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Red Mange (update, and advice for other sufferers)

1372 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  RRM_Mom08
For those that don't know, just before Christmas I picked up a stray dog that turned out to have red mange (demodex, demodectic, etc). The vet said that he probably wouldn't survive the night, but he did, and I wanted to pass my experience along to others that may have the same problem.

The dog is an Australian Shepherd / Beagle mix. When I first found him, he was about 4-5 months old, weighed 11lbs, and had tapeworm, ringworm, and whipworm. He hadn't been vaccinated, and even though he would eat, all of the nutrients were going to the worms instead of to his own body.

Here's what he looked like the day that we found him:


The first vet visit gave him his vaccines and a triwormer. In retrospect, the vaccines weren't a good idea considering his weakened condition, but to be 100% honest, I suspect that the vet didn't think he'd see us again and wanted to get everything that he could. But that's neither here nor there.

To combat the red mange, we started him on Promeris, which is a spot-on treatment. It was originally designed for flea and tick prevention, but there have been a lot of reports of bad side effects, so I don't think it's used for that anymore.

The first treatment was a 1/2 treatment. Our plan was to see how it worked, and if he was OK then we would do another 1/2 treatment in 2 weeks. He did have diarrhea, but no other problems, so we did the second treatment in 2 weeks.

A month after his first treatment, he was doing so good that another vet visit wasn't necessary, so I just picked up the Promeris to give to him myself. He had gained enough weight that the vet figured that a full dose would be fine.

Now, THIS was a mistake! There were two, maybe three issues:

1. Trying to give him a full dose at once resulted in a lot of it getting on his fur. This is particularly dangerous, because if they ingest it then they can have major problems (like seizures, nerve damage, and death).

2. The side effects were MUCH worse. He had diarrhea so bad that I had to take him out every 45 minutes, literally.

3. I'm not sure if this was a side effect of the Promeris, but he lost almost all of the fur that had grown back. Oddly, the only place he didn't lose fur was the back of the neck, where I put the Promeris, so I'm not sure if this was a side effect, or if it would have happened anyone due to the mange.

So the next month, we went back to a 2 week treatment. The vet loaded the Promeris into two syringes (not a needle, just the syringe part), and I would give him one syringe every 2 weeks.

Now, this was the best idea we'd ever had, and one of the reasons that I wanted to type this up. Giving him a treatment every 2 weeks has resulted in no side effects at all, but still stops the itching. But the best part is that, with it in a syringe like this, I can apply it fast and easy, and not get a single drop on his fur! I simply put it next to his skin, and before he can blink, POW, it's done!

I have another dog and 2 cats, and from now on I'm getting their flea and tick treatments loaded into a syringe! That's the only way to go.

Anyway. In addition to the Promeris, I began giving him a bath with Sulfodene every 3 days (waiting at least 48 hours after a Promeris treatment). The main ingredients for Sulfodene are sulfur and coal tar, which is used in flea dips, so it worked out well... even though it's not the most pleasant smelling dog shampoo (for obvious reasons). This helped kill his stench, though, and kept him from scratching so much. I tried oatmeal baths that were made for itchy skin, too, but they were all too harsh on his skin, so Sulfodene was all that I found to work.

It has been 3 months now, and he's doing great. He weighs 26lbs, his fur is coming in nicely, and I just started giving him a bath in oatmeal based shampoo this week. He hasn't been itchy, so I think that I can retire the Sulfodene and use more pleasant smelling shampoo. I'm also taking him down to one bath a week instead of 2, because he's just not as stinky as he was.

I'll continue giving him Promeris for 3 more months, and then I'll switch him to a regular flea and tick treatment. There are two reasons that I'll switch him as soon as I can:

1. Since we have cats, I don't want to risk them trying to groom him and ingest the Promeris.

2. This was a big surprise to me, but I appear to be the one that's allergic to the Promeris! For the first week after I put it on him, if I pick him up, or he scratches me a little, or even licks me in sensitive areas (like my inner elbow or stomach), then I'll get very itchy and break out with little red bumps. If I rub alcohol on it immediately then it goes away quickly, but it's still a major inconvenience.

But there you have it. This monologue should give you all of the good and bad things that I discovered along the way, and also give you a timeline of our results that anyone else with this problem can use as a guide.

I hope this helps. If anyone has any questions about his recovery, feel free to ask.
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I have a question. I have a dog that suffers from demodectic. Fortunately, we haven't had a break out in months (knock on wood). I treated with amitraz dips (once every 10 days). Did your vet go over all your treatment options for demodectic? Ivermectin is another option, amitraz dips, as well as all natural oprions as well. I've personally never heard of promeris...but I'm sure its a viable option.
Red mange is Sarcoptic Mange, not Demodex - I think the OP might be confused.
Box, no, red mange is definitely demodex:


For anyone reading that doesn't know, I'm referring to the kind of mange that's hereditary, and not contagious to others.

Mac, the vet did mention that there were other treatments available, but that with such an advanced condition, Promeris was the most aggressive and what he strongly recommended. He didn't mention any potential side effects from Promeris, though, and it was only after the first treatment that I went online and read about all of the problems that others had had. If I had read them first then I probably wouldn't have used it.

Afterward, he did say that he has treated other dogs with a dip, but that it isn't as effective. He stated that he usually only recommends dips for dogs that are known to have poor reactions to Promeris.

I was chatting with one of the assistants who mentioned that they were treating a collie for red mange, and that collies were sensitive to Promeris so they were giving him a dip. She said that he was in nowhere near the shape that mine was in, so they were very happy with the results of the Promeris. Personally, though, I think that the regular baths and constant love, play, and attention have had a big impact on his recovery, too.

The main ingredient in Promeris is metaflumizone, and the second ingredient is amitraz, so I'm guessing that it's very similar to the dips you were using. I'm curious, how long did you have to treat your dog with the dips before he seemed normal? Other than his hair being shorter than it will eventually be, you wouldn't know that my dog had anything wrong with him. We're at the 3-month mark.
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Doh. You're right, I'M confused. And I shouldn't be having dealt with a good case of d-mange with my dog Disco. :eek: Anyway...

Mac, I am pretty suprised that your vet opted with the dips. D-mange is the cause of a faulty or compromised immune system. Adding all those harsh chemicals and meds seems counter productive when you need to be building the immune, not assaulting it.
A change in diet and a stress-free environment were key to keeping Disco mange free.
Jason just as a side note d-mange is passed from mother to puppies (in the first week of life) all dogs have demodectic mange mites on them if you scrape enough places and deep into the skin.The cause of a mange break-out is an immune system problem and could be due to various factors.It is not what I would consider an inherited condition.As in a normal healthy dog there immune system fights off the mites and keeps them in check.
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