorexia.

Demodex can be difficult to effectively treat and cure and often takes months of therapy. Usually a skin scrape is done one month into treatment. Even if no mites are seen on this scraping, another scraping is done one month later as a precaution since it is possible that the mites were not caught on the first scrape. It is the standard rule of thumb that no dog is considered cured of demodex until it has had two negative skin scrapings one month apart. It sounds like your vet is doing everything according to the book in treating your dog.

Please let me know if I can be of further help.

Dr. Beth

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Are the skin scrapings painful to my dog? Is demodex contagious to humans and other dogs or cats? Oh, and when will I start to see results? Will her hair grow back and how long until she is fully recovered and her hair grows back in that area?
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.
No I would not consider the skin scraping painful, they are probably a bit irritating. No demodex is not contagious to humans or other dogs. You will probably not know in the first few weeks weather the medication is helping, but you should not see any new skin lesions starting and the skin should begin to look less irritated. Fully clearing the infection can happen in 6-8 weeks, but can also take much longer in some animals. Hair re-growth can be slow, so it may be a few months before your dog looks 'normal'.

Here is a link to a website that can give you more information about the condition:

Dr. Beth

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'm sorry for all my questions, I'm just concerned about my puppy. Is there anything else I can do to make her feel more comfortable or to help the itching?
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.
If she is quite itchy she may have a secondary bacterial skin infection. I would talk to your vet about giving her some antibiotics. Sometimes dogs will need to be on antibiotics for up to 8 weeks.

You can also pick up a prescription shampoo from your vet that contains benzoyl peroxide. This will help remove some of the crusts on her skin, flush out her hair follicles and help with killing bacteria.

If she has not been spayed, you will want to spay her, as going into heat often makes the demodex infection much worse.

I hope she is more comfortable soon.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She already has Ivermectin, isn't this antiobiotic she needs to be on? She is fixed.
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.
Ivermectin is not an antibiotic, it is a medication to kill the mites. An antibiotic would treat for bacteria. Bacterial skin infections often happen at the same time as the mite infections because her immume system and skin's protective properties have been compromised.

Dr. Beth

If you have found these anwers helpful, please press the 'ACCEPT' button. You are able to continue to ask me questions after doing so, by hitting the reply button.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi, I accepted your answers. Sorry, I did not know that I could continue to ask you questions after I pressed ACCEPT. My pup now has a scab where they did the scraping, that is normal right?
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.
Yes the scab is normal. To do a skin scrape, you have to scratch along the skin until you produce bleeding, so a scab is perfectly normal.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi, I know that I asked these questions a while back...but now, about a year after the first attack of demodectic mange...IT IS BACK, why is this? :( Is my new puppy going to get it as well now?