Mange is a canine skin condition that causes loss of fur and severe irritation to the animal. There are three types of mange. The most common—demodectic mange, or “red mange”—results in the dog losing fur in patches. Medicated “dips” are a particularly effective treatment for mange, yet dips work best when preceded by a bath using medicated shampoo. All three types of mange are caused by mites and can be transmitted to humans. Although mange in humans is short-lived and goes away on its own, you must take precautions when bathing your pet to ensure that the mites are not transmitted to you.
Things You'll Need
- Benzoyl peroxide shampoo
- Rubber gloves
Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s condition. Your vet can provide you with a benzoyl peroxide shampoo for bathing an animal suffering from mange. Using standard soaps and shampoos will not adequately treat the condition and may further irritate your dog’s skin.
Fill an outdoor tub or basin with water and allow the water to sit until it reaches room temperature. Room-temperature water provides the least amount of discomfort for your dog. If you have a large dog or the weather is cold, you may opt to bathe your pet indoors or in a bathtub. Just be sure to disinfect the area properly afterward.
Apply rubber gloves to prevent transmission of the mites to your skin during the bath. Place the dog into the water and use a clean washcloth or sponge to saturate its fur completely.
Apply the benzoyl peroxide shampoo directly onto your dog’s fur and work it in with your fingers. It is vital that the shampoo be massaged deeply into the dog’s fur and all the way to the skin to reach the burrowing mites below. Cover all areas of your dog, including its head, tail and between the paws. This prevents the mites from having a safe place to hide during the bath.
Restrain your dog to prevent it from licking or scratching during the bath. The chemicals in the medicated shampoo can make the dog sick if it ingests them, and they will be painful if introduced into an open wound caused by scratching.
Rinse your dog well. Take care to leave no residual mange shampoo in his fur or against any exposed skin. If medicated shampoo is not properly rinsed, it will result in further skin irritation for your pet.