The question of whether or not dogs can get mange from squirrels is a complicated one.
Dogs and squirrels don’t seem to have much in common.
However, a recent study found that dogs can get mange from squirrels and other wild animals.
It has been established through numerous studies and research that squirrels can infect dogs with mange. Mange has been proven to be a very harmful infection to dogs. It has a lot of troubling effects that will give your dog a lot of discomforts.
Experts, therefore, recommend that we should keep our dogs away from squirrels to minimize the chances that they will be infected with mange.
So just how exactly can a squirrel infect your dog with mange?
It is possible that a dog could contract the Mange mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis, from a squirrel if they are bitten or scratched by one.
Mange is basically a skin disease that is caused by mites that burrow inside an animal’s skin.
It is these mites that will transmit mange from the squirrel to your dog should these two animals come into contact.
What Are the Two Types of Mange in Dogs?
Mange in dogs is found in two types.
One is the sarcoptic mange.
The other form of mange is the demodectic mange.
Both of these forms of mange are caused by mites.
However, they are caused by different types of mites.
Let us highlight what each of these forms of mange look like in dogs and what potential effects they can cause.
1. Sarcoptic Mange
This can also be referred to as canine scabies. It is extremely contagious.
This form of mange is caused by the sarcoptes scabiei mite.
This skin infection comes about when this mite burrows deep into the skin.
It causes your dog to experience a lot of irritation, discomfort and itching.
Over time, your dog may suffer from hair loss as a result of their constant scratching of the skin.
What Are Some Symptoms of the Sarcoptic Mange?
Sarcoptic mange has some obvious symptoms that can manifest in your dog.
You should watch out for these symptoms and seek the appropriate medical assistance for your dog.
Some of the signs to watch out for include:
- A bad skin rash.
- Intense scratching.
- An extreme case of hair loss.
- Thick yellow crusts on the skin.
- Your dog may become very emaciated.
The most common treatment for sarcoptic mange is by using scabicides or scabicidal shampoo.
This chemical will kill the mites that cause itchiness and infection in general.
2. Demodectic Mange
This form of mange is also referred to as demodicosis.
It is caused by the demodex mite.
This inflammatory infection results when these mites inhabit your dog’s skin and become too many as a result of reduced immunity in your dog.
It can either take the form of localized infection or a generalized infection in fogs.
What does this mean?
If it manifests itself as a localized infection, it will only affect a specific part of your dog’s body.
However, if it takes the form of generalized infection, demodectic mange will cause widespread effects and the symptoms may appear all through the body of your dog.
What Are Some Symptoms of the Demodectic Mange?
Some of the symptoms that you can watch out for to see if your dog is suffering from demodectic mange include:
- Lesions occurring as patches on your dog’s skin.
- Extreme hair loss.
- The skin develops scales.
- Your dog’s skin may develop a red shade.
It has been found that a localized case of demodectic mange can disappear away by itself over time.
In more extreme cases, such as is the case when your dog is suffering from a more generalized form of mange, use of long-term medication such as the isoxazoline flea and tick medicine is strongly advised.
It is also imperative that you discuss any other available form of treatment with the vet that is treating your dog.
Frequent dipping in medicated shampoos is also a good way to go!
How to Manage Mange in Your Dog?
The duration that it will take for your dog to successfully respond to mange treatment is between four to six weeks.
Mange is an extremely contagious infection.
In some cases, it can even be spread to humans.
It is therefore recommended that you try and minimize contact with your dog when he or she is recovering.
In more severe cases, you may be required to quarantine your dog.
For us humans who find ourselves to have come into contact with a dog that is infected with mange, we may end up developing an irritating rash on areas such as our arms, chest, and even the abdominal regions.
A healthy immune system can help prevent the recurrence of the problem.
so it’s important to keep your dog as comfortable as possible throughout the treatment.
We have already established that demodectic mange will affect your dog if they have reduced immunity.
You should therefore invest all of your time in ensuring that your dog is able to build up strong immunity.
You can do this by feeding your dog well.
Ensure that it has a comfortable place to sleep in that is free from pests and other insects that may cause them harm.
These efforts will ensure that your little “pup” has all the right conditions to develop good health.
Your dog can indeed get mange from a squirrel. This is because mange is a highly contagious infection.
Therefore, when your “pup” comes into contact with an infected squirrel, there are high chances that the mange will be spread to it.
And as we have established, mange can be a very troublesome infection.
It is therefore important to prevent your dog from frequent interactions with wild animals like foxes, skunks, raccoons, and rodents.
It is also a good standard practice to always be proactive by washing your dog regularly with medicated shampoo.
This will increase the likelihood of keeping mange at bay!