Demodectic mange is extremely common in miniature pinscher puppies and some adult min pins. Most cases of demodectic mange go away on their own, but your pup can also be exposed to sarcoptic mange, which is a little more difficult to get rid of. Don't worry! Both types of mange are treatable with help from you and your veterinarian.
Miniature pinschers don't generally have a lot of health problems, but they are prone to skin infections. A common occurance in min pin puppies is demodectic mange. It is a skin infection caused by the mite Demodex canis. Nearly every min pin raised by its mother gets these mites from her in the first few days after their birth. Most dogs never see any affects from these mites, but pups with a poor immune system will show affects of the mange on their skin. Although young miniature pinschers often get demodectic mange in localized areas, such as small, confined areas of hair loss, 90 percent of the cases go away without any treatment at all.
Treatment of Localized Demodectic Mange
Always consult your veterinarian at the first sign of mange, which is most likely small spots of hair loss on your min pin's head. These should be easy to detect because of her short fur. Localized areas of demodectic mange almost always go away on their own if the pup is under 1 year old. If it doesn't go away within a few months, or if your pup is older, a benzoyl peroxide treatment should be rubbed on the affected area. A topical ointment used to treat ear mites will work as well. These ointments will shorten the duration of the infection.
Treatment of Generalized Demodectic Mange
If the affected areas are much larger and cover your min pin's head, legs or torso, you'll need to take a more difficult approach to treatment. Your min pin will often experience sores, large amounts of hair loss and crusty skin due to generalized demodectic mange. You will need to shave all of the affected areas if they still have fur, and bathe your pup in a benzoyl peroxide shampoo. Your vet will give you Mitaban, which is a solution you will combine with water to make a dip for your pet. Set your pup with his feet in the dip and sponge the solution all over his body for 10 minutes. Let the solution dry on his skin, and try to avoid getting him wet between dips. You'll need to dip him and have skin samples taken by your vet every two weeks, and only discontinue the dips when your vet approves.
Another skin infection caused by mites that miniature pinschers can contract is sarcoptic mange, or canine scabies. This type of mange is contagious to other pets and even humans, so you'll need to be very careful in handling your infected miniature pinscher. The most obvious sign of sarcoptic mange is that your dog will be scratching himself non-stop. You'll need to take your pet to the vet immediately and start the treatment as quickly as possible, because the open wounds caused by scratching can often become infected as well.
Treating Sarcoptic Mange
The best treatment for miniature pinschers with sarcoptic mange is Ivermectin, injected by your veterinarian. Ivermectin is the most effective and most common treatment of sarcoptic mange on the market. Your pet will go to the vet for an injection either weekly or bi-weekly for one to four doses depending on the severity of the mange. The Mitaban dips used to treat demodectic mange can be used to treat sarcoptic mange as well as lime-sulfur dips, but these are much more time consuming and don't treat the mange as rapidly as the Ivermectin injections.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Courtney McCaffrey graduated from the College of Charleston in 2008 with a B.A. in media studies. She has served as an editor for Blooming Twig Books and the MADA Writing Services publishing company. She is now a writer on various outdoor sports such as snowboarding, skiing, surfing and bodysurfing.