Demodex – Your 6 Step Guide To Beating It

A holistic attack is the secret sauce!

Demodectic mange is not a disease that randomly decided to attack your dog, nor did your dog catch it somewhere. Your dog has certain underlying problems, ­mostly immune related, that allowed the few Demodectic mites that by nature were already there to run wild. They don’t eat your dog but they and their toxins start a cascade of related problems.

It’s a complicated mess that no one should realistically expect to get rid of, let alone keep gone, by just killing the mites. Demodex are a whirlwind of bad and clearly must go — but what about the things that started it all? Do we just ignore them? And what happens if we do? If everyone stepped back to analyze the big picture, the answer would be blinding. There is no one-hit-wonder cure. We have to work on the whole dog with safe tools that work together.

This is the basic holistic program we’ve used to help thousands of dogs and even save some “incurables” from being put down. All these steps work together. You can add to them, but nothing can be taken away.

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Flush your dog’s skin with benzoyl peroxide shampoo
Apply Mite Avenge immediately after shampooing
Repair and restore immune health
De-yeast your dog daily
Fix the diet
Limit all stress
Important bonus tips

All of these steps are essential! They work together holistically. You can add to them, but nothing can be taken away.

1. Flush your dog’s skin with benzoyl peroxide shampoo.

Flush your dog’s skin with benzoyl peroxide shampoo. Bathe your dog with a 2½ to 3% benzoyl peroxide pet shampoo immediately before every Mite Avenge treatment to flush the skin. Used properly, it will also flush out some mites as it helps improve an unhealthy skin environment.

The optimal technique for flushing out debris and mites can be found here. Additional Flushing Baths are fine and can be done as often as daily if desired.

Important 
Demodex mites are coated in thick sticky sebum and further protect themselves by creating barriers out of detritus, and oils that oxidize into brick-like blockages. Benzoyl peroxide shampoo is the only thing known to cut through the gunk.

2. Apply Mite Avenge immediately after shampooing.

The schedule for Demodectic mange is to apply one Mite Avenge treatment as directed twice a week. Treating more often is fine but treating less often is not. The treatment instructions here will help you achieve the optimal treatment.

Cease treatment four (4) weeks after the skin returns to its normal healthy condition and hair has regrown. If you’re unsure, keep treating. The most common causes for recurrence are stopping treatments prematurely and not fully correcting the underlying immune system issues. Both will cause the mites to resurge and often the dog ends up worse off than you started.

Important
Demodex repopulate quickly so do not cease treatment prematurely. Infrequent or inconsistent treatment encourages mite migration, reverses the progress made clearing out follicles, slows recovery by killing fewer mites, and allows more eggs to be laid.

3. Repair and restore immune health.

Behind every case of Demodectic mange is:
• A naturally weak or compromised immune system
• The accompanying yeast issues

Your dog may not show outward symptoms but make no mistake, both are present. Self-repair is hampered by the internal vortex the mites create, which is why immune support is important to recovery and remission. (It’s the secret sauce if you will.)

Sometimes Demodex will reproduce faster than we can kill the mites. When we see treatment stall, or recurrence of the condition after treatment ceases, this is a sure sign the immune system is not strong enough to maintain control.

Important:
A weakened immune system does not self-repair and may continue to decline because of the immuno-suppressive properties of yeast and mites. You can’t turn things around until you resolve these issues.

The four key areas that need support are digestion, yeast control, detox and immune function. If you’re interested in learning more, visit the Immune Function section here. It’s packed with ideas on how to help support your dog’s health and healing.

4. De-yeast your dog daily.

Yeast feeds mites. It’s a destructive pathogen that also sabotages immune health, impairs recovery, causes painful irritation, odor, infection, and loads of other problems. It’s a stubborn enemy that usually needs to be attacked two ways.

It is a powerful enemy that must be attacked from both the inside and out.

  • Externally, your best weapon is to wipe your pooch down with diluted povidone iodine daily. It’s easy. The instructions on the povidone iodine page in our online store will make you an expert in less than 3 minutes.
  • The other half of the battle is fought internally. Digestive tract restoration, anti-fungal supplements, and foods are important yeast defeaters that will be your dog’s heroes. Wondering how to go about controlling yeast internally? Remember those Immune Function section we mentioned in step 3? Go there. There’s a page about yeast there that will be your hero.

Important:
A weakened immune system does not self-repair and may continue to decline because of the immuno-suppressive properties of yeast and mites. You can’t turn things around until you resolve these problems. You must provide extra support to the four areas of the immune system that most affect Demodex.

5. Fix the diet.

Don’t feed the disease. Dog food is famous for fillers, additives, high carbohydrate and junky ingredients. These are Robin Hood substances that steal from your dog and give to the mites.

Evict wheat, corn, and other grains from your pet’s diet. Ban sugar under any alias and slash the carbs as low as you can. A species-appropriate raw diet is considered to be the best but if that is not possible, feed a high quality, balanced, grain-free food made from natural ingredients that’s low in carbohydrates.

We won’t recommend or endorse any brand but you may want to research your current or proposed food. If so, you want to hit up DogFoodAdvisor.com

Feeding Tip:
While you’re in the store, check the foods you consider buying before you purchase. Use your phone and click this link – DogFoodAdvisor.com – for excellent independent reviews of a huge number of brands.

6. Limit all stress.

Stress is devastating to immune health. It can trash an immune system badly enough for mange to develop in the first place and it can also trigger a treatment setback.

Dogs are sensitive to the same things that stress us out like travel, annoying situations, negative energy, noise, weather, separation, sudden changes, vaccinations, dental & medical procedures and so on. Avoid such stressful situations and medical procedures whenever possible.

Control all that you can proactively and try natural calming remedies when you can’t. They can be helpful when your pet becomes anxious, or prior to any situation that may cause them stress. Start calming measures ahead of time if you anticipate a situation that might make your pet anxious or stressed.

And don’t forget that plenty of exercise and rest are important for balance and healing.

Important:
Physiological and emotional stress are terribly damaging to immune health. Many of our customers can attribute the onset of the disease, or a setback in the treatment program, to stress.

Important Bonus Tips

Brush your dog daily!
Unless of course you don’t want improved circulation for healing, to remove the latest surface debris that yeast and bacteria just love, to decongest the follicles, reduce itching, and generally spoil your dog.

Daily brushing requires a tool that exfoliates and stimulates the skin but won’t cause more damage or irritation with daily use. (If you don’t have something already, consider our Furminator.)

Provide maintenance care after treatment is complete!
The riskiest periods for Demodex to rebound are 6-12 months after recovery for an adult dogs and until a puppy reaches 3 years of age.

  • Continue benzoyl peroxide baths at least weekly to maintain open follicles and an unfriendly environment that makes gaining a foothold harder.
  • Continue immune support at maintenance levels during this high-risk window.
  • Closely examine the skin often for signs of suspicious symptoms. If you see symptoms reappear, get back on the full 6-step program pronto.

It’s important to accept that this is a process that takes time.
You have committed to a far safer approach than chemical options but the journey can ebb and flow depending on the conditions of the underlying causes and other life changes.

In addition to this primer, our blog has in-depth articles on the disease’s underlying causes, what to expect when treating mange, immune support, Frito feet and many other great topics.

And that’s it, good luck! You can do this. We’ll be here with you every step of the way.

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