Natural Treatments for Demodectic Mange in Dogs
Written by: Dr. Jean Hofve, Holistic Veterinarian, DVM
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!!
"Nothing can replace a proper diet in building health and strengthening the immune system of your dog."
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 oil, such as Only Natural Pet Salmon Oil or Nature's Logic Sardine Oil to his diet. This will support the health of his skin and coat.
Consider giving an immune support supplement such as Only Natural Pet Immune Strengthener or Vetri-DMG.
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 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.