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What are the Different Types of Mange?

The different types of mange are defined by the kind of mite that has infiltrated the host's skin to fulfill its reproductive cycle.
Cat with mange.
Veterinarians can help diagnose and treat a pet with mange.
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  • Written By: S. Mithra
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
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Mange includes a wide variety of skin diseases in pets and humans caused by microscopic mites. Therefore, the different types of mange are determined by the kind of mite that infiltrates the skin to fulfill its reproductive cycle. Some types are more vigorous than others. Depending on the mite, mange can spread from dog to cat to human.

One of the different types of mange erupts when the Demodex canis mite creates demodicosis, or demodectic mange. This milder rash mostly attacks puppies, as their developing immune system can't handle the same mites as their mother. The symptoms, like most types of mange, are itchiness and patches of bare skin. The majority of puppies grow out of demodicosis as they reach adolescence.

Sometimes, demodectic mange will develop into a more serious problem. Increased symptoms will be crusty and scaly skin, frenetic scratching, and overall weakness in the dog as the mites settle in hair follicles. This cannot spread to humans, but it may be an indication that your dog suffers from a weakened immune system due to cancer or other health condition.

The Sarcoptes canis mite causes the most common type of mange: scabies. Otherwise known as sarcoptic mange, scabies is resilient, long lasting, and contagious. The mites need to burrow underneath the top layers of skin in order to lay their eggs. The eggs develop, hatch, and the new mites only exacerbate the problem. This disturbance creates swelling, redness, thick or discolored skin, hair loss, insistent scratching, and seepage of pus.

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Scabies can be passed between dogs, cats, and even onto humans. In cats, it is often separated into another type of mange called face or notoedric mange because a slightly different mite, Notoedres cati, burrows beneath the skin. This affects the cat's face the most, especially around the ears and neck, but can spread all over its body.

Since humans aren't good at incubating the scabies eggs, we can't be seriously infested. However, dogs can succumb to scabies and develop bacterial infections in their oozing skin. Scabies is a good candidate among the different types of mange to be cured by multiple treatments from the veterinarian.

A lesser type of mange is cheyletiella. Cheyletiella is better known as "walking dandruff," because tiny white flakes resembling dandruff scatter across a dog's back and neck. Red mites, or fur mites, cause the mild itching of walking dandruff. It will not get too severe, but neither will it clear up on its own. There are insecticide shampoos to treat this type of mange.

Finally, a specific ear mite that lives off the moisture and discharge from an animal's ears causes ear mange. The ear mite burrows into the outer ear canal, and a black gummy substance will start to ooze from the opening. Ear mange can usually be treated at home with cotton swabs and ear drops, yet severe cases could lead to hearing loss. It is contagious between animals, but not to humans.

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Discuss this Article

anon243005
Post 4

I was told by the vet, mange with humans is referred to as scabies and you need to contact your doctor.

anon147018
Post 3

i petted a feral kitten in china and came home with the same. It turned out to be ringworm. It started out looking like a very itchy bug bite and then eventually becomes circular.

Dayton
Post 2

Actually, there are many different causes for a rash like that--specifically, one that is around your waist--I wouldn't assume that it's mange and go see a doctor. Good luck!

anon1218
Post 1

i have just returned from 2 weeks in greece. there are feral cats all over this country. and being a cat person it is difficult not to feed them and yes even pet them. subsequently i came home with a small (itchy) rash just at my waistline and have had it for about a week. from what i have read online, humans are not a good host for mange and will die on its own. is this true? or shall i have someone look at it?

thank you.

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