The useful home remedies for demodectic mange include the use of hydrogen peroxide, borax, yogurt, honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, fish oil, lemon peels, aloe vera, neem oil, soap and water, and certain preventative practices, such as regularly cleaning your dog’s bedding.
What is Demodectic Mange?
Although the scientific name is demodicosis, demodectic mange (or red mange) is caused by an inability to properly handle a small mite that exists on almost all dogs fur, Demodex canis. In most healthy dogs, particularly those that are regularly sheltered, fed, and have a strong immune system, the number of Demodex canis is kept under control and doesn’t bother dogs very much, except for some minor scratching or itchiness.
However, if a dog is suffering from malnutrition, abuse, or a severely compromised immune system, those mites can begin to reproduce rapidly and start to wreak havoc on the canine’s fur. This can result in hair loss in small patches and mild irritation but can be as serious as widespread hair loss, infections, and life-threatening complications. For our beloved pets, it can be difficult to see them going through so much pain without being able to help.
There are a number of prescription medications and creams that you can get from veterinarians, but there is always the risk of side effects, not to mention cost. Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies for demodectic mange that are easy and effective! That being said, in cases of severe demodectic mange that could possibly be life-threatening for the animal, seeing a veterinarian is always recommended, just to be sure.
Diagnoses for demodectic mange involves skin scraping and, sometimes, hair sample of the infected area. The skin scraping is sent to labs for a proper biopsy, using microscopic channels. Only if the biopsy shows a presence of mites along with skin lesions, it is considered a case of demodectic mange, otherwise not. These mites are tiny, alligator-like creatures that cannot be seen with naked eyes, and therefore cannot be detected without a lab testing.
Veterinarians are also of the opinion that older dogs with demodectic mange should be tested for other related illnesses like Cushing’s disease, cancer, hypothyroidism, and other bacterial infections.
Home Remedies for Demodectic Mange
Home remedies for demodectic mange include:
Due to the natural antiseptic and antiparasitic nature of aloe vera, it makes for an ideal home remedy for mange. Spread aloe vera, either in gel or tea form on the animal’s affected areas twice a day and start seeing results, as well as a much happier dog, within a few days!
This may seem like a strange combination, but if you soak 6-10 cloves of garlic with lemon peels in water overnight, the resulting liquid will be infused with a wide variety of beneficial organic compounds to stimulate healing and neutralize the parasites on your dog. It might smell a bit strange, but it will get the job done.
Apple Cider Vinegar
As with hundreds of other common medical conditions, the perennial cure-all of apple cider vinegar is also good for treating mange. Simply add a small amount (a few tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s normal meal and you’ll be amazed how quickly recovery begins.
Spreading honey on the affected area of your dog’s fur is effective for two reasons; you effectively suffocate the parasites that are reproducing so rapidly, while also soothing the inflamed areas and stimulating more rapid healing, due to the rich stores of organic compounds found in organic honey.
One of the unfortunate side effects of mange is a crusty or discolored discharge from the ears of the dog, which is also itchy and uncomfortable. The acidophilus bacteria found in yogurt can help to eliminate this symptom and relieve the discomfort for your dog.
Applying olive oil or other cooking oils to the affected areas of the dogs’ skin can help to alleviate the inflammation and the waxy build-up on the skin due to mange, while also eliminating the parasites from the area.
Soap and Water
The old solutions are often the best, and the alkaline nature of most common soaps will keep the mange under control and reduce inflammation, while also killing the parasites responsible for the condition.
This is the most common home remedy for treating mange, but because dogs will become ill if they lick this mixture, despite its efficiency, many people choose an even more “natural” route. If you do use this hydrogen peroxide and borax solution to wash your dog (approx. once a week), don’t wipe your dog dry, as that will eliminate what you’ve just tried to do!
Although this isn’t a direct remedy for the dog, regularly cleaning your dog’s bedding, particularly after using these home remedies to eliminate the parasites, is highly recommended. If your dog has millions of more mites in its bedding, then all of these topical solutions will be useless, as the mites will simply return.
Word of Caution: Although these home remedies are highly effective, remember that this could develop into a life-threatening situation for your dog, especially if it becomes complicated by secondary infections. See a veterinarian, if possible, so that he or she can tell you whether home remedies will suffice for a healthy recovery.