Symptom Checker – What Type of Mange is it?

Mange mites are difficult to detect. Mange skin scrape tests fail to detect mites 80% of the time. That doesn’t mean the dog doesn’t have mange. It means that none were found! Without a positive diagnosis, mange is rarely a suspect. You’d be surprised how many owners have to solve the mystery on their own.

It’s important to know because treatment varies with the type of mange mite. There are 3 types of mange:

Sarcoptic Mange – also called Canine Scabies
Demodectic Mange – also called Red Mange, Demodicosis, Demodex, or Puppy Mange
Cheyletiella – also called Chyletielllosis or Walking Dandruff

Universal Symptoms

Common symptoms seen in Demodectic and Sarcoptic mange (one or more may apply):
Itching • Dry skin • Hair loss • Redness • Bumps or bites • Scabs or flakes • Irritation or inflammation • Thickened skin • Lesions • Crusts • Skin discoloration

Consider the symptoms for the three types of canine mange below. If your dog has 3 or more red flag symptoms or indicators (shown in red below) that’s a strong indicator you’ve found the culprit.

Demodectic Symptoms & Indicators

  • No evidence of contagion among other pets
  • Musty or yeasty odor
  • Yeast infection (current or prior)
  • Known immune system problems
  • Blackheads or acne-like bumps
  • Family or prior history of Demodex
  • Juvenile under 3 or senior over 8
  • Paw problems
  • Ear problems
  • Secondary bacterial skin infection
  • Current or prior conditions such as Cushing’s, thyroid, cancer, Parvo, etc.
  • Allergy treatments didn’t work or last
Demodectic Mange
  • Recent stress, immuno-suppressive, steroids medications or antibiotics
  • Dog is a predisposed breed
  • Itching worse at night
  • Itching returns after steroids wear off
  • Greasy coat
  • Lethargy, loss of appetite

Sarcoptic Symptoms & Indicators

  • Nearby animals or people itch or exhibit similar symptoms 
  • Visible small bite or track marks
  • Recent direct exposure to people or animals carrying Sarcoptic mites
  • Recent indirect environmental exposure from visiting an where people or animals infected with Sarcoptic mites has been
  • Pustules with yellow crusts
  • Positive response to the Pedal-Pinna test
    Here’s a video of one being performed
  • Allergy or other treatments didn’t work
  • Itching increases in warm conditions
Sarcoptic Mange
Dark track marks are sometimes visible with a magnifying glass.

Cheyletiella Symptoms & Indicators

  • Nearby animals or people itch or exhibit similar symptoms 
  • Moving flakes or dandruff on the skin
  • Recent direct exposure to people or animals (especially. rabbits) carrying Cheyletiella mites
  • Recent indirect environmental exposure from visiting an where people or animals (especially. rabbits) infected with Cheyletiella mites has been
  • Visible tiny yellowish mites on top of skin
  • Heavy scales or dandruff-like flecks
  • Unkempt-looking coat
  • Multiple red, itchy bites/bumps
  • Sneezing if in nose
Cheyleteilea mange