Mange is a disease caused by parasites and it mostly affects dogs and even cats. It is of many types – demodectic ( red mange ) , sarcoptic and some others. Those dogs who are low on immunity can be severely infested with this disease. Mange shows up as bald spots on the fur of the animals. The pet may have severe itching and lot of discomfort. The pet may be unable to sleep well. Mange can also affect cats.
Mange is similar to scabies. They are both caused by parasites that live under the skin. There are actually two kinds of mange.
- Demodectic Mange- In this condition, the parasites live under the skin.
- Sarcoptic Mange – Here, the parasites live in hair follicles.
One should understand that mange is not something which affects the fur or coat of these lovely pets. It has an impact on their overall health. Their immune system is desperately trying to fend off these parasites. So, there are signs of inflammation, itching, swelling.
- Hair loss – the pet, dog or cat starts losing hair in patches. Their skin is visible even if they have an otherwise healthy coat.
- Severe itching – the dog shows clear signs of excess itching.
- Scabbing – Scabs may form at multiple regions on the skin. This is a part of the body’s healing process in response to wounds caused by scratching.
- Sores on the body. When these bumps appear, it can become painful for the dog.
Similar symptoms are seen in cats, rabbits, domestic pigs and other animals.
Home remedies for mange in dogs, cats and other pet animals. These remedies generally work well for both kinds of mange. Some of the remedies directly affect the mange mites living and proliferating under the skin, while others are more helpful to ease the itching and the discomfort.
1. Hot water bath
This is the best remedy for mange which can be easily prepared. Prepare some hot water. Make it hot enough. The temperature should be bearable to the dog but not less warm, otherwise the parasites will not be affected. Make the dog lie in this hot water and brush the skin firmly. Parasites that cause mange can get killed and washed away with the water, especially if they are close to the skin. One can improve this remedy can adding certain more things.
Apple Cider Vinegar
- Directions / How to use
Prepare hot bath water in a bath tub or something like that. Add 1 – 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, depending on the size of the dog, or cat. Squeeze the juice of many lemons in the water. Mix it well. Let the dog sit in this water. Brush the skin gently.
- Why it works ?
Both vinegar and lemon act against the mites . This may help to kill them and the dog’s body would excrete them. Hot water acts as a carrying agent as it opens up the pores to the hair follicles.
2. Diatomaceous earth
Apply diatomaceous earth to the carpet and the place where the dog sleeps. Diatomaceous earth can trap mange mites. This is then vacuumed up. However, make sure that diatomaceous earth you get is of food grade quality. This way if the dog accidentally ingests it, then it not as harmful.
3. Cedar oil
Put some cedar oil in olive oil. Then, use this natural oil and massage it into the skin of the pet. This massage is fragrant and generally pleasing for most dogs. Cedar oil is really good in mange . However, it is an essential oil, and these are very powerful. So, make sure to test the oil on less sensitive skin, like the forearms before using on sensitive skin areas like the ears. This helps to make sure that the dog, or pup can bear this treatment.
4. Sulfur containing cream
Get a cream which contains sulfur. It is a naturally occurring element in nature which is good for skin ailments. Apply this cream on mange affected skin. There are many other ways to use sulphur products for mange.
- Sulphur creams, meant for mange. These are specially formulated for dogs and pets. As a safety measure, use only on few mange spots.
- Lime sulphur – This is a special kind of sulphur product. It is formed by chemical reaction between quick lime and sulphur and a few other ingredients. This is used for treating mange. One can easily get lime sulphur at a pest control shop, as gardeners use it. Dilute it in water in the ratio of 1 : 32. That means, 1 cup lime sulphur to 32 parts water. Store this solution. Dip a cloth in this solution and use it to coat the dog’s fur. Cover the dog’s eyes and ears to prevent the solution going into the eyes. Use an Elizabethan collar to prevent the dog licking the sulphur. After it has dried, let it stay on the skin for a few hours and then wash it off. This works for mange. You can read more about this technique in the references. 
5. Lemon peel
Cut a lemon. Put it into a bowl along with its peel. Now, boil this mixture repeatedly. After some repeated boiling, the solution becomes concentrated. Lemon peel essence comes into the water. Strain this liquid. Now, dip clothes in this solution and apply it on the dog’s skin. Lemon peel smell citrus and improve the mood of the dog. Moreover, it also aids in repelling more mange parasites.
Apply honey to the skin that is affected by mange mites. Let the honey be on the skin for a long time. Then, wash it off with hot water. Honey helps to heal wounds. This prevents secondary infections in the dog.
7. Borax Soap
Although one should avoid using chemicals on dogs, cats and pets, but this remedy really works. Borax is a salt of boric acid. Soap which contains borax is good for treating mange at home. However, do not use boric acid, instead. These are two different things. Boric acid is highly toxic to any pet.
8. Neem oil
Neem oil can be rubbed on the skin. It is a wonderful insect and parasite repellent. It can successfully kill the mange mites. In just one or two applications of neem oil, mange would be killed and the dog free from mange. Neem is also used as a remedy for scabies, a condition much similar to mange. However, it may not work for all dog breeds.
Neem oil is often an awful smelling oil, so you may need to dilute it in olive oil.
10. Healthy diet
Give your pet a really healthy diet, so that their immune system can reach its peak levels and perform well. So, it is time for chicken, fish, healthy soups, vegetables and fruits. This can make a huge difference.
11.Other remedies for mange
- Vegetable oil : Take a good amount of vegetable oil and dip the dog in this. The dog can stay for some time in this oil. It suffocates the mange mites and they die. For the dog, its just an oil bath.
- Olive oil – Massaging olive oil into the skin improves the skin texture and promotes it to heal.
- Frequent washing – Give the dog frequent baths with soap and water.
- Garlic – Most dogs can tolerate 1 garlic clove a day. Garlic is a wonderful nutrient for humans and pets. As for cats, garlic may be more toxic to them in raw form. They may tolerate it when it has been cooked. In any case, do not give them garlic for more than a few weeks, that is just until their body recovers from the mange.
Mange can be very hard to deal with. This infestation can take several weeks to resolve. This is a lot of effort for the pet owner and lots of discomfort for the pet. One should always inquire about the safety of any ingredient for the specific breed of dog or cat that you have. Also, mange is contagious among pets. So, make sure all of them are being treated, or the one that is affected is kept away from the others.
1. Evaluation of therapeutic efficacy of herbal formulation with and without levamisole against mange in dromedary camel. Dixit, S. K.; Singh, A. P.; Tuteja, F. C.
2. Method of treating mange with extract of cedar leaf. US 2863804 A
3. An open study to evaluate topical treatment of equine chorioptic mange with shampooing and lime sulphur solution. S. Paterson1 and K. Coumbe