Symbiosis or scabies is a disease that affects the skin and is extremely contagious. In the animal world, many species are susceptible to contracting it, although perhaps the best-known cases are those of scabies in dogs, but did you know that there are different types of scabies? From My Animals, we detail you about some of them.
What exactly is scabies in dogs?
In general, it can be said that scabies is a topical disease since the area of the skin is the one that is affected. It must also be noted that it is not an exclusive disease of dogs since many other species are susceptible to contracting it, including humans.
The causative agents of scabies are called mites. These tiny organisms belong to the arachnid group, and about 50,000 species are currently described. These organisms are responsible for the transmission of scabies, usually by direct contact.
As already said, there are different variants of the disease, because each type of mite causes distinct symptomatology. As a summary, these are the most common symptoms:
- Intense itching
- Hair loss, as localized baldness, is caused.
- Reddened and inflamed skin, with the appearance of scabs.
This variety is one of the most prevalent, and it is one of the most common diseases in dogs. Its name is due to the causal mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. Canis This genus of mite is also capable of attacking felines, although the probability of cross-infection is very low.
The life cycle of this mite is about three weeks, during which the females lay eggs in small galleries on the animal’s skin. They usually prefer areas where the hair is not abundant, such as ears, elbows, or abdomen. In these areas, red areas with crust begin to form, with the consequent itching and the fall of the fur.
It should be noted that this type of disease in dogs is highly contagious, and humans are susceptible to infection. The treatment for this type of scabies is based on acaricides.
Demodectic mange in dogs
This type of eczema is known as red mange. In this case, the causative organism is Demodex canis, a mite that lives naturally in the skin area of dogs. Usually, it affects puppies under six months or older dogs to a greater extent, because the bug develops in better conditions when the immune system is weakened.
There are two variants of the demodectic mange: the localized and the generalized, which is nothing more than an evolution of the previous one. The most typical symptoms are the redness of the areas with thin skin – lips, eyelids, limb folds -, accompanied by a strong smell.
Some research has been carried out around the incidence of this disease, and there is evidence to affirm that there is an absolute hereditary predisposition to suffer this type of scabies. Some studies suggest that there may be some races more prone to demodectic mange.
We are faced with a less frequent but very contagious type of scabies, which affects both dogs and cats. The responsible organism is Otodectes cynotis, a mite that is located in the ear of the animal and whose life cycle is 21 days. During those days, the insect will feed on the earwax and blood, which causes itching, irritation, and constant shaking of the head.
As a consequence of the infection, a dark brown ceruminous fluid is secreted from the ear canal. This is one of the indicators of the disease that, if not detected in time, can begin to spread throughout the rest of the body. The prevention of this type of scabies happens by periodically checking the ears of our dogs.