Thursday, April 26, 2012

Name that Disease #21

Can you name this disease?

Image is from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.

This dog has Sarcoptic Mange, or scabies, which I like to call the "bad mange." It's usually much harder to treat than the other type of canine mange: demodectic mange. Whereas demodex are naturally occurring mites on the dog's body that will only become a problem for dogs with weakened immune systems, scabies can affect any dog. This is because dogs get this form of mange by coming in contact with an individual who is infected, or something that individual has come into contact with. It can also be passed to other animals and even humans. However, in humans the infestations are usually not as severe. The Sarcoptes scabiei mite also looks significantly different from the mite that causes demodex, being more spherical in shape than the elongated appearance of the Demodex species.

Scabies can quickly get out of control, and produces the painfully itchy, scabby skin that is the root of its common name. If gone untreated, sarcoptic mange can cause a complete loss of fur.

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