Scabies in puppies: causes and symptoms

Scabies is a highly contagious disease that affects the skin of animals. There are several types of scabies and one of them is very common in puppies.

Scabies includes all diseases caused by mites that feed on the skin. In general, this disease is highly contagious and causes severe itching. In this article, we talk about scabies in puppies: causes and symptoms.

Types of scabies in puppies and adults

There are different types of scabies, depending on the responsible agent . Below, we briefly list the various types of scabies:

Otodic Scabies

Often called ear scabies. This type of scabies is seen more in cats than in dogs. When found in dogs, these specimens usually come from places like kennels or shops with poor hygiene.

Sarcoptic mange

This disease is mainly characterized by being one of the most itchy . The responsible mite belongs to the Sarcoptes genus . Although it can affect all mammalian species, it is found more frequently in dogs.


The culprit is a parasite belonging to the Cheyletiella yasguri species . This microscopic mite has a characteristic reddish color and can easily be infected between cats and dogs. The advantage is that the treatment is simple and is usually eradicated without further complications.

Demodectic mange

The responsible mite is a common inhabitant of the skin of dogs, although it can also be that of cats. The form of transmission is very specific and will be discussed below.

Demodectic mange: responsible

This disease is caused by mites belonging to the Demodex genus and, as we have already said, cases of demodectic mange have been observed in both dogs and cats.

Is scabies in puppies contagious?

This disease is not considered contagious. It is a self-limiting disease found in puppies. Once the puppy grows up, he develops immunity to mites and stops showing scabies symptoms.

Additionally, it is rare for mites to spread to other pets in the home, as long as the animal does not suffer from immunodeficiency. This type of mange does not infect humans as well, while other types of mange do, such as sarcoptic mange.

Causes of scabies in puppies

The transmission process is very particular. Mothers transmit this microscopic mite to puppies after birth, particularly during the period of breastfeeding.

This mite is usually found on the skin of dogs and does not cause any problems. However, the disease occurs when the mite begins to multiply uncontrollably.

The increase in the number of mites causes the destruction of the roots of the dog’s hair. It also causes severe itching .

Scabies in puppies: when does it occur?

Scabies in puppies tends to occur in individuals younger than 18 months. However, it has also been seen in adult dogs that have weak immune systems.

Symptoms of scabies in puppies

This disease is generally characterized by intense itching. However, in this type of scabies there may be more or less itching.

Normally, lesions begin in areas with fine hair, such as the contour of the eyes or mouth. On the other hand, it can also lose patches of hair on the limbs or trunk.

The disease can be localized or general . If it is general, animals shed sizable patches of hair in different areas of the body.

Other notable symptoms are reddish, scaly skin in hairless regions or the bad smell they give off. On the other hand, the development of secondary infections causes pain and symptoms of alopecia can be observed as the disease progresses progressively.


When the vet has performed the appropriate tests, such as looking for mites , the diagnosis is confirmed. After that, the most appropriate drug will be prescribed for each case. Depending on whether the extent of the disease has been localized or generalized, it will act differently:

Localized scabies

In this case, the problem resolves itself in a few weeks or months . The puppy develops resistance against the mite and the clinical symptoms disappear. Therefore, it does not require treatment.

Generalized scabies

On the other hand, if scabies in puppies is widespread, you have to act differently. Treatment can vary depending on the type of medication your vet prescribes.

The drugs can be administered directly to the skin or orally . In the first step it can be prescribed as an ointment.

The doctor will decide the type of treatment. Despite this, it must be said that this therapy involves a treatment of several months. It is a long process, because when the mites are no longer found in the skin, the treatment continues for another month, as a preventive measure.


Scabies is not contagious. The most affected by this disease are puppies, but this condition has also been observed in cats.

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