Demodectic mange is what is commonly referred to as “mange”. It is an infestation of microscopic mites that take up residence near the hair follicles in most mammals.
Demodectic mange is a common ailment for our canine companions. Fortunately with recent medical breakthroughs the treatment is much less painful for our furbabies and just as, if not more, effective than the treatments of the past.
I recently participated in a thread on reddit where redditor leetee91 has a dog with a persistent case of mange. The treatment she is on up til now has been a pill called bravecto, which is normally a flea/tick guard, every 3 months. Bravecto has been shown to kill demodectic mites, and therefore, to be an extremely effective treatment for mange.
The problem this particular dog was experiencing was a recurrence of infestation when taken off of bravecto. While it is rare, some dogs do have a genetic predisposition for becoming re-infested. This is because normally dogs that have had a demodectic infestation will build up an immune response to the mites and will be able to check them spreading again(most dogs have a minute amount of mites in their fur that never cause problems)
In this case I did some research and found that tweaking the treatment plan for worms, fleas, and ticks would serve to also combat the recurrence of the demodectic infestation. The dog is currently on trifexis and has been getting a bravecto treatment every 3 months.
In the south, where the lone star tick can be found, the treatment cycle for bravecto is 8 weeks. Anywhere else it is 12, rather than treating twice for fleas/ticks(which is part of treating with trifexis) a switch to sentinel for heartworm prevention and bravecto for flea/tick would also allow leetee91 to treat the demodectic as well.
In our rescue we have had a few dogs that have come to us with awful cases of mange. We have treated them all with bravecto(8 week cycles because of the ticks and we are in an area where they are found) and we have had amazing results. Here are some before and afters of a couple of the dogs we have had.