How does my dog get mange?

dog mange

Sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious skin disease found in dogs, caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. These mites will burrow through the skin causing intense itching and irritation. The scratching that results from mange is what causes the majority of the animal’s hair to fall out. This is a treatable medical condition, but is highly contagious for other animals and humans. Pet owners are advised to keep the dog quarantined while it is being treated for mange.

Common causes of Mange

The most common cause of mange in dogs is exposure to another infected animal, as the mites quickly move from animal to animal. Kennels, animal shelters, dog parks and groomers have a high exposure rate of mange due to the close proximity with animals that are infected.

Mange in Urban Foxes

However the ,most common way our dogs in South County Dublin get mange is from urban foxes. Urban foxes suffer greatly from mange and it spreads quickly from fox to fox. Fox-mange can infect dogs but not cats. In very exceptional cases it may infect humans.

Urban foxes are very common in Dublin. They are found throughout the city and suburbs. Foxes can be seen at night roaming Grafton St. and O’Connell St., with dens near Dáil Eireann. In the suburbs, foxes do best in estates with large gardens. Areas like Sandymount have very high densities of foxes but they are also found in industrial estates and in some council housing areas. These days Dublin probably has a similar density of urban foxes to English cities like Bristol or London.

If you thought you saw a fox in your garden, then chances are you were right! In areas of Dublin where foxes are common most houses will be visited by a fox at some stage of the night. If they don’t visit your back garden then they’ll almost certainly trout through the front garden on their nightly explorations.

The exposure generally occurs about two to six weeks before the first symptoms of mange are displayed. If you are worried about you dog please contact us.

For further information on foxes

Wildlife Management Services (Irish)
“We specialise in the provision of wildlife management services and consultancy in both the urban and rural environment. We offer effective and humane solutions to your wildlife and bird problems. We employ humane methods in order to manage wildlife populations, where possible we use habitat management as our first option.”

Wildlife Online
An educational website about wildlife with an EXCELLENT, very detailed section

Foxwatch Ireland