Demodex red mite mange in bulldogs is a microscopic skin mite that can be found in the English Bulldog, American Bulldog and French Bulldog puppy and adult and is seen in other dog breeds as well. In some pets like immune-sensitive English bulldog and French bulldog puppies and the immune-compromised adults, Demodex red mite mange can cause mild to severe skin disease.
Demodex red mite mange in bulldogs and French bulldogs are categorized in the literature in two forms. The first form is “localized” and the second is “generalized.” The “localized” red mite form, also known as “puppy demodicosis or juvenile demodicosis,” is usually the result of your bulldog and french bulldog puppy’s immature immune system. Therefore, in most cases, the infestation is self-limited and of short duration. The most common skin presentation of a bulldog puppy with localized demodicosis is a patch of lost hair which can be resolved with oral and topical treatment, but will oftentimes clear up with time (i.e. adulthood and maturation).
In contrast, the bulldog red mite “generalized” form, also known as bulldog “adult demodicosis,” is usually the result of an underlying immune compromised disease. Pets with the red mite adult form are typically immune suppressed due to an underlying medical condition such as a hormonal imbalance, metabolic disease, chronic stress, malnourishment, as well as the result of therapy with immune suppressant drugs. As expected, English bulldog and French bulldog generalized demodicosis could be much more difficult to treat. Bulldogs and French bulldogs suffering from the adult form of red mite demodectic mange will usually present with a secondary pyoderma (bacterial skin infection) as well as a secondary yeast infection, persistent aggravating itch, and sometimes a strong, unpleasant dermal odor. Demodicosis red mite skin disease in bulldogs and other pets is diagnosed by the clinical presentation and a positive microscopic finding on the skin sample acquired from the patient.
Demodex red mite mange in bulldogs and French bulldogs maintenance therapy is:
In 20 years of practice, I have seen only a handful of cases of generalized adult demodicosis in all other canine breeds, while in comparison, I diagnose and treat a few bulldog and french bulldog puppies each week with skin disease due to demodex red mites. While some of those bulldogs are stressed, abused, malnourished rescue cases, many others are well cared for, privately owned bulldogs. Thus, I believe that there is a genetic predisposition of bulldogs to contract these mites.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip #1: The bulldog Demodex canis red mites are NOT considered to be contagious to your other pets or family members.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip #2: The bulldog demodectic red mite juvenile onset and the generalized form of demodicosis is much more common in bulldogs then in most other dog breeds. We believe that there is a genetically inherent predisposition.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip #3: If your bulldog was diagnosed with demodicosis, you should consider running some general diagnostic tests in order to rule out an underlying immune suppressant disease like hypothyroidism, hyper adrenal disease, chronic parasitic infestation, etc.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip #4: : If your bulldog was diagnosed with demodicosis, the medical records should be reviewed to determine if any immune suppressant drugs, like steroids (cortisone), have been used recently.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip#5: Your bulldog puppy should have additional scrapings examined in order to monitor the response to therapy every few weeks.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip#6: I usually recommend two negative scrapings done a few weeks apart before saying that the clinical condition is resolved.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip #7: Even after your bulldog is clinically improved and taken off the ivermectin, I usually recommend continuing immune booster supplements like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Immune Support and V4B fish oil for a few additional months.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip #8: There are a few flea control preventatives, like Bravecto, that have shown some ability to also control the red mite. I always start demodicosis cases on those flea control medications and continue using them year-round, even after the condition had been resolved.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip #9: To avoid adverse effects when treating with ivermectin, I always start at the lowest dosage. If your bulldog has shown no adverse effects, I will incrementally increase the dosage every 7 days.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Tip #10: Most bulldogs with juvenile puppy demodicosis are not itchy, at least not early on. They typically present with only a focal or multifocal baldness, sometimes with additional scaling and redness.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Warning #1: Due to the underlying disease associated with the generalized form of bulldog demodicosis, relapses after discontinuation of the treatment is not uncommon, thus therapy might be necessary for an extended period.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Warning #2: Because demodicosis red mite skin disease is due to an immune system that is compromised, you should avoid treating your bulldog with any immune suppressant drugs. The most common mistakes I see in my practice are bulldogs whose symptoms were misdiagnosed as “allergies dermatitis” and injected or prescribed steroids (cortisones) for itch control.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Warning #3: If your adult female or male bulldog was diagnosed with demodicosis skin mites, you should consider neutering or spaying them since we believe that there is a genetically inherited predisposition to the disease.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Warning #4: The use of ivermectin is forbidden in some breeds like collies, shelties and Australian shepherds due to high-risk, life threatening, adverse effects . In bulldogs, adverse effects are rare and limited in their severity when usage is stopped in a timely manner.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Warning #5: You should be familiar the adverse effects of ivermectin. Even though they are rare, when observed they most often manifest as nausea, wobbliness, stumbling, tiredness and lethargy. I have seen a case of temporary blindness. All of the above adverse effects are reversed once the ivermectin therapy is stopped. I have never seen a long-lasting side effect due to treatment with ivermectin.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Warning #6: I recommend continuing the medications for a minimum of three months. Owner compliance is critical in order to avoid relapse and drug resistance.
Dr. Kraemer’s Demodicosis Red Mite Mange in Bulldogs Warning #7: Remember, that besides the eradication of the mites, it is vital to address the secondary bacterial skin infections and ensure that no concurrent diseases exist that could impair your bulldog’s ability to respond to treatment.
*This guide was compiled courtesy of Dr. Kraemer, a “must read” manual for any current or future bully owner