Sarcoptic mange, commonly referred to as canine scabies, is a parasitic skin condition caused by an infestation of microscopic mites, states WebMD. These mites are light-colored, ovoid in shape and cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Sarcoptic mange is caused by mites burrowing into the skin of an infected canine to lay eggs, explains WebVet. The earliest visible sign of a sarcoptic mange infestation is a rash of itchy red bumps. If left untreated, this rash develops into crusty patches of open sores. Canine sarcoptic mange is contagious to dogs, other animals and even humans.
A veterinarian examination is required for diagnosis, in which a skin scraping is analyzed under a microscope to ascertain mite infestation as opposed to other non parasite-related skin disorders, notes WebVet. Treatment consists of oral, topical or injectable prescription drugs to eliminate the mite infestation and may also include antibiotics to treat or prevent secondary bacterial infection.