Canine demodicosis is a type of mange that occurs when abnormally high numbers of a mite called Demodex canis multiply on the skin. This mite is normally present in small numbers in the skin of healthy dogs, but when a dog’s immune system becomes weakened, the mites can overgrow and cause disease and inflammation of the skin.

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Symptoms:  With localized demodicosis, symptoms are usually mild and affect a dog’s face, trunk, or legs. You will notice thinning hair, scaly skin, and the skin itself will appear reddish-brown and look very itchy. With generalized demodicosis, skin lesions are more widespread and may involve the entire body. Your dog may look scruffy and show signs of hair loss as well as discoloration of the skin. She may also be lethargic and have a poor appetite.

Treatment Options:  If localized, the problem is likely to resolve itself and disappear spontaneously, which happens in approximately 90 percent of cases. For severe generalized cases, long-term medication may be necessary to control the condition. Lime-sulfur dips to the affected areas may help relieve symptoms. In either case, the general health status of the animal should be evaluated.

 Known Mode of Inheritance:  familial

Age of onset:  any age

Breeds affected: 

  • Cardigan: yes
  • Pembroke: yes
  • Other Breeds: yes

Incidence in Cardigans:  Unknown


  • Cardigans: no
  • Other breeds: no
  • Active?: no

Registry:  no

 Tests Available:  yes

Published papers and Articles:


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