Although symptoms vary slightly depending on the type of mange, the most common symptoms of mange in dogs are hair loss and scabbing. Itchiness is another common symptom, but it is not always present with demodectic mange.
Dogs can get two types of mange: demodectic and sarcoptic. Demodectic mange is caused by Demodex canis mites, which naturally live on all dogs and usually are not noticeable. However, dogs with compromised immune systems cannot keep these mites controlled, and an outbreak occurs. Sacroptic mange is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei mites, which are an invasive species.
Sarcoptic mange usually involves severe itchiness and discomfort for the dog. Dogs may be restless and scratch incessantly. They often develop open sores, scabbing and generally red and irritated skin. These symptoms develop about a week after exposure and are most noticeable on the ears, legs and elbows, although the entire body can be affected. Sarcoptic mange can be spread between dogs and to humans.
Demodectic mange is not itchy itself, although sometimes secondary infections can cause itchiness and irritation. Hair loss is the primary symptom of this type of mange, especially around the face and eyes. Small sores and scabbing may also be apparent. Like sarcoptic mange, demodectic mange can affect any part of the body. Demodectic mange is not contagious but may periodically reoccur in dogs with compromised immune systems.