Mange is caused by a microscopic mite. Although most dogs are carriers of this mite, only few -- usually those with a compromised immune system -- develop the disease. Identifying the presence of mange can be tricky, especially after your dog has gone through treatment. A few visual clues can help you figure out if mange is gone but you might need to talk to a veterinarian for a final confirmation.
Check for Visual Signs
Common signs of mange include loss of hair, sores and scabbing, skin irritation and intense itchiness. Treatment for mange can take a month or longer, so you should see the symptoms becoming less and less obvious as time progresses. Once treatment is finished, your dog still might have bold spots, but you should see some hair starting to grow back. As the mites and any secondary skin infections die down, the itching also will subside.
Check With Your Vet
Your vet can diagnose the presence of mange through a series of tests. To confirm mange is gone, he might perform the same tests. The most common test is a skin scrapping, in which the vet looks at skin cells under the microscope to check for mites. He also might recommend a blood test to check for signs infection and to confirm that the immune system.
It's possible for dogs to have a relapse months or years after mange has been successfully treated. If you notice signs and symptoms of mange reappearing, talk to your vet immediately.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.