Sarcoptic mange, also known as canine scabies, is a highly contagious 
mite infestation. It causes severe itching, redness, scratching and 
secondary infections of the skin are common due to damage caused by 
violent scratching and rubbing. Hair loss and irritation are most 
often seen first on the ears, elbows, hocks and head. If left 
untreated, it may develop into a generalized form with widespread 
hair loss, irritation , scaling and hyperkeratosis (darkening of the 
skin). Animals may lose weight and become generally debilitated.
  Diagnosis is made ideally by visualizing mites, eggs or mite feces 
on a slide taken from a skin scraping. Unfortunately in longer 
standing cases, skin scrapings may not yield evidence of the mite and 
response to clinical therapy may be the best diagnostic tool. 
(Hoskins, 1995).  Differential diagnosis include food allergy, 
demodecosis and  flea bite dermatitis.
   Sarcoptic mange is an important zoonosis in that from 10-50% of 
humans exposed will develop a self-limiting form of the disease. 
Treatment options vary from lime/sulfur and or anti-parasitic dips 
and baths to systemic treatments with oral or injectable ivormectin. 
All bedding and living areas should be thoroughly cleaned and 
disinfected. All in-contact dogs should be treated. Prognosis is 
excellent with good owner compliance and recurrence unlikely unless 
re-exposure occurs.