Treatment for Dog Mites & Scabies

The three main types of mite that affect dogs are ear mites, Demodex mites and Sarcoptes scabei mites. Demodex mites cause demodectic mange in dogs, and Sarcoptes scabei mites cause sarcoptic mange, or scabies. All types of mite cause extreme itching and affected dogs may bite and claw at themselves in an attempt at relief. Effective treatment is available with medication or with dips.


Broad spectrum anti-parasite medication such as ivermectin helps treat both demodectic mange and scabies, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center in Los Angeles. An older mange treatment involves coating the animal’s skin with an amitraz dip. Ear mites are sensitive to medications that contain insecticides such as pyrethrin. Some veterinarians use anti-parasite medications such as ivermectin, fipronil and selamectin to treat ear mites.

Time Frame

When treating mange, the dog receives ivermectin injections either weekly or every two weeks in one to four doses. Selamectin is an ivermectin derivative used to prevent fleas, ticks, heartworms, ear mites and sarcoptic mange mites in dogs. Dogs receive the medication monthly, but a mite-infested dog might require an extra dose after two weeks. Dipping a mite-infested dog every two weeks with an amitraz dip helps kill the mites.


Certain dog breeds are sensitive to ivermectin. These breeds are mainly herding dogs, such as the collie, Australian shepherd, Shetland sheepdog and old English sheepdog. Tests can determine whether a dog will react to the medication.


Monthly heartworm preventative medications such as selamectin, milbemycin oxime, and moxidectin all help protect the dog from further mite infestations, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. Each is a derivative of ivermectin and works in a similar way. Using these products on dogs sensitive to ivermectin is less toxic than traditional treatments.


In a multi-dog household it's a good idea to treat all the dogs even if only one has mange or ear mites. Infected dogs can spread mites to healthy dogs and cause them to develop mange.

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