If your dog has patchy or sparse hair coats, the first thing that you should do is check for the presence of mites. Go around your pet's body and examine the places where these parasites are hiding.
The problem is not all mites can be seen by the naked eye. There are mites that require the use of size enlargers such as microscopes and magnifying glasses to be seen. One type is the microscopic demodectic mites and because there is the appearance of mites, this type of mites should be one of your main suspects.
The patches can be caused by the presence of demodectic mites, dog parasites which feed right at the victim's hair follicles. This can be the reason why the disease can make all the hair strands fall over time. Demodectic mites are the ones responsible for demodectic mange, a skin disease that can happen to any dog breed.
Mange means inflammation and is usually characterized by the reddening and thickening of the affected skin part. Those patches can get inflamed and can make the skin susceptible to bacterial infection. In advanced cases, there is no single hair strand left and the entire body is inflamed.
Aside from the patches and the inflammation, things to check are:
• The animal has developed an obnoxious and unhealthy odor. Multiple washings with detergent and water would not be able to eliminate the detestable smell.
• Check the animal's ears. They are waxy and might be showing signs of infection. Veterinarians call this type of infection as ceruminous otitis.
The main cause for having demodectic mites and developing demodectic mange is not clear. What we have for now is that puppies can get infected by their mother and that all dogs are susceptible to the disease.
In addition, the disease seems to cure itself and many experts say that it is because a victim's immune system can stop the reproduction of these mites and kill them all within 6 – 12 months. Older dogs are more resistant to the mites and if ever a mature dog develops the disease, it is usually assumed that there is another sickness that has caused the dog's immune system to weaken.
There is also evidence that suggests there is a genetic factor to the disease. Anybody who intends to take home a puppy should therefore inquire with the seller or giver first if its ancestors had suffered from demodectic mange.
Demodectic mange is a controllable disease and an infected animal can easily get rid of the patches in a matter of months. Should the problem persist, it's time to see a veterinarian. The vet might give any of the following medications: moxidectin, milbemycin, ivermectin, amitraz dip, doramectin and antibiotics.
Antibiotics are administered because dogs with demodectic mange are susceptible to bacterial infections. Don't Treat the Dog with Indifference To speed up recovery, you must provide good nutrition to your dog, give him an environment that is not taxing or worrying, and try your best to make him live a happy life.
The disease cannot infect humans, so don't treat him coldly. Give him the usual hugs and kisses. This article is not a substitute for veterinarian advice. If you are in any doubt or have any concerns about the health of your dog you may wish to consult with a professional for diagnosis and treatment.