My 20-month-old gorgeous Whippet cross has contracted what I believe is sarcoptic mange, according to the description of the symptoms. He has lost most of the fur from his ears and much behind his ears, his ear tips are scabbed. He is not itching the area too much, but the condition looks sore and terrible.
The vet has seen him and prescribed Advocat and antibiotics. He was already dosed with Advocat monthly to protect against fleas and other conditions such as mange. These prescriptions had no impact and the condition is getting much worse. He has just had a further regular monthly treatment with Advocat.
I am now trying homemade remedies including use of apple cider vinegar both orally and in spray, and covering the impacted areas with olive oil or Vaseline which in theory, prevents the mites from breathing. In addition, he is washed using medicated wash, and I'm washing and changing his collars, bedding and blankets to avoid reinfection. Its early days with these remedies but they appear to have no impact so far and his ears still look very painful and dreadful. I have no faith in the vet as the last one gave him two minutes at most, did not skin test for mange (which is not definitive but could have been helpful) and they only seem to prescribe antibiotics whatever the condition - he's had two (in my opinion pointless) lots of antibiotics in six months.
Can anyone advise how to cure this condition and help my poor little man.
Many thanks - any advice appreciated.
Maria Johnson, by email
Breeony Hunt, vet (BVM&S MRCVS) at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, advises...
Skin conditions can be really difficult to diagnose and treat. We often start by looking for what is common, and working down a long list!
Sarcoptic mange in dogs nearly always causes severe itching, so if you dog has never had this symptom, it would make the diagnosis less likely.
There is another type of mange that can affect dogs, called demodectic mange. This is diagnosed by your vet doing a skin scrape- scraping off a small area of skin cells with a small blade, and examining them under the microscope.
Some complimentary therapies can help skin conditions, but they should always be used under the direction of your vet. In fact, the frequent bathing you are doing may be washing off the mange treatment, making it less effective.
Skin infections often need prolonged courses of antibiotics to treat the secondary infection, but it is really important that you treat the underlying disease.
As you say your dog is uncomfortable, I urge you to find a vet and get started towards a diagnosis, so you can get him on the most appropriate course of treatment.