Dear Daisy Dog
The veterinarian diagnosed my golden retriever, Charlie, with scabies after examining scrapings of his skin under the microscope and seeing Sarcoptes mites. She killed the mites with several injections of ivermectin over two months.
Because Charlie continues to play in the same woods and fields, I’m concerned that he’ll get scabies again. How can I prevent it?
Scabies, also called sarcoptic mange, is an intensely itchy skin disease caused by microscopic Sarcoptes (pronounced “Sar COP teez”) mites. We dogs develop a hypersensitivity reaction to the mites as they burrow into our skin, so we scratch ourselves raw.
The mites are transmitted mostly through direct contact, so it’s likely Charlie met up with an infected animal or rolled on an animal carcass infested with mites.
It’s also possible, but less likely, that Charlie was exposed when he contacted the bedding of an infected animal.
To prevent reinfection with the Sarcoptes mites, you could restrict Charlie’s access to his favorite woods and fields, or you can protect him by applying a liquid medication to his skin every month. You have a few choices:
• Revolution kills Sarcoptes mites and blocks infection by fleas, heartworms, ear mites and Dermacentor ticks.
• Advantage Multi for Dogs, marketed as Advocate in Europe, also kills Sarcoptes mites. In addition, it prevents infection by fleas, heartworms, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.
• Frontline, in both the spray and Top Spot liquid formulations, deters Sarcoptes mites as well as fleas and ticks.
Preventing Charlie from contracting scabies again is a good idea, not only for his comfort, but also for yours, because canine Sarcoptes mites can attack you humans.