Does my dog have mites or mange?

Apart from fleas and ticks, other parasites that could be causing your dog’s itching are mites or mange. They live and breed on a dog's skin, and some types can cause severe problems if left untreated. Finding out whether mites or mange are responsible for your dog itching and scratching may not be as straightforward as spotting fleas.

1) Surface mites

These live on the skin's surface, causing itchiness and scratching. The most common types are Cheyletiella mites (which are sometimes referred to as 'walking dandruff' because they are light in colour and large enough to see moving about) and harvest mites, tiny orange mites which are most prevalent in the autumn, and tend to hide between the dog's toes or on the legs and stomach.

Surface mites can be treated in the same way as fleas by bathing your dog with an Ekoneem Shampoo Bar or our Skinny Dip Shampoo. After that start using Billy No Mates. For immediate relief of the bite sites use Ekoneem organic neem oil.

2) Mange mites

These burrow in to the skin, so they can't usually be seen by the naked eye and will need to be diagnosed by your vet, using a microscope and skin scraping. The most common types of mange mites cause Demodex mange and Sarcoptic mange.

Demodex mange is caused by mites that live in the hair follicles of almost all dogs and they aren't normally a problem. But if the dog has an impaired immune system, or is suffering from malnutrition or stress, the mites can overpopulate, resulting in hair loss and inflamed skin. This type of mange doesn't usually cause intense itching, and it isn't contagious.

Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious and intensely itchy. Dogs can cause themselves permanent skin damage from scratching and biting. What's more, these mites breed incredibly quickly and will eventually cover your whole pet if left untreated.

See your vet to establish if your dog has mange and which type it is. If your dog has Sarcoptic mange it is likely to need veterinary treatment in the first instance. When that’s dealt with, if you’re looking for a more natural solution to prevent further outbreaks then I recommend Billy No Mates.

However, for Demodex mange where the dog has an impaired immune system or is suffering from malnutrition or stress, there are several natural solutions available – a pot of Resist in the short term will get your dog back to health, then chase that up with Billy No Mates daily, in food, and you’re good to go.

For Demodex and Sarcoptic mange I highly recommend ekoneem shampoo to give your dog some relief and reduce itching. Ekoneem shampoo bars contain organic neem oil which has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties but no irritants, commonly found in most soaps and shampoos, like sodium lauryl sulphate.

3) Ear mites

Ear mites live inside the dog’s ears. Itching, irritation and a dry crusty discharge are common symptoms, along with frequent head shaking and ear scratching. What's more, ear mites can be easily transferred from one animal to another, so if you have more than one pet, chances are they will all need treatment.

Products containing colloidal silver work wonders to clean ears. Put a couple of drops of Lintbells Silvercare Ear Cleaner into the ear, massage it in for 30 seconds then clean the debris out with a Lintbells Silvercare Ear & Eye cloth.

Billy No Mates

I know I keep banging on about the stuff but Billy No Mates will prevent ear mites in dogs and cats, as well as fleas and ticks.Flea, tick and mite treatment and repellent dry mix or liquid tincture (use the tincture on cats too). If you want to avoid the chemicals found in common flea treatments such as Frontline or Advocate this is for you.

Ear Mites in particular

Lintbells Silvercare Ear Cleaning Drops – Cleans ears, deters ear mites.
Lintbells Silvercare Ear & Eye Cleaning Cloth – cloth containing colloidal silver clears muck, dirt and mites right out. Be gentle though.

General first aid and relief from itching and scratching

Ekoneem Organic Neem Oil. Excellent first aid for wounds, red sore spots and bites. Apply in-between toes, under the arms, on the belly and anywhere else needing attention – avoid eyes and muzzle.
Ekoneem Shampoo Bar. Provides all over relief from itching skin, it’s so gentle you can use this one around the eyes and muzzle too.
Yumega Plus. A natural blend of the finest omega 3&6 oils from cold pressed Golden Flax, Starflower and fresh Salmon oil.

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