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Posted on 05-26-2015

General Information

Demodectic Mange also known as Demodicosis or Red Mange is a skin disease caused by a microscopic parasitic mite. Demodectic mites are found in small numbers in the hair follicles of normal dogs. In dogs with demodicosis, however, these mites proliferate, and large numbers inhabit the skin and hair follicles, probably because of some defect in the function of their immune system. This dysfunction may be temporary or it may be permanent. Anything that suppresses the function of the immune system (stress, certain disease conditions, drugs, reproductive cycles, injury, etc.) makes it more difficult for the host to resist the mites.  Puppies can get this skin parasite from their mothers a couple of days after birth. Demodectic mange in some cases is considered a hereditary condition.

Demodicosis may involve only 1 or 2 small areas of skin (localized mange) or large areas of the body (generalized mange). Juvenile-onset demodicosis occurs in dogs 3-12 months old, and the short-haired breeds are most commonly affected. One of the breeds that is most commonly affected in the area of Clayton County is the pit-bull. Adult-onset demodicosis generally occurs in dogs more than 5 years old, and is often associated with disease (as per example Cushing’s disease) or some other process that suppresses the immune system. Some dogs are genetically predisposed to the generalized form presumably due to a problem with the immune system, and breeding these dogs is not recommended.

Treatment

The only protocol of treatment approved by the FDA is the use of Mitaban dips. The treatment consists of bathing your dog with this insecticide every 10 to 14 days. Is probably the most expensive treatment because each bath cost between $35 and $45 depending of the size of the dog. Usually takes 4 to 6 of these treatments to see an improvement of the skin condition.

In cases where the skin lesions are localized to one or two areas of the body we recommend the use of Goodwinol ointment. In cases non responsive to the use of Mitaban dips, a diluted solution or oral Ivermectin in conjunction with the use of Preventic Tick collars can be used as protocol of treatment. In the past some dogs had been treated successfully with daily doses of Interceptor (heartworm preventive).

Bravecto, a new chewable tablet for the control of fleas and ticks has been recently evaluated as a potential new treatment of Demodicosis in dogs. The following paragraphs provide a summary of a recent study published about the effect of Bravecto on this skin condition.

“A single oral administration of Bravecto™ chewable tablets to dogs with naturally acquired generalized demodicosis resulted in significantly lower mean mite counts 56 and 84 days after treatment No mites were present in the skin scrapings of the dogs 56 or 84 days after treatment with Bravecto chewable tablets. Reduction of mite counts was consistent with reduction in the extent and severity of the skin changes. Bravecto™ treated dogs had resolution of crusts, casts and scales and showed hair re-growth.

A problem frequently encountered with the treatment of demodicosis in dogs is the inability to ensure that a dog is absolutely free from mites after completion of a specific treatment regimen and re-infestation can be detected months after a treatment that was initially considered to be successful [A],[B]. The present results are, however, encouraging that the administration of Bravecto™ chewable tablets offers the potential to provide sustained control of demodex mite infestations in susceptible dogs for at least three months after a single treatment.

Owner compliance can be an important factor in treatment success when multiple doses of a treatment spread over a long period of time are required in order to achieve a satisfactory outcome. Bravecto™ administered once as chewable tablets is not only effective against Demodexspp. mites on dogs but remains effective for 12 weeks following treatment. Moreover, it is effective for the same period of time against ticks and fleas that may concomitantly infest these animals[C],[D]. Therefore, the single administration may help to reduce the risk of treatment failure as a consequence of poor owner compliance with treatment recommendations.

Bravecto™ chewable tablets have proved to be safe for use in dogs at five times the recommended therapeutic dose. It is also safe to use in breeding, pregnant and lactating dogs. With this in mind it could prove to be an effective prophylactic intervention against the transmission of Demodex spp. mites from a post-parturient bitch to her new-born pups aiding in the prevention and control of demodicosis in all its forms on the following generation of dogs.”

The regular price of Bravecto at our regular store is $49.00 per dose. We also carry a limited supply of this product at our hospital.  Click on the Special Offer link and obtain one dose for $39 at our hospital location. Please call us at (404) 366-4370 to reserve your dose.

References

 [A] Mueller RS. Treatment protocols for demodicosis:an evidence-based reviewVet Dermatol. 2004; 15:75-89. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text

[B] Fourie JJ, Delport PC, Fourie LJ, Heine J, Horak IG, Krieger KJ. Comparative efficacy and safety of two treatment regimens with a topically applied combination of imidacloprid and moxidectin (Advocate®) against generalised demodicosis in dogsParasitol Res. 2009; 105:115-24. Publisher Full Text

[C] Williams H, Young DR, Qureshi T, Zoller H, Heckeroth AR. Fluralaner, a novel isoxazoline, prevents flea (Ctenocephalides felis) reproduction in vitro and in a simulated home environmentParasit Vectors. 2014; 7:275. PubMed Abstract |BioMed Central Full Text

[D] Wengenmayer C, Williams H, Zschiesche E, Moritz A, Langenstein J, Roepke RKA et al.. The speed of kill of fluralaner (Bravecto™) against Ixodes ricinus ticks on dogs.Parasit Vectors. 2014; 7:525. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text

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