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Demodecosis (subcutaneous tick) in dogs: symptoms and treatment


Demodecosis in dogs - Defeat the animal with Demodex parasitic mites. In a limited amount, they may be present in completely healthy animals. But with a decrease in immunity, the number of parasitic insects increases, a disease of varying severity occurs.

Description and features of the disease

19th century veterinarians attributed demodecosis to a special form of scabies. The causative agent of the disease was identified in 1841, in 1843 the genus of ticks Demodex was listed in the biological classifier, in the family of tick-iron mites.

Currently, at least 143 species of parasitic ticks have been identified as owners of various animals. Each type of demodex is focused on a specific medium and cannot be transmitted, for example, from cat to dog or vice versa.

Dog Disease Demodecosis distributed on all continents in all countries. In dogs, it occurs in the form of inflammation of the skin and hyperkeratosis. The cause of demodicosis is the thrombidiform ticks of Demodex canis. Less commonly, two other species that infect dogs are detected: Demodex injai, living on the back in the form of seborrhea, and Demodex cornei, localized on the surface of the skin.

Adult demodex mites are arachnids 0.3-0.4 mm in size. They have an oval, elongated body and 4 pairs of legs located in front of the body. They live in hair follicles, where they feed on epithelial cells.

Being in the environment, insect parasites quickly die. The entire life cycle can take place only on the dog’s body. How many individual individuals exist is not clear, but the tick passes from the egg to the adult (adult insect) in 24-30 days. Hair follicles are not the only abode of these parasites. They are found in the lymph nodes, glands and internal organs.

Forms of the disease

Distinguish 2 dog demodicosis:

  • Simple, local or localized.

It is characterized by the presence of several (no more than 5) limited areas of the skin affected by the disease.

  • General or generalized.

This type of disease is diagnosed with damage to 6 or more local areas of the skin and complete damage to any part of the body. The general form that struck an adult dog is worse cured. After recovery, the likelihood of relapse is high.

The localized form often develops in young animals. It equally affects dogs and bitches of all breeds. The disease does not significantly affect the general condition of the animal; it is limited to changes in the scalp and skin.

After some time (2-4 months), the symptoms of the disease disappear even if untreated. Such a short-term local manifestation of demodicosis is most often a reaction to stress or other factors that reduce the dog’s immunity.

The local form of the disease begins to manifest itself by thinning the hair around the eyelids - it begins demodicosis of eyes in dogs. The edge around the lips of the animal disappears. On the front legs there are areas reminiscent of a moth-beaten coat. Only 10% of infected animals can not cope with the disease - acariasis becomes common.

A generalized form of the disease can occur, bypassing the stage of local processes. Depending on the age of the dog, the generalized form is divided into two types:

  • Juvenile type - refers to dogs under the age of 3 years. Forecasts for cure are favorable. Most dogs recover on their own, without the use of drugs.
  • Adult type - refers to cases of disease of older dogs. Demodecosis accompanies the pathological changes that have occurred in the body: cancer, endocrine disorders, drug poisoning, and so on.

The occurrence of acariasis at a young age indicates the genetic disposition of a particular animal to the disease. With controlled breeding of dogs, such an animal is neutered, sterilized to suppress the hereditary disposition to demodicosis. This is the only way to reduce the likelihood of offspring that get sick with tick-borne parasitosis.

With the general form of the disease, a vicious circle arises. The animal’s immune system fails. Ticks that do not meet resistance from the body begin to multiply, eat actively, and secrete more and more toxins.

The body of the host animal is weakening. Tick ​​parasites begin to enter the bloodstream and affect the internal organs of the dog. The immune system is depleted. Mites meeting less and less resistance multiply even more actively. Ultimately, cachexia sets in and the dog dies.

Dog breeds with a predisposition to the disease

No gender difference in the tendency of dogs to demodicosis was found. Bitches and males are ill with the same frequency. In winter, about half (47%) of all cases of the onset of demodicosis occur, in the spring 41% of the dogs become ill, in the summer - 8%, in the fall - 4%.

Veterinarians from different countries have made many observations of the spread of acariasis among animals of different breeds. It turned out: outbred dogs are less likely to suffer from thoroughbreds.

Shorthair dogs make up 60% of patients in veterinary clinics with demodicosis. Longhair - 40%. This is not associated with the length of the hair, but with the best development of the sebaceous glands in breeds with short hair.

Doctors at the Dresden Veterinary Clinic categorized the breeds by their degree of exposure to acariasis. Begin the list of Fox Terriers, Rottweilers, Dwarf Pinschers. Finish - schnauzers, airedale, dogs.

Russian veterinarians give similar data: rottweilers are more often sick, less often bulldogs and mastiffs. There is no doubt about one fact: dogs are located in the disease, in whose pedigree there were animals that underwent demodicosis.

At an early stage, the external symptoms in a simple and generalized form of the disease are similar. Demodecosis in dogs in the photo appears in the form of alopecia. Affected areas lose their hair: completely in the center, partially on the periphery of the outbreak. The remaining hair is short and brittle. The skin peels, turns red, becomes tuberous, comedones form.

With a general type of disease, a thickening is felt in the thickness of the skin. Often there is a concomitant infection - pyodemo-decosis. Pyoderma may be in the form of folliculitis or furunculosis. Deep pyoderma may be accompanied by septicemia.

Terriers, in particular fox terriers, may not lose hair in the affected areas. Instead, the skin and coat become oily. The remaining symptoms do not differ from the signs of the disease that occur in other breeds.

In addition to the occurrence of local damage, on the following stages of demodicosis in dogs general changes in the coat and skin occur. The hair is covered with epidermal flakes, it becomes tousled, tarnishes, the hair crumbles.

The defeat of the paws is often allocated in an independent process and is called pododemodecosis. The dog begins to limp: the skin on the fingers suffers, fistulas appear. A disease localized on the legs of an animal is less treatable than a process on other parts of the body.

Difficulties with establishing a diagnosis usually do not arise. Laboratory tests are attached to the history and clinical picture. To do this, make a scraping, in which they try to detect dead or living parasite insects. When making a diagnosis, it is necessary to differentiate demodicosis from similar diseases. These include:

  • Ear scabies of dogs. It is localized on the ears of the animal, which differs from demodicosis.
  • Dog sarcoptosis. It is characterized by severe itching. The Sarcoptes canis tick that causes this disease differs in shape from Demodexa canis.
  • Head scabies carnivores. The causative agent of this disease, Notoedres cati, has a rounded body. Papules and vesicles that occur with head scabies are not characteristic of demodicosis.
  • Microsporia and trichophytosis. This fungal disease has characteristic lesions of the coat.
  • Dystrophy, allergic reactions and infectious diseases have some signs of acariasis: hair loss, damage to the skin. The overall picture allows us to distinguish them from demodicosis.

As you recover symptoms of demodicosis in dogs start to fade away. The number of exfoliated skin flakes is reduced. The hair stops falling out, the general condition of the cover improves, the hair begins to shine, areas with lost hair grow over.

Affected areas of the skin are separated in the form of a dried crust. In the recovered dog, the places where the hair fell out are covered with thick hair, the skin under it looks young, pale pink, healthy. All hints of dandruff disappear.

Methods of infection

Wool, regardless of its length, prevents the migration of parasite ticks from one animal to another. Puppies at an early age do not have such a cover. A female has a very rare coat in the nipple area. Therefore, until the age of three months, puppies have every chance of getting Demodex ticks from their mother during feeding.

Dog demodicosis is contagious, but the probability of infection of an adult dog is not high. In order to relocate ticks, close contact should occur between animals with hairless parts of the body. What happens in everyday life is rare.

In local form treatment of demodicosis in dogs does not require drug therapy. It is enough to wash the dog with shampoo, with the addition of benzoyl peroxide, and increase the vitamin component in the animal's diet.

The generalized form usually occurs against the background of a disease. The main efforts are aimed at getting rid of the primary disease that caused the immune failure in the dog.

Dog demodicosis medications:

  • Amitraz. An aqueous 0.025% solution of this drug is applied to the entire surface of the animal’s body, not only to the affected areas. The procedure is carried out 1 time in 2 weeks. A more concentrated solution, used once a week, can accelerate recovery, but the likelihood of side effects and allergic reactions increases.
  • Ivermectin. A daily intake of 0.3-0.6 mg / kg completely cures the animal in 4 months. There are breeds that poorly perceive this drug. For example: collie, English and Australian shepherd dogs. For such animals, other drugs are prescribed. Some individuals are overly sensitive to ivermectin. Therefore, the starting dose of the drug is usually reduced to 0.1 mg / kg.
  • Moxidectin. This medicine has few side effects. A daily intake of 0.2-0.4 mg / kg will ensure the cure of the animal.
  • Milbemycin oxime. It is taken orally daily 0.5-2 mg / kg. Medication often replaces ivermectin for dogs that cannot tolerate it.
  • There are other vaccines and drugs for the treatment of demodicosis. For example: Advocate Bayer. The audit showed that drugs achieve their goal in 80% of cases.


Veterinarians for prophylactic purposes suggest treating puppy bitches with ivomek at a concentration of 200 mcg / kg. The drug is used about a week before the birth of the offspring. In addition, it is recommended to use acaricidal (anti-mite) collars.

  • Inspect the dog at the veterinary clinic. Regardless of the condition of the animal, this should be done at least once every three months.
  • Examine dogs thoroughly before breeding.
  • Once a month with hot water, clean the dog’s resting place.
  • Keep dogs away from stray animals.
  • Dogs affected by a generalized form of demodicosis are neutered, sterilized.

Can a sick dog infect a person

In the human environment, animals are often present - carriers of Demodex ticks. These parasites have one feature: each species of tick is devoted to its owner and is not transmitted from animal to human. That is, a sick dog may well coexist next to a person.

Only their species of Demodex live on the human body - these are folliculorum, longissimus and brevis. A completely healthy person may have some of these insects. A decrease in immunity can cause demodicosis, which is most noticeable on the face.

What is demodicosis in dogs

A disease of a parasitic nature from the group of acariases caused by the Demodex Canis tick is called dog demodecosis. Not only animals suffer from such a disease, but also people. However, they are not able to become infected from each other, since people have a different causative agent of demodecosis (Demodex folliculorum).

Demodex Canis is a small parasite that can be seen with optical instruments that enlarge the image. The body length of adults does not exceed 0.4 mm. The body of the parasite is elongated, translucent with short limbs and a powerful jaw apparatus.

This causative agent of demodicosis settles in the hair follicles, as well as in the sebaceous or sweat glands adjacent to them.

Here, the optimal conditions for life are created for him. The hairy tick in dogs is firmly attached to the body of the owner.

Having fed on the contents of one hair root, an adult parasite advances to the next, eating epithelial tissue cells along the way. During this process, the infected animal experiences severe discomfort.

Symptoms of a subcutaneous tick in dogs begin with severe itching. The pet itches for several hours in a row. As the pathology develops, the signs of demodicosis become as follows:

  1. The hair begins to fall out. The absence or thinning of the hairline appears spontaneously. Wool mainly falls on the muzzle, legs, chest, along the spinal column. But it is possible that the problem will also affect other parts of the body.
  2. Comedones or blackheads appear on bald areas of the skin, which can not be squeezed out.
  3. Pets with long hair form follicular casts. Scales cover the hair shaft, against which the hair sticks together at the roots.

Secondary signs of a subcutaneous tick in dogs also include the appearance of blisters, pustules, abscesses, or fistulas leading to pyoderma (purulent skin lesions). With advanced forms of pathology, the pet is depressed, refuses to feed.

What does a subcutaneous tick look like in dogs

What the parasite looks like can be seen in the photo of a subcutaneous tick. Demodex visually resembles a small cigar, the size of which does not exceed 0.4 mm. You can see it only with the help of optical devices and in the photo close-up.

Forms of the disease

The first signs of the disease become noticeable when the Demodex tick in dogs, against the background of active reproduction, creates large populations. Pathology can proceed in different ways, therefore several of its forms are distinguished:

    focal (local), pustular, generalized.

The easiest form of pathology is considered focal or scaly demodecosis. In sick dogs, 3 to 5 small flaky areas of skin without hair are visualized, having a chaotic arrangement. Affected lesions are found on the head, chest, abdomen or limbs. With a favorable set of circumstances, the disease goes away on its own after 4-16 weeks.

However, some veterinarians still insist that even with this form, pathologists are better to treat with topical drugs. This will help to avoid relapse, and also reduce the risk of developing a more severe form of the disease. Some parasites begin to multiply actively when the animal has hormonal jumps, it is stressed or has recently been vaccinated.

With local demodicosis and the absence of other diseases, 8 out of 10 pets can be cured on their own.But relapses of the disease are not excluded.


A skin tick often provokes a pustular form of the disease. It is a complication of a scaly form or develops on its own.

Dense nodules of damaged foci are modified and red-brown or black pustules appear in their place. A month after the onset of the disease, the pustules lose their integrity. And the purulent contents emerging from them have blood inclusions.

During laboratory analyzes, such colonies show large colonies of blackheads at various stages of their development. The wounds emit an unpleasant odor. When drying of pustular discharge, the wound is covered with a scab. It is a crust formed by coagulated blood, pus and dead tissue.


Generalized demodicosis is the most severe form of acariasis. With it, the same symptoms are observed as with focal or pustular. The difference is that more extensive areas of the skin are affected.

Generalized demodicosis is diagnosed if more than 5 foci of alopecia are found on the animal’s body.

With this form of the disease, the tick gradually captures new territories. His next object is the internal organs. The immune system, hepatobiliary region and digestive tract are severely affected by the active activity of parasites. The pet stops eating. He often has vomiting, convulsions and a violation of spatial orientation. Over time, against the background of general exhaustion, the animal dies.

There is also a separate type of disease - generalized juvenile demodicosis in dogs. This is a children's pathology that develops in puppies. The disease has a hereditary nature (autosomal recessive gene). Juvenile demodicosis in a puppy is transmitted from the mother.

This pathology develops against the background of the fact that in a nursing female, immediately after the birth of the offspring, the production of oxytocin increases. Ticks quickly pass from a sick female to offspring, provoking the onset of the initial stage of the disease.


Demodecosis in a dog is often complicated by the addition of secondary infections. With a decrease in the body's defenses, acariasis is accompanied by fungal (ringworm) or microbial infections. The course of the disease is significantly complicated. In this case, to cure the animal, you need to make a lot of effort.

Demodecosis of the eyes is not peculiar to dogs, but the main pathology is complicated by the development of inflammation of the mucous membrane of the organ of vision.

With a generalized course of the disease, pets have lesions of the digestive tract, hepatobiliary region, and problems arise from the endocrine glands.


Symptoms and treatment of acariasis are well known to veterinarians. But before finding out how to treat a subcutaneous tick in dogs, a specialist should examine the animal.

Diagnosis of demodicosis involves the study by a doctor of clinical symptoms, as well as taking scrapings from pathological areas of the skin.

When making an accurate diagnosis, the heredity factor is taken into account. And if puppies get sick, then the analysis is also taken from the mother.

To determine the presence of ticks, scraping is done so deep that blood leaks out. With a complicated form of the disease, many adults and the future offspring of parasites are revealed. If ticks are not found in the biopsy, but the clinical picture clearly makes it clear that they are, then they do a second scraping. In this case, the biomaterial is taken in another affected area.

Treatment of subcutaneous tick in dogs

Dog demodicosis is difficult to treat. It is possible to get rid of a subcutaneous tick only with an integrated approach. The treatment regimen for demodicosis is selected taking into account the degree of development of pathology. It is important that the veterinarian who prescribes the treatment is highly qualified.

Treating a subcutaneous tick in a dog often involves the use of tablets. The following drugs are popular with veterinarians:

    Symparika (sarolaner), Bravecto (fluralaner), Frontline Nexguard (afoxolaner),

The treatment regimen for demodicosis is not complete without the use of external dosage forms. Such a disease is treated with ointments, which most often have an auxiliary effect. Effective remedies include:

  1. Sulfur ointment is simple. A drug with a pronounced antimicrobial and antiparasitic effect. Ointment is detrimental to parasites at any stage of development. It is irreplaceable if mycosis joined acariasis. Apply the drug 1-2 times a day on problem areas and on the skin around them.
  2. Ichthyol ointment. The drug has an antiseptic, disinfecting effect, relieves pain. The tool is distributed in a thin layer over the painful fragments of the skin up to 3 times a day. In this case, after application to the wounds, a gauze bandage is applied.
  3. Ointment Vetabiol. A natural product based on softwood substances has an antimycotic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammation, and wound healing effect. Apply ointment to damaged areas of the skin up to 3 times a day, without using a bandage.

Aversectin ointment from demodicosis has a more directed effect. This is an insectoacaricide that has a contact and systemic effect. The pet is pre-trimmed with wool in the lesions, and then with the help of a spatula or tampon, ointment is applied in a rather thin layer. After even distribution, it is rubbed thoroughly. Related healthy areas of the skin are also affected.

Treatment with Aversectin ointment is carried out from 2 to 5 times in 5-7 days until the animal is fully recovered. This should be confirmed by the results of two analyzes.

So that the pet does not lick the drug during treatment, they put a protective veterinary collar on his neck or fix the jaw in another way.

To cure the dog, it is also necessary to use specialized fluids to treat problem skin. Often doctors recommend treating the subcutaneous tick with Bars Spot-On. The solution contains 2 active components, so it has high antiparasitic activity.

The drug is applied drip onto dry skin without damage. The solution treats places that the pet will not be able to lick. If the animal is large, then the drops are applied immediately in 3-4 places.

To remove the subcutaneous tick with a leopard, it is necessary to treat the skin from 2 to 4 times. Between each subsequent application should take up to 2 weeks.

To cure a subcutaneous tick, a lot of effort is required. Often therapeutic regimens include injections. Veterinarians prescribe the following injections from a subcutaneous tick in dogs:

    Ivomek, Aversect K & S, Doramectin, Iversect.

With demodicosis, Aversect is administered repeatedly (every 7-10 days) until the animal is completely recovered.

Treatment of demodicosis in dogs at home is not complete without the use of shampoos. They remove the outer dead skin layer from problem areas. Due to this, ointments with antiparasitic properties are more effective. Veterinarians prescribe Doctor and Fitoelita shampoo to their patients.

Zoological Shampoo "Doctor" provides intensive hygienic care, eliminates itching and unpleasant odor. It does not allow the removal of a subcutaneous tick, but it increases the effectiveness of drugs with antimicrobial and antiparasitic activity for topical application.

With regular use of shampoo, the remains of the dead layer of the epidermis and pathological secretions are removed, the skin is saturated with oxygen. Shampoo eliminates itching, deodorizes, suppresses the inflammatory process.

On whether it is worth treating demodicosis in dogs with vitamins, opinions among veterinarians differ. Some argue that this should not be done, since such substances contribute to the active reproduction of parasites. Other experts stick to the fact that vitamin complexes are able to activate the body's defenses that help the pet fight the disease.

Most veterinarians prefer to take a middle position and believe that everything is individual. But before giving the tetrapod any vitamin cure for demodicosis in dogs, you need to be 100% sure of them. The pet should not have an allergic reaction to it.

To maintain the general health of the animal, prebiotics for the gastrointestinal tract, hepatoprotectors for maintaining the liver, and immunostimulants are prescribed. Treatment may be costly, but it is better for the owners to adhere to all medical recommendations, and not to conduct therapy selectively at their discretion.

A full recovery can only be expected after completing a full treatment course.

Folk remedies

Treatment with folk remedies is permissible only as an additional therapy. Some popular recipes:

  1. Take the roots of celandine, grind them and pour vegetable oil (1: 1). Send the mixture to a slow fire, on which the medicine is kept for 3-4 hours. The finished product is applied to the lesions affected by Demodex 1 time per day.
  2. Take apples of sour varieties or juniper berries. Grind the product until a homogeneous mass is formed and impose on the problem areas of the skin.
  3. In order to carry out hygienic manipulations, ready-made tar soap is used. Birch tar is also applied to pathological areas.
  4. A decoction of wormwood is prepared (3 g of bitter plant material is taken per 250 ml of water). Add 10 g of honey to it. Solder the animal with this decoction every 2-3 hours.
  5. Baths with oats. A decoction of oats is prepared, which is added to the water used to bathe the animal. This herbal remedy effectively eliminates itching in demodicosis.
  6. To reduce itching, wipe the problem areas of the skin of the four-legged sea buckthorn oil, buying it at the pharmacy or cooking it yourself.

By themselves, folk remedies can not cope with the tick, but they have a good supporting effect.

Before using any traditional medicine, it is first important to consult with the veterinarian who is watching the pet.

Home treatment also involves dieting. All products given to the animal should be of the first freshness, without the addition of flavor enhancers and dyes.

A large amount of protein products (low-fat varieties of meat and fish, eggs) are recommended in the diet. In addition, the animal should eat fresh vegetables other than carrots.

A small amount of boiled cereals is allowed. It is important to exclude fatty, spicy, salty or smoked.

If the pet prefers ready-made feeds, then it is better to give preference to special medications designed for allergy sufferers.

The diet of the pet should be complete not only during the treatment of the disease, but throughout life.

If the pet eats mainly dry food, then the owners must be sure that they do not contain harmful components.

What is demodicosis?

Demodecosis is a chronic disease that is caused by a microscopic subcutaneous tick. This tick lives on the body of all dogs and is adjacent to other representatives of normal microflora. The photo shows a close-up of Demodex in a microscope field.

The subcutaneous tick feeds on dead scales, undergoes growth cycles, multiplies without affecting the healthy epidermis, so its presence does not interfere with the dog. The number of arachnids is regulated by the immune system and natural defense mechanisms.

The problem arises in cases where, for whatever reason, the natural balance between the invisible inhabitants of the dog’s skin and its body is disturbed. There comes a time when ticks breed too actively, and their number exceeds the permissible limit.

They begin to eat not only the dead scales of the epidermis, but also damage its surface layers. Female ticks gnaw passages, laying eggs in them, and the waste products of these small parasites lead to irritation. The dog's body ceases to cope with the uncontrolled reproduction of ticks, and the animal begins to demodecosis.

Forms and varieties of the disease

Manifestations of demodicosis in different individuals depend on a number of factors, which include:

  • dog age
  • health status,
  • breed,
  • hereditary predisposition.

There are several types of disease:

Local demodicosis

  • Local demodicosis in dogs. With this form, a limited focus of alopecia is formed in the dog. The skin in the affected area at the initial stages of the pathology looks unchanged, with a prolonged course, it darkens due to pigmentation and coarsens, covered with scales. Often, the site becomes infected over time, and inflammatory redness and itching occur. The general condition of the dog does not change, and single foci of demodicosis can disappear without the use of specific methods of therapy.


  • Pododemodecosis. A tick affects one of the limbs, and all the symptoms of the disease are localized only on it. Infection can only be tick-borne, but since the protective properties of the epidermis at the site of parasite mass dwelling are reduced, its secondary infection by pathogenic bacteria or fungi occurs. The body reacts to the joined infection by the formation of inflammatory exudate, suppuration and the development of fistulas. If pododemodecosis affects more than one limb, then it is called generalized.
  • Otodemodecosis. This type of disease is characterized by localization on the ears and near them. The ears are covered with scratches from scratching, the hair falls out, and a large amount of sulfur is released from the ear passages.

Generalized demodicosis

  • Generalized demodicosis. This form often develops at an early age, when the immunity is not yet ripe, or in extremely weakened dogs. In some cases, generalization of infection is the result of a lack of treatment or the use of the wrong methods and drugs. In this form, a tick and a secondary infection capture a significant part of the skin surface and lead to the appearance of exposed areas with tick-eaten skin. Secondary fungal and bacterial infection causes the formation of pustules and weeping areas through which bacteria and decay products can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.

Juvenile demodicosis

  • Juvenile. This form is a subspecies of generalized demodicosis that develops in puppies under the age of one year. The prerequisites for extensive mite damage are unformed immunity and birth defects in the genes responsible for the protective properties of the skin.

Causes of the disease

Normally, Demodex is only part of a diverse community of microscopic inhabitants of the skin and is represented by three varieties:

  • demodex canis (populates the sebaceous ducts and is the largest group in number),
  • demodex cornei (lives in the surface layers of the epidermis)
  • demodex injaj (a favorite habitat - areas with increased sebum, for example, back).

Demodecosis is contagious, but does not always lead to disease. How do doctors explain this phenomenon? In dogs with a healthy immune system, the number of ticks is controlled by the body and does not cause damage to the epidermis and related symptoms. The problem appears if a failure has occurred in the dog’s health and immune system. What factors contribute to the fact that microscopic organisms become a threat to health?

Studying the medical history of many individuals affected by demodicosis, doctors identified conditions in which animals become sick more often:

  • helminthic infestations,
  • endocrine disorders (hypothyroidism),
  • acute infectious diseases (plague),
  • hypovitaminosis, deficiency of essential fatty acids and zinc,
  • autoimmune disorders (lichen planus, pemphigus),
  • protozoonosis (giardiasis),
  • psychogenic disorders (acrodermatitis from licking),
  • long-term treatment with steroid hormones,
  • genetic defect
  • pregnancy stress
  • unsatisfactory conditions of detention.

Dog breeders have noticed that some dog breeds have an increased susceptibility to the Demodex tick and are more likely to get sick more than others. This feature is the fruit of long-term selection, as a result of which the resistance to ticks inherent in nature was lost. The risk group for the incidence of demodicosis includes shorthair dog breeds such as dachshunds, sharpei, pugs, toy terriers, Staffordshire terriers, French bulldogs, Labradors, Rottweilers, bull terriers and German shepherds.

Symptoms of demodicosis in dogs with a photo

What is the defeat of demodicosis? The list of symptoms and their severity depend on the form of demodicosis. Symptoms and features of a localized form:

  • hair loss in a small limited area,
  • process stability
  • lack of inflammation and secondary infection,
  • the dog’s general well-being
  • the possibility of spontaneous cure.

The generalized and juvenile form of demodicosis have the following symptoms:

  • the vastness of the foci of allopecia and their rapid growth,
  • loss of eyelashes and hair around the eyes,
  • increased greasy skin, seborrhea,
  • itching, forcing the dog to constantly lick the sore spot or comb it to the blood,
  • infected vesicles, wet areas, erosion and crusts,
  • enlargement and soreness of regional lymph nodes,
  • change in animal behavior (anxiety, depression),
  • poor appetite
  • fever, chills, dry and hot nose.

The photo shows a dog with a generalized form of demodicosis. The area affected by demodex occupies a large surface on the body and has signs of secondary infection.

What tests need to be passed?

Different skin diseases often cause approximately the same changes, in appearance of which it is difficult to make a diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment. What diagnostic procedures help veterinarians make sure that they are facing a demodectic lesion? Veterinary medicine offers several methods:

  • microscopic examination of scraping from the affected area of ​​the skin (the smallest Demodex parasites are visible in the field of view of the microscope),
  • bacterial sowing of scrapings to identify the type of secondary infection and its sensitivity to antibacterial drugs (material taken from the skin is seeded on a nutrient medium and special discs soaked in various antibiotics are placed),
  • mycological examination of scraping (KON test),
  • a detailed study of blood biochemistry,
  • blood test for hormones,
  • coprogram
  • general urine analysis,
  • X-ray, ultrasound.

The results obtained help to differentiate demodicosis from the following diseases:

  • atopic dermatitis,
  • skin manifestations of food allergies,
  • ringworm
  • flea allergic dermatitis,
  • impetigo,
  • intertrigo
  • juvenile pyoderma,
  • seborrhea with hypothyroidism.

Treatment Methods and Recommended Drugs

Demodecosis Treatment Plan:

  • The destruction of ticks. The drug of choice is Ivermectin, which is prescribed orally. This tool is used strictly according to indications and comply with the intake schedule established by the veterinarian. Ivermectin has a number of side effects. It is believed that due to toxicity it damages the functions of the liver and kidneys, however, Ivermectin also causes neurological problems in the form of impaired coordination, muscle weakness and hearing loss. These effects are transient and disappear after dose adjustment or drug withdrawal. Ivermectin is contraindicated in breeds such as bobtail, collie, sheltie, and mestizos obtained by mixing these breeds with others.

  • Anti-mite drops Lawyer at the withers. This drug also protects the dog from fleas.
  • Local antiparasitic agents (Hemitraz, Stomazan, Neostomazan) applied to the site affected by demodicosis.
  • Antibiotics externally in the form of ointment and inside. They are prescribed for the destruction of bacteria with signs of secondary infection or as a prophylaxis.
  • Antifungal drugs (Nystatin, Miconazole). Treatment is carried out with suspected infection with yeast and yeast-like fungi.
  • Local antipruritic and healing agents. Sulfur, ichthyol and other ointments contain disinfectants, and also stimulate metabolic processes in the skin.
  • Antiseborrheic shampoos (Mikoheks, Sulfaden) perform several functions. They normalize the secretion of sebum, create an unfavorable environment for the tick and improve the absorption of drugs applied to the skin.

  • Strengthening immunity with the help of immunomodulators, vitamins and nutritional supplements. This group of drugs is aimed at mobilizing natural protective reserves and helps the body cope with small parasites.
  • Correction of general chronic disorders, hormonal imbalance. For example, thyroid dysfunction and diabetes mellitus are diseases that significantly reduce the protective properties of the skin and prevent its normal regeneration.
  • The fight against worms and other intestinal parasites. A swallowed animal, as a rule, lacks vitamins, including those important for maintaining normal skin metabolism.

The program of therapeutic measures is determined individually depending on the scale and intensity of the lesion. The localized form can be cured by strengthening the general health of the animal and its immunity. For the generalized form, complex treatment is necessary, including general and local methods, as well as the use of specific antiparasitic drugs externally and internally. With extensive foci of alopecia and damaged skin, you should additionally resort to the appointment of antifungal agents and broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Dog nutrition during treatment

The body's resistance to the pathogen largely depends on the quality of nutrition, therefore, a sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids must be included in the diet of a sick dog. Dietary foods should be rich in zinc, which strengthens the skin and enhances immunity.

Pet owners can consult a veterinarian about the inclusion of dietary supplements and their dosages. If the animal is given ready-made food, then hypoallergenic should be chosen, and when eating conventional products, exclude components that often cause allergic reactions and give only the food that the dog tolerates well.

Preventive measures

Demodex lives on all dogs, and complete isolation from it is impossible, therefore, preventive measures should be aimed at improving the protective properties of the dermis and the body as a whole. Ways to prevent demodicosis:

  • keeping the animal clean, avoiding contact with infected individuals,
  • good nutrition
  • timely destruction of worms, giardia, fleas and other parasites,
  • regular bathing using shampoos suitable for this breed,
  • injections of a multipotent vaccine based on chitosan,
  • drop prevention at the withers Lawyer,
  • Bravecto tablets that destroy fleas and skin mites (in addition to Bravecto prophylaxis, it is prescribed for the treatment of demodicosis)
  • a ban on the breeding of offspring from individuals who have suffered the disease (the fact of hereditary transmission of a tendency to demodicosis has been proved).