How do you treat scabies in animals?
Interestingly, the scabies mite in animals is slightly different to the one in humans. This means a slightly different treatment, although many of the precautions and risk factors are the same. Below we’ll go through the best ways to treat a scabies-infected pet, so they can heal up and become a cuddle buddy in the family again.
Can you catch scabies from pets?
“No. Animals do not spread human scabies. Pets can become infested with a different kind of scabies mite that does not survive or reproduce on humans but causes “mange” in animals. If an animal with “mange” has close contact with a person, the animal mite can get under the person’s skin and cause temporary itching and skin irritation. However, the animal mite cannot reproduce on a person and will die on its own in a couple of days. Although the person does not need to be treated, the animal should be treated because its mites can continue to burrow into the person’s skin and cause symptoms until the animal has been treated successfully.”
That should give some relief to scabies sufferers, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. As it says above, you still need to treat your pet, however this should be a lot easier than treating yourself.
The best method for treating scabies in pets
The best method seems to be using a purpose-made shampoo, specifically for scabies, or “mange” as it’s known animals.
The most effective and well known shampoo for scabies in dogs is Renuplex.
It’s a medicated shampoo particularly for dog scabies and other parasites. Remember, the scabies mite that lives on dogs is slightly different to the mite that lives on humans, so the treatment will be slightly different also.
Using RenuPlex would definitely be my first line of defence for scabies. Use that for a few days, and if he/she shows no improvement you can move onto something stronger.
Like with human scabies, mites on your pet will take time to hatch, so it’s important to continue treatment over a period of weeks. Renuplex can be used 3x weekly for the first two weeks, then once a week from then on. PetMD recommends treating for up to six consecutive weeks.
Remember, you can afford to “test and see” with your pet, as the scabies from your dog is not at risk of infecting you and your family. Obviously you want to end your dog’s misery as quickly as possible, but you also don’t want to use harsh medications unnecessarily. The only hard-line caution you need to take is to keep your dog away from other animals, so as not to infect anyone else’s pet.
Does your dog need to be clipped?
According the vets over at Wag Walking, it is worthwhile to clip your dog before treatment. I also think this is a good idea. You want as much of the treatment as possible to penetrate the skin, and if you have a particularly fluffy dog, such as a poodle or a retriever, their coat will make it a lot more difficult to do that. You want to get the most thorough clean possible – clipping is the best way to do that.
What if the scabies shampoo doesn’t work?
If home treatment doesn’t work, you will need to see a vet. Vets do a much more thorough treatment, and will have access to oral drugs too for a one-two punch. PetMD recommends that your dog gets “dipped” weekly, which basically is a smothering of scabicidal shampoo, combined with oral treatments such as ivermectin.
Can you use Ivermectin?
You may have noticed I recommend using ivermectin in human scabies treatment, as shown on my Scabies Ultimate Guide.
The reason I do not recommend using ivermectin at home is because some dog breeds are unable to absorb ivermectin safely. While you might read about some people using ivermectin at home on their pets and everything working out fine, there is a risk to self-administering which I will not endorse here. If you think your dog requires ivermecting, see a vet and get a proper diagnosis and prescription.
Managing your pet during scabies treatment
Scabies is horrible for both humans and animals. Some things you should remember during your pet’s scabies treatment are:
- Keep them on a regular feeding schedule and give them lots of rest and keep them comfortable. A healthy immune system is important.
- Keep them off your furniture and bedding, but make sure they have a comfortable place to still feel part of the family.
- Try to limit contact with your dog, as while scabies mites cannot breed and “infest” a human body, they can still burrow under the skin and cause rashes and itching.
- Keep your pet away from other animals. The last thing you need is mange and dog scabies spreading through your whole community!
Got scabies? Check out my Ultimate Guide To Treating Scabies – a completely free, step-by-step guide to eliminating scabies from your home and body. It’s the exact same treatment plan I used to cure my scabies within a couple of weeks. Click here to go there now.