Select Page

Xina's Story

How we totally cured her of Demodex mange

Demodex Mange (Demodectic mange)

Demodex Mange, also known as puberty mange, red mange, genetic mange, and juvenile mange.

There are several different sub species of demodex mites, but it doesn’t matter too much from a treatment standpoint. Here’s what they look like when we take a skin scraping sample and look under the microscope:

Basic information about demodex:

Demodex mange in not contagious from one dog or cat to another. (Or to people)

Unlike Sarcoptic Mange which usually makes pets itch like crazy, Demodex mange cases may not itch much at all.

Mild demodex cases simply show up as small patches of hairlessness. More severe cases, though, often involve secondary bacterial skin infections making the the situation look a lot different; inflamed, pustular, itchy, and quite awful. (like the picture above)

Here’s something that surprises a lot of people:
all dogs and cats probably have small quantities of demodex mites living in their skin just like all pets (and humans) have small numbers of skin bacteria.

The trouble is that in dogs (and occasionally cats) with the disease of Demodex Mange, the numbers of mites have multiplied to the point where they start to cause trouble to include localized immune reactions, inflammation, irritation, and stimulation of the sebaceous glands.

The reasons for the huge increase in mite numbers in some pets aren’t clearly understood but we know that factors include:

  • Genetics: certain breeds (pit bulls) seem to be more prone to demodex mange mites than other breeds. And if one pet in a litter gets demodex. it’s pretty likely that other pets from the same litter or “family” will also turn out to have a demodex problem.
  • Puberty: demodex mange cases are especially common during puberty

Demodectic mange can be cured

Dislcaimer: I am not in any way a qualified Vet, nor qualified to treat animals for any disease what so ever, this information is purely to help and educate any one who is battling to fight Demodex Mange in the dogs. This is the process which was used to treat and cure my daughters Pit Bull from Demodectic Mange and Staphylococcus Bacteria in 2012.

Xina’s Story

At the time Xina (pronounced “Zeena)” was a 22kg, 2 year old Pit Bull, with a fantastic loverable personality and who belongs to my daughter Candice, who is absolutely crazy about her, as you can see by the ink work she is getting done in the above image.

How Xina Became Infected

Xina became infected with the Demodectic mange from her mom, apparently if the mother has the mange it is passed on to her pups whilst they feed on her.

While the pups are in her womb they are protected by her immune system, but there is a period after she gives birth when the pups are still busy building their own immune system and this is when the mange starts to multiple on the puppy.

Started Showing Signs of Demodectic Mange

Xina only started showing the Demodectic mange problem when she was about a year old. Hair started falling out and itching a lot,

( apparently the itching is not from the mange but a secondary skin infection, more about this later ) to the extent that she was scratching herself open, as you can see in the photos. We first noticed that the hair in the middle of her tail fell out, then on her hind quarters, then it started under her tummy and eventually got to her face and feet and even in between her toes.

We took here to our local Vet, who said we must dip her once a week to try and kill the mange, he also placed her on cortisone tablets and injections; this worked wonders for the scratching, but did not stop the mange and loss of hair!

We found out that one can’t keep Xina on cortisone indefinitely as it will eventually damage her kidneys and liver.

All of this was very worrying to our family as we were lost as to how to help her.

Weird Remedies

We searched Google, read tons of forums, tried different suggestions like rubbing mayonnaise onto her skin, didn’t help; tried rubbing Ballsitol oil twice day on the affected areas, didn’t help; different types of shampoos, no effect, even the dipping was not working.

Demodecic Mange a wide spread problem

Once we started scouring the web for remedies, we found that Demodectic mange is a major problem for thousands of dog owners, and the worst was that you can’t get rid of the Demodectic mange, you can only control it.

This is why I am sharing this info, in the hope to help other dog owners, in curing their pets.

You can kill Demodex Mange!

You can kill off all the Demodectic mange, we did it with Xina on the correct medication, dipping regime and guidance of an amazing Specialist Veterinarian, Dr. Gary Eckersley here in Johannesburg (tel: 011 702 1957, address: 185 Palamino Rd, Midrand, 1684), South Africa.

We took Xina to our new local Vet Dr. Michele Miller owner of Paws in Motion , who referred us to Dr. Eckersley (Specialist Vet), saying that if he could not fix Xina, no one could.

We are super glad to say, he did. After 2 months of treatment and consultations, Xina is 100% mange free; this is how it was done. Though the consultations, some of the medication and treatment were not cheap, each cent was absolutely well spent.

Xina's Diagnosis

On our first visit to Dr. Eckersley, he examined her thoroughly; he took skin scrapings on glass slides from all the infected areas on Xina, he also put paraffin oil onto some parts, this he says brings the mange to the surface of the skin, so when he scarps the skin he is sure to get some of the mites.

When Dr. E did the scraping he grabbed her skin between his thumb and forefinger and squeezed as you would a pimple (for a lack of a better explanation) then he took the sharp edge of the glass medical slide and scraped the skin.
Under the microscope he found the live Demodectic Mange and a secondary skin infection, Staphylococcus bacteria, this was most probably due to her suppressed immune system.

He explained that the cortisone will help with the itching but it suppresses Xina’s immune system, which in turn allows the mange to multiple. Dr. E also told us that if we had never put Xina on cortisone she would have been able to fight the mange and it would’t have gotten so bad.

Read more about Staphylococcus Bacteria


Xina's Treatment

Shaving & Dipping

A very important point was that he shaved all the affected areas with an Oster hair cutter, ( visit for more on their products ) this he explained was to ensure that the dipping we would do to get right onto the affect areas on her skin and not just onto her coat.

Xina had to be dipped every 5th day. This is important as Dr. Eckersley said that the mange comes to the skin surface every 5th day, and this is when the dip kills them on contact. We had to dip her like this on 4 different occasions, every fifth day. Unfortunately we don’t know how he worked out the cycle! Ask your Vet about this.

The Dipping Process

The doctor gave us Eye gel, which is a thick clear gel, which we put into her eyes by me holding open her eye lids and my daughter placing a thick film of the gel directly onto her eyeballs, which didn’t seem to bother her at all. This is to protect her eyes while we dipped her – all over.

We had to push cotton wool balls quiet tightly into her ears so as not to get them wet. We made sure that the size of the cotton wool balls was large enough not to go in to deep and get suck in her ears.

Mixing the Dip

Even though the instructions on the bottle says mix 40ml per 10ltr, Dr. E, said only 20ml per 10ltr of luke warm water.

PS. The water must be luke warm, like a babies bath water, this aids in the dip’s effectiveness.

How we Dipped Xina

We first washed her with Barrier Medicated Shampoo, (this is Dr. Eckersley own formulation, not sure if it is available out side South Africa) then placed Xina in the bath, with the plug closed so that she stands in the dip and water as we douse here.

Mix up the dip and luke warm water solution, then doused her completely from behind her head to her tail, then with a jug keep on soaking her coat all over with the warm dip solution, we carefully sponged her face and cheeks as well. This took about 5 minutes of continuos pouring of the solution over her body. When finish, we did not wash the dip off ,we simply took her out the bath and left her to dry as she ran around the yard. The next day after the dipping, we found Xina was always a bit lethargic, which apparently is normal.

The Medication

The Medication

The doctor gave her:

  • 20 x Neoral 100mg 1 tablet  once a day for 20 days
  • 10 x Ketazol 200mg 1/2 once per day at night
  • 22 1/2 x Baytril 50mg 21/2 once a day in the morning
  • A bottle of ModuCare Immune booster capsules (over the counter herbal medication)
  • 1 bottle of Omega-3 capsules (over the counter herbal medication)

The End Result

After the 4th week of meds and dipping, he saw her again, did a thorough check and skin scrapings and reported that there was only dead mange on Xina.
He then said we must continue to dip 4 more times, first two times every 5th day and the last two times every 10th day, which we did.

On her last visit, he reported after the skin scrapings, no mange!! and we have never had a problem since.

Demodectic mange is NOT contagious.

We have a Pekinese “Ling Ling” (bottom left) and a Chihuahua cross “Rocky” who share the same bedding as Xina and they have never been infected!

We hope the above information will be helpful to all other dog owners who have a similar problem as Xina had in 2012.

In Loving Memory of Puggles

Our special Pug who gave us joy and happiness every day she blessed us with her presence.
1999 – 2011