Dog Mange Mites on Humans

Mange is a skin infestation by mites. Humans have mites that normally exist on our bodies, but canine demodex mites are species-specific, which means your dog’s mites won’t thrive on you. People have their own species of demodectic mites that happily coexist with us. Eyebrows and even eyelashes as well as other locations on the face routinely have mites.

Multi-Species Mites

A few types of mites will cross species and can cause problems even in healthy people and animals. The mite behind sarcoptic mange, Sarcoptes scabiei, is one of them. This particular mite is comfortable living on a number of hosts. Have you noticed any basically naked, but otherwise healthy, squirrels in your neighborhood? They probably have sarcoptic mange. Spot a sickly, scruffy looking fox? He probably has sarcoptic mange as well and, unfortunately, it is a serious problem for fox.

Mange Is Itchy

Dogs with sarcoptic mange are extremely pruritic (itchy). These mites burrow into the skin and cause itching, rubbing, chewing, and rolling. Dogs with sarcoptic mange are uncomfortable. Even just a few mites can make a dog miserable. With time, the damaged skin is prone to secondary infections, which only add to the overall discomfort.

Is It Really Mange?

A diagnosis requires demonstrating mites are present, if possible. Since these mites burrow into the skin, multiple skin scrapes are attempted. If your veterinarian does not come up with a mite, but still feels sarcoptic mange is a possibility, she might recommend treatment anyway.

Treating Mange in Dogs

Treatment requires topical therapy such as baths and dips to start with and then follow up with topical or oral medications. Revolution and Advantage Multi are examples of topical treatments that will kill sarcoptic mites. Oral medications that have shown to be effective include Interceptor, Sentinel, NexGard, Bravecto, and Simparica. Not all fhese drugs are specifically approved for the treatment of sarcoptic mange, but they are effective and can be prescribed by your veterinarian for off label use.

Human Mange

You can get sarcoptic mange from your dog. This requires close contact as the mites don’t run and jump like fleas. If you develop an intensely itchy rash just like your dog, you might have mange. The canine variant of the sarcoptic mange mite can’t fully reproduce in people, so symptoms will fade in 4 or 5 days.

People do have their own variant of this mite that can be transferred to dogs. Again, it can’t reproduce so signs fade quickly. If you develop an itchy rash which last longer than a couple of days, you should see your physician.

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