Demodectic Mange A Natural/Holistic Approach 
Demodectic Mange A Natural/Holistic Approach

by Dr Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason

Demodectic mange, is also called "demodicosis" or red mange and is actually a microscopic mite of the Demodex genus. Three species of Demodex mites have been identified in dogs: Demodex canis, Demodex gatoi, and Demodex injai. The most common mite of demodectic mange is Demodex canis.

Most dogs have a natural microscopic mite population in small numbers, deep within the hair follicles already in residence. These mites are just a normal part of the flora of the skin and cause no clinical problems, the healthy dog's immune system keeps them in check very nicely.

Demodex mites feed on cellular proteins, systemic yeast, dietary yeast and/or sugar in the system.

When the immune system is not yet mature (very young puppies) and/or it is compromised, it may not be able to keep the mites under control. The mites begin multiplying out of control and attacking the dog. Dogs infected with demodectic mange are immunodeficient. In other words, the puppy or dog's immune system is not strong or balanced enough to able to naturally fight off or keep the amount of mites under control.

Signs and symptoms of over-growth appear only when mites reproduce unchecked and occur in unnaturally high numbers. Outbreaks are seen around the eyes, lips and/or lower limbs when the numbers of these mites increase due to the over-worked or stressed immune system no longer able to keep things balanced.

Because the dog's immune system does not fully mature until 12-18 months of age, a puppy with demodectic mange that has not been helped naturally to strengthen their immune system, may have relapses until the immune system is mature. Demodectic mange in dogs over 2 years of age is usually classified as adult-onset, and occurs secondary to an underlying cause stemming from a compromised immune system.

Dogs with immune suppression due to illnesses like hypothyroid disease, and Cushing's disease, etc. are also candidates for demodectic mange. Demodectic mange can also occur in very old dogs because the function of the immune system often declines with age due to poor nutrition and chemical bombardment through out its life time.

The immune system is a living thing that can be boosted/ improved or can be - suppressed and compromised. Many veterinarians do not understand the life of a Demodex mite and how the body can be strengthend to fight off the over-population on it's own. There is no need for toxic medications to be taken internally and applied externally which by the way, have long-lasting, detrimental effects to the already weakened immune system.

Were you told Demodex is a genetic problem?

Most veterinarians do not understand what genetic means. Demodex is NOT in a pet's genetic make-up. They are a mite that lives on all mammals skin naturally and again, are not a problem on a healthy dog. Only when the immune system becomes overly stressed and compromised does an infestation or infection of the mites occur.

What is happening is that generations after generations of dogs being bombarded with vaccinations, fed processed pet food, having toxic pesticides for fleas, ticks and heart worms forced on them and as result, these things actually wears down the immune system of each successive generation until today you hear about demodectic puppies all the time. It is much more about epigenetic - not genetics.

Holistic or natural rearing breeders have found and proven that you can take a dam who has produced an entire litter of demodectic pups; put her on a grain free, raw diet with supplementation and take her off all chemical pesticides for a year and then breed her again. She will not produce any demodex in the subsequent litter!

Nutrition's Role in Immunodeficiencies

Malnutrition is the most common cause of immune deficiency. Poor nutrition compromises the entire immune system and especially the lymphatic system which channels and carries a clear fluid called lymph that produces immune cells. This makes the body more vulnerable to infection and disease. Therefore, wholesome, raw nutrition is crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing and treating immune deficiency disorders.

A lot of Veterinarians in conventional veterinary medicine still use a toxic chemical called Amitraz or Ivermectin to kill the mites.

These products can reduce the function of the hypothalamus, which helps regulate the body's metabolism by controlling hormone release in the body.

In animal studies, amitraz caused episodes of increased aggression, as well as some central nervous system depression. Many Vets use Ivermecten for generalized cases of mange.

Do a search on Ivermectin and Amtrak and it being a trigger for immune-mediated diseases. These medicines are members of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor group; and when they are used together their effects combine together creating sedation and adverse neurologic effects. In reality these chemicals/products only serve to keep the immune system in a weakened condition.

Conventional treatments may appear to work for a time however, at what expense to your dog's health? Conventional treatments only address and suppress the symptoms and do not actually cure or take care of the source of the symptoms - the cause! Since conventional veterinary medicine relies heavily on a highly toxic methods of treatment, and suppressed immune function is the cause of demodectic outbreaks, please think this through consider a safe and natural alternative.

Using a combination of a raw, species appropriate diet and naturally sourced supplements (not processed, synthetically bases) you can support the immune system while it strengthens and gets things under control.

Immune suppressed dogs especially require a * raw meat, organ and bone based diet so that the digestive system and of course the immune system (70% - 80% of the immune system is housed in the digestive tract) is not further stressed.
* If you can not feed a raw diet for some reason, please consider feeding a freeze dried or dehydrated raw diet with no grains or vegetables in it; such as ZiwiPeak

Remember, mites feed on the yeast living in the body, and systemic yeast feed on nutritional yeast and sugars (carbohydrates/vegetables and grains). If you want to break the cycle and weaken or starve the systemic yeast so that the mites are not able to colonize in the pores. Then do NOT feed grains or vegetables in the diet (NO WHEAT, OATS, CORN, BARLEY, MILLET OR YEAST OF ANY KIND which includes brewers or nutritional yeast). Feed only what our carnivore companions are designed to eat: meat, bones and organs (if you currently feed any vegetables or fruits, you will want to stop feeding them all together) -- in other words, only foods that do not readily turn to sugar within the system. Click HERE to read about how to prevent yeast growth in your dogs.

Antioxidants are crucial at this time for the immune system.

Proanthocyanidins appear to potentiate the immune system via enhancement of T-lymphocyte activity and modulation of neutrophil and macrophage responses). Antioxidants also decrease various chemicals (histamine, interleukin, tumor necrosis factor) that cause cell damage. Because antioxidants minimize damage to cells, they are useful whenever disease is present and immune support is needed.

Some good antioxidant sources are:
Medicinal Mushrooms
Omega 3s found in Fish Oil (Dr. Jeannie recommends Wild Salmon Oil) or SeaLogix Omega 3 Fish Oil

Chinese Wolf Berry, also known as Goji berry, according to an independent laboratory test is known have the highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) rating. This test was developed by USDA researchers at Tufts University. NingXia Red Juice is the highest antioxidant product on the market.
" While Noni juice ranks 1,506 on the ORAC scale, NingXia Red Juice sports a record-high 4,214 antioxidant level. )

The following herbs or other supplements are also highly recommened to boost the immune system.

The role of the intestinal tract in nutrient absorption is well recognized. However, the micro-flora that naturally inhabit the intestinal tract and their vital role in maintaining normal functioning of the gut and immune system are often overlooked. The intestinal tract and its flora (good bacteria)is most often the first line of defense for the body and must be in good balance and working order for the animal to maintain a healthy immune response.

Enzymes are the foundation of energy and the life force in all living things. They are responsible for building, detoxifying, and healing the body. They are also the force that allows your body to digest and absorb food. Enzymes also regulate tens of thousands of other biochemical functions that take place in the body every day. Even thinking involves "enzymes". Without enzymes, seeds would not sprout, fruit would not ripen, leaves would not change color, and life would not exist.

Science has now confirmed (LEL) Low Enzyme Levels as the world's #1 killer, based on the late Dr. Edward Howell's 40-year research covering more than 700 worldwide studies.


Healing Frequencies of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
When disease and illness are present, they may manifest as chemical imbalances. But underlying this is an electromagnetic imbalance that has altered the specific vibrational frequencies of the very molecules, cells, tissues and organs within the body.

Speaking again of energetic or electrical frequencies, Dr. Royal R. Rife, a brilliant physician and scientist in the 1920’s, found that every health disorder has a frequency, and that certain high frequencies can prevent further development of these disorders, by raising the body’s frequency. (It is believed that all health disorders have a low frequency).

Clinical research shows that essential oils have the highest electrical/energetic frequency of any natural substance known to man and when used in conjunction with the laws of health/nature, they have the ability to create an environment in which bacteria, virus, fungus, etc. cannot thrive.

A substance with a higher frequency such as essential oils can raise a lower frequency due to the principle of entrainment – the tendency for two oscillating bodies to lock into phase so that they vibrate in harmony. This principle is key to understanding the effect essential oils can have on the electromagnetic frequency and balancing the immune system.

If you learning more about essential oils, and their use with pets, you may be interested in going HERE

AVOID STRESS Along with a raw meat, organs and bone diet with naturally sourced supplements, it is very important that the dog/puppy is able to avoid stress and get plenty of rest but still some good daily exercise. Time outside in the sunshine and fresh air is very therapeutic.

Essential oils are also wonderful for easing stress and relaxing the puppy. :-)

Consider the degree of sensitivity of the raw skin and/or open sores. If your dog is very sore and sensitive, you can diffuse some Essential Oils known for their calming qualities ( Caution use ONLY pure, therapeutic grade essential oils such as Young Livingsuch as Lavender, Peace & Calming, etc.) before you use any topical solutions.

CAUTION:Often you will see lemon juice or apple cider vinegar recommended to be applied to the skin - this can be VERY painful with open sores. Young Living essential oils and oil blends will actually ease the discomfort.

I will list a few more natural remedies/treatments you may want to try.

Grapefruit Seed Extract


Combine Colostrum with Oxy-Doc to form a paste and apply to sores

Mix a combination of one part lavender oil, one part Neem oil, OR Young Living's Purification blend to 9 parts almond oil or virgin coconut oil. Apply to sores and infected areas.

The recommendations in this article are general suggestions regarding caring for your pet naturally. It is important to look at each pet individually and determine what works best for YOUR pet. We have a great online Do It Yourself Total Wellness Program For Pets available for less than the cost of an office call and exam with a veterinarian. Click here to learn more

Or, you may want to highly consider having a one on one consultation. A consultation will include a personalized diet and holistic program suggestions, all custom-tailored to your pet's personal needs. This is particularly imperative in pets with complicated health issues, or if you've asked advice from online forums or done outside reading and have conflicting information.


Each of these will further damage the immune system.

Copyright 2003 - 2013 This article is the sole property of Dr Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason and The Whole (Wholistic) Dog. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.

Important Disclaimer:
I have provided these articles/information as a source of reference and education only. I cannot be held responsible for misadventure from the misuse of the products featured or any therapeutic method mentioned within this Website. If there is any doubt regarding any treatments or products mentioned, then please acquire a consult or seek out a qualified natural animal health practitioner.

Contact Us

Email: [email protected]
Phone: Pacific Time (California) 9:00 Am - 5:00PM Monday- Friday
Mail: Dr Jeannie Thomason
The Whole Dog
P.O. Box 1637
Cottonwood, CA 96022

The purpose and general goal of the veterinary naturopathic consultation services offered by Jeannie (Jeanette) Thomason, V.N.D., is to educate the client about their animals’ body systems in relation to function and ability pertaining to maintenance of overall homeostasis (balance) through the removal of various, and typically specific, obstacles to their health, thereby encouraging the body’s own natural healing processes.

Jeannie Thomason, V.N.D. does not function as a traditional allopathic veterinarian by diagnosing disease, treating disease, or performing invasive procedures, nor do her services replace that of a traditional licensed allopathic veterinarian.
The information offered by Jeannie Thomason, V.N.D., is intended to provide general guidance and education. Nothing on this website, or during a consultation, constitutes traditional allopathic veterinary advice. Always consult with a licensed veterinarian before undertaking any course of treatment for your animal, or changing treatments or medications your veterinarian has already prescribed.

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*DISCLAIMER The information contained on this web site is intended as education/information only. It is not intended to replace your veterinarian. Please use your good judgement.
Thank you