Demodecosis in a dog: symptoms, treatment. Is demodex contagious?
Demodecosis in a dog is a parasitic disease, also known as demodicosis. It is mainly found in puppies under the age of one year and often sick dogs. How does demodicosis appear in a dog, what causes demodicosis and how is demodicosis treated?
Nużyca is one of those diseases that almost any dog can get, even one whose owners regularly visit the veterinarian with her. Almost every four-legged has various parasites on the skin, and one of them is a dog demodex - Demodex canis, a microscopic arachnid squad of ticks - bugs. These bugs are transmitted already in the first days of the dog's life - during feeding or licking, they pass from the bitch to the puppies.
Demodex is not dangerous to humans, and outside the host’s body can survive no more than an hour.
Demodex lives in the hair follicles, sebaceous glands and in the stratum corneum. It feeds on the cells of sebum and skin, and in a healthy animal it is not dangerous under normal conditions - it lives without causing harm to the dog and not letting itself know. But even a temporary decrease in the pet's immunity is enough for Demodex to use this opportunity and begin to multiply rapidly, causing characteristic symptoms in the dog.
Demodecosis can also occur with other diseases: viral diseases, allergies, metabolic disorders (including diabetes), autoimmune and viral diseases.
Each dog is susceptible to this disease, but in dogs of some breeds, demodicosis is more common than in others. Doberman, sharpei, english bulldog, west highland white terrier, german shepherd, dalmatian, bernard, bull terrier, boxer, american staffordshire terrier are especially susceptible to demodex.
Demodecosis in a dog: symptoms
Demodecosis causes various symptoms that depend on both the dog’s age and the form of the disease.
Local figure of demodicosis
Usually affects young dogs. Its most common symptoms are erythema, peeling of the skin, and localized hair loss around the eyes, face, head, outside the ears, trunk, or forelegs.
This is not an itch if, at the same time, a secondary bacterial infection occurs. In this form, demodicosis often heals spontaneously. However, sometimes it turns into generalized demodicosis.
Generalized juvenile demodicosis
It occurs in dogs aged 3 to 12 months - this occurs when focal lesions spread throughout the body. It happens that as a result of secondary bacterial infections, the lymph nodes also increase. In some dogs, this form of demodicosis is self-healing.
Generalized demodicosis in adult dogs
Applies to animals older than 12 months. Its symptoms are identical to those of generalized juvenile demodicosis.
Usually it is accompanied by a generalized character and relates primarily to large breeds: German dogs, Bernardines. Symptoms are localized on the fingers and in the spaces between them - most often it is erythema, purulent lesions, soreness and itching.
Dog demodicosis: diagnosis
Diagnosis of demodicosis is relatively simple: the tissue is cleaned from the border of healthy and diseased skin to see if demodicosis is present. So-called. the scraping should be deep enough due to the fact that demodecoses live in the hair follicles and sebaceous glands that lie quite deep in the skin. The collected material is then examined under a microscope - the doctor looks for eggs, larvae and adult demodex in it. Sometimes a microscopic examination of the hair follicles, in which large individuals live, is also performed.
Dog demodicosis: treatment
The treatment for demodicosis in a dog depends on what form we are dealing with. Local demodicosis is treated with topical acaricidal drugs - treatment usually lasts from 4 to 8 weeks, until there are no traces of the parasite in the scraping. If local lesions are infected with bacteria or fungi, additional antifungal therapy or antibiotics are usually required.
Generalized demodicosis is much more difficult to treat. During treatment, it is necessary to improve the condition of diseased skin and cause the disappearance of changes, as well as the general condition of the animal, as well as to find and cure the main cause of the disease. Skin lesions are treated with mites and bugs (oral or injection), and the affected areas should be lubricated with drugs recommended by the veterinarian. The treatment lasts up to several weeks, and in order to avoid a quick relapse of the parasite, therapy should be continued until six weeks after receiving a negative skin test.