Short Q & A: Natural Treatments for Demodectic Mange in Pets

Question:

I got Koda a little over 2 years ago at a flea market when he was about 8-9 weeks old for $8.00. He was in very poor condition when I got him. He was malnourished and was diagnosed with entropian and another disease (I can’t think of the name) that caused his eyeballs not to fully mature. He has always been happy, healthy, and full of energy. About a year ago I moved out of my parents’ house into my own place. He quit eating for a while, then when he did start eating again his appetite was never as big as it was before and he started losing weight. The vet said she thought he was depressed because everything else was normal. Then about 5 months ago I noticed some sores around his eyes and cheek area. I was informed that it was demodex mites, and that the only two treatments that would work were Mitaban and Ivomectin. I tried Mitaban at first which took a while to get a hold of. After seeing the way he reacted, I won’t use it on him again unless I absolutely have to. Most of his patches are just hairless, a few have have been itched raw, but now he has them on his feet, stomach and face. He has lost a good bit of weight since the problem started. He probably eats about 2-3 cups a food daily and is fed 4-5 (he leaves a lot behind). He eats Pedigree small crunchy bites, and occasionally Pedigree wet food if he won’t eat. Thank you for your help!!

Answer:

There are some general suggestions I can provide that will help build your dog’s immune system and move him toward a healthier state which will make it easier to rid him of the mites. You need to combine this advice with the care of a qualified veterinarian in your area who can treat the demodex mite problem conventionally as well with oral medication (not Mitaban).

  • Please read our article, “What You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Food.” Nothing can replace a proper diet in building health and strengthening the immune system of your dog.  Keep in mind that adding real food to his diet does not have to be complicated – raw bones several times a week and some healthy table scraps along with a HIGH QUALITY dog food is a good start.
  • Add a good quality fatty acid supplement, preferably fish oils, for example Salmon Oil or Sardine Oil to his diet. This will support the health of his skin and coat.
  • Consider giving an immune support supplement such as an immune strengthener or vitamin supplement.
  • Give him a good quality vitamin E supplement to support his immune system and skin. You can get this at a vitamin or natural food store.
  • Consider treating him with a homeopathic remedy. This would require a phone consultation with a holistic veterinarian. Please see The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association referral page or The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy referral page.

Again, this is general advice for strengthening his immune system and improving his overall health. It is important to treat the demodex mites both holistically and conventionally.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    I believe one of the most overlooked elements when a dog’s behavior has changed is the environment. Once medical concerns are addressed (and absolutely your dog’s diet is paramount), then we should look at the environment in which your dog is living. You mentioned depression after a move change. Bringing along familiar toys, bedding and food bowls is extremely important in giving your dog the opportunity to adjust in a healing way. After a short adjustment time, I would then look at the type of bedding (color and fabric) in which your dog spends his “down” time. Using browns and squares would give your dog the feeling of being secure and comfortable. Stay away from the reds and bright colors, even though they might fit perfect in your design scheme. Also take note on the position of his bed to your own sleeping arrangements. Are they near enough so that he/she feels safe and loved? These are just a few tips I would suggest to use when researching ways to support a healing environment for your family member.


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