My Dog Has Mange, and We Can't Go to the Vet :(

Updated on September 04, 2011
B.. asks from Rockwall, TX
23 answers

We have always taken our 2 dogs to the vet and kept them very healthy. We recently had their vaccinations up to date and got a physical from a local mobile vet. They received a clean bill of health. I stay at home with my son now and are on a very tight budget. dog has mange. I know it's mange, because I grew up working with dogs and I've seen it many times. I also know it needs to be treated very quickly, or it can get terrible. I honestly have no idea how she got it. ( My other dog does not have it.) I just don't know what to do, because we absolutely can't afford to take my dog to the vet. We can't afford the appointment fee, let alone the exam, tests, and medications. The mobile vet does not treat illnesses such as mange. Do any of you have any natural (tried and trusted) remedies for mange? I want to treat this ASAP, but I can only find un-reviewed products on the internet. There are many sites with suggestions, but again nothing is reviewed. I don't want to try some wacky treatment on my dog, without knowing others have tried it, and it's safe.

Added: I know mange causes low immunity. She eats very high quality food, and we are going to put her back on supplements.

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So What Happened?

I called many vets on Friday, and will call more when the weekend is over. We HAVE called and ARE searching for a financial solution. I was looking for a remedy I can try NOW while we are figuring out the financial end. Thank you, to all who gave remedies that I can try. My husband is outside treating her and washing her, as I type. I am envious of the mama who said their vets visits are $30 a visit!! I haven't found anything under $120 just to be SEEN, before any treatments or tests.

To those who suggested I SURRENDER my dogs to a rescue...SERIOUSLY??? We have had my dogs for 7 YEARS. We have always, very faithfully taken them to the vet. They have never missed an appointment, vaccination, or other examination. I LOST MY JOB while I was pregnant and now we have my son. You suggested I SURRENDER my dogs who are a part of out family...after 7 years...because right now we are in a difficult position??? I'm sorry, but that is not the answer. I am SHOCKED anyone would suggest giving up an animal who is dearly loved and taken care of after 7 years. I never said I wouldn't take her to the vet. I am trying to find ways to make it better, until we find a financial solution, that we can handle at this time. I would never let this go on and on. This is VERY new, and we are trying to get it under control while we figure out how we can afford to take her financially.

I had NO idea animals were so disposable to some, and you could just surrender them when you hit a hard patch. My animals are FAMILY. We do not discard them as trash, when we struggle.

Featured Answers



answers from Atlanta on

Hi B.,

High grade tea tree oil in a carrier oil like olive or lanolin. The tea tree will heal and absorb deeper into the issue so healing will happen faster. We've used this on a neighbor cat we were worked wonderfully.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I thought my beagle had mange and it was allergies no home remedies though. IN houston caps would help you with low cost medications. Do you have a caps in Garland? or an aspca? Call and ask them they may be able to help you at a minimal charge.

More Answers



answers from Tulsa on

working with dogs, and knowing the severity of the issue, you know that the best thing for you to do is to take your dog to the vet. Find a way to make the payments work. Talk to you vet about a payment plan, borrow the money from a family member, use a credit card, lots of options to find a way. I have also worked with dogs for several years, and the best treatment is one that is provided by the vet.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Talk to your vet about a payment plan if you can. A pet should see a vet when it is sick, as a pet owner it is your job to provide this. In the future I would think about setting up a fund for just such emergencies.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

I know you say you can't afford to take her to the vet, but some veterinarians are more than willing to make personalized payment plans with clients if they feel they are trustworthy. You said the mobile vet doesn't treat mange (although I can't understand why), but maybe they'd be willing to put in a good word for you with a vet that does. I don't know if you have ANY wiggle room in your budget, but if you do, and you explain your situation to a vet up-front, you could see if they'd be willing to work out some sort of payment plan that would keep you both satisfied.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You need to go to the vet. Call around and find one that will take payments. There are two types of mange and one is contagious it can even be passed to humans. I'm a sahm too and our budget is also very tight but if the dogs or cat are sick we always find away to take them to the ve to get treated they are part of the family and would not them to suffer. If you truly cannot afford treatment I'd hand them both over to a rescue as hard as it is it'd be the right thing to do for them.
Edited: "we absolutely can't afford to take my dog to the vet" as quoted from your question! Animals aren't disposable but they deserve someone that can afford them and do what is in their best interest. If you love them so dearly you would want them to be cared for. To have a dog and just get rid of it because is horrible but it makes me sick when animals aren't cared for properly. Your dogs has had this untreated for at least 3 days I consider that neglect!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Can you call your vet and tell them that she has mange and ask for a prescription?? Some vets will prescribe meds over the phone. I would do that and get your dog some relief asap! Best wishes!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Nu-Stock :
I get it at my local feed store. Stinks pretty bad but it cures it all. Great stuff, highly recommend it.
Best Regards,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I know I am coming into this a little late in the game, but diagnosing mange in dogs is not that complicated. If the dog is itchy and there are suspicious lesions, the vet can do scraping of the skin and examine the debris under a microscope - often you will see the actual mites and will be able to tell what kind they are (like others have already said, there are mainly 2 types of parasitic skin mites that cause mange in dogs, one that is contagious to humans and other dogs, and one that is not). If it is mange, generally treatment is not that expensive, though it can take several weeks to get it completely cleared up. There is a product called Revolution that is available only through vet hospitals that is a monthly flea and heartworm preventative that is applied topically. It can be applied every 1 to 2 weeks to treat mange but this may be consider "off-label" use (not that it does not work, just that it needs to be at a veterinarian's discretion). Some dogs happen to already be on it for the heartworm and fleas, but they do need to be heartworm tested first if they have not been on it. There are other treatment protocols as well that don't have to be terribly pricey, but it also depends on if the dog has a bacterial infection of the skin secondary to the mange and needs to be on antibiotics, and/or if there is a medication shampoo that can help. The bigger the dog, the higher dose of medication they will need, and that can up the price too.

Unfortunately, there is no good way to treat mange without seeing the vet - some things may help the dog feel more comfortable temporarily but in the end, the dog needs medications and sometimes special shampoos. You also want to make sure it really is mange and not just something else (allergies, flea bite reactions, etc.). I would at least make the appointment to see the vet and then ask for an estimate for anything else beyond the exam. I don't know about your area, but where I am a check-up with a general practice vet is around $30 to $40. It's only when you get into being seen as an emergency late at night or on a weekend, or having a consult with a specialist, that you start getting into the $100 and up for the exam alone. I would also see if the vet is willing to work with you as far as payments, or just trying to keep everything as cheap as possible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Sheep dip, from tractor supply company.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Mange can not be diagnosed by a visual inspection alone. It may be mange, it may be allergies, or thyroid problems or a host of other issues. If you just want to try something for mange, you could try going to a health food store and buying two supplements, one is for immune support and one is for stress. They help to boost immunity so the dog's system can handle the mites. It won't work in all scenarios, so I do think a vet check is in order. An office visit at my vet is only around $40. I see Dr. Shelton at the 380 West Animal Hospital and have seen him for 10+ years.
Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

It seems like you have a good knowledge of mange and realize that it can get bad very quickly. Is it demodectic or sarcoptic mange? I'm guessing sarcoptic which is highly contagious to your other pets and humans. The mites can also live for a while without a host so your dog could have picked it up while walking or even brought into your home. Unfortunately, your dog needs to be examined, have skin scraping performed and treated (it can sometimes be very tough to clear up) and also look out for secondary skin infections. Because of the nature of it, he will probably have to be isolated. The other moms had great suggestions about calling around and payment plans, vets do need to see the patient but I'm sure there are questionable ones that would prescribe without seeing your dog. I know you want to do the best thing and appreciate that money is tight. I don't see that this is something that will be cured with a bath and supplements. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

If you have some olive oil try that on the outside. It worked on my cat. A friend of mine adds coconut oil to her dogs food and it has a very, healthy shiny coat. She told me it has some special stuff in it that really works to keep their skin and coat healthy.



answers from Dallas on

Hi B., this too is late, but I wanted to answer. Tea Tree oil is wonderful. I put some in a bottle of shampoo and bathed her with it every day. My daughter's vet also told her to use any anti-fungal (for athelete's feet) ointment on spots and also to bathe them in diluted bleach water.

Yes, the vet is the best solution, but I understand your situation - been there myself several times.

I also take exception with those who suggested that you surrender your dog to a shelter......after 7 years and the dog is UTD on shots, etc. These things happen. I don't for one minute consider your dog neglected! Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious - to other animals (dogs/cats, etc) AND to humans. Demodec mange is not contagious and, of the two, is the harder to cure. You may be looking at sulfur baths a couple times a week for several weeks.

It would probably be a good idea to put break a benadryl capsule or mash a caplet and put it in her food. If she is itching or uncomfortable, this will help her rest easier.

I also put my dog on a raw diet for about a month. Rice mush, cottage cheese, plain yogurt with chicken mixed in it (Much easier to hide the meds in). It helps when you treat them from the inside too.

You can take her to the Humane Society and ask for help. Explain your situation to them. I had a feral dog that had puppies (13) and I couldn't afford to spay/neuter/shots all of them. The HS was SO great and took care of them for me.

You might want to find a vet and get established with them just because of these types of situations. We've used the same one for 16 years, so when we have an emergency, they always work with us on the bill.

I didn't know a mobile vet wouldn't treat things like that.

Just be sure to cleanse your hands really well after doctoring her....same goes for the family!

Good luck and let us know how she is.


Edit: I guess we should give those a break who suggested surrendering your dog to a rescue. On their behalf and because I am SO DEEPLY involved in rescue, I can sort of understand their suggestion. With the economy so bad, I get all sorts of pleas for help - lost their house, lost their job, moving, etc.etc.etc. The animals are the ones who suffer. I guess because I've been where you are, I DON'T consider 3 days a case of neglect. For many, our animals are sort of like our children - if they don't have a fever and are eating and acting normally, we do home remedies if we can before we take them to a doctor. I've done it a lot of times. If they are not eating, running a temperature, acting like they are in pain or vomiting, etc.....get them to a vet ASAP.

Good luck.....



answers from Cincinnati on

Vet bills can get costly. Only you know how bad your dog is....does she seem to be in lots of pain? If so then you really should take her in. She could have been attacked by a racoon or other wild animal. However if you want to chance it, the best thing to do is give your dog a bath, clean the wounds with Peroxide and keep her wounds clean. My biggest fear is infection. You can call your vet and explain what happend and then ask them to give you a perscription. However they may not do that without being seen..(and that is only $30) for a visit (not sure about today though since it Easter)
All the best...Im trying to figure out what to do with mine...he ate 2 ant bait traps last night :(



answers from Dallas on

Mange also looks like allergies. My dog was diagnosed w/ mange and it really was allergies. The vet wouldn't listen to me and we spent a lot of time & money that was wasted. When I made dietary changes and added fish oil to her diet she got better. If there is no hair loss it isn't mange.



answers from Milwaukee on

When we had shar-peis they got mange.

They always told us to get Derm Caps ES. Not sure if you can get them on-line or not.

Good luck, I feel your pain on this one.


answers from Tampa on

Call around and price check, also see who is willing to accept payments. Look into Care Credit too!! They were a lifesaver for me since my 6 cat household boomed into 13 due to a 'favor' I did for another and got stuck with all of them.


answers from Texarkana on

I Feel for you and your pets I am in the same position I couldn't believe it when i saw your post. I am at my wits end he has red mange. He's 8yrs.old and has never been this sick. I also have a female pit bull terrier who had a litter by him four months ago they are gorgeous pups look just like the mom.Oh and by the way he is a Border collie. I kept one my 9yr.old son wanted one sooo... you know I now have four. I have been bathing him and using hot spot treatment from Walmart asprin for his feverand am serching the web at wee hours of the morning cuz I can't sleep. Mabe we could find a vet that would charge a minimal price let us pay it out . Post date checcccks debit cards or somthing and go ahead and sell us or you or me or both some antibiots and advice us what to do. I know its not an answer but I hope you find comfort knowing you are not the only one who feels like a heel for letting this happen. Atlanta ,Tx . Friend



answers from Chicago on

There is a site that has natural remedies for the mange along with feedback & comments from pet owners. for example what they did step by step or what made the mange worse. you can go to click on pets. good luck.



answers from Hartford on

you can try mixing tea tree oil with olive oil and using this to spot treat until you can get to the vet. Keep her separate from the other animals and away from the kids because it can be contagious. The olive oil will help smother and the tea tree oil will help prevent further skin infection. Good Luck!



answers from Cumberland on

Call your local Humane Society and see if they will help-or call your vet and tell them your situation-they may work with you.



answers from Washington DC on

Are you sure? My dog was losing his hair. I swore it was the start of mange. Turns out he had allergies to the pollen and HE was the cause of the hair loss. Some oatmeal baths and benedryl and he was on the mend.


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