My Dog Looks Really Scruffy – Why?
There are a number of reasons why your dog might not be looking his best. It could be that he
managed to do a “Houdini” trick on you, escape from the garden and has had himself a good old
mud bath in the nearest puddle. It could also be that he’s long haired and due to the fact that he
gives you a slight show of his teeth when you come near him with a brush, he’s a little overdue some
grooming. However on a more serious note, he could be suffering from something like dog mange.
How do Dogs Get Mange?
This skin condition is caused by tiny mites that eventually burrow into the skin and there are a few
species out there. These mites can be found almost anywhere. They could be hiding in your pet’s
bedding, he can pick them up from various grasses or other plant life when he’s out for a walk and
they can even be found in the dirt.
What Are the Symptoms?
There are a couple of different types of dog mange, Sarcoptic and Demodetic. The first form will
usually present symptoms within about a week of an infestation of mites. The main thing to look out
for is that your pet is constantly scratching (and obviously bothered by it). If this is left untreated, it
won’t be long before lesions start to form and your poor little friend will start to lose his fur. This
type of problem is considered to be contagious so if you notice anything mentioned, take your pet to
the vet immediately.
The second form is caused by the Demodex canis mite and to your surprise this bug usually lives in
harmony with your dog and his skin. However, for animals that have a poor or developing immune
system, this mite can soon turn on them resulting in Demodetic mange. The symptoms for this also
include hair loss but, you may also see signs of redness around the face. This form however, is not
considered to be contagious.
How Is It Treated?
The trick is to take action the minute you notice anything unusual. Along with the physical symptoms
and a general look of unkemptness, your pet will more than likely not be very happy in himself. He
might not be so keen to go for a walk, play or even eat. If you notice anything like this, take him to
see the vet.
For the most part, this problem can be treated without too much of an issue. Depending on how
severe it is you may have to use a topical as well as an oral treatment for a while. Regular bathing
with a medicated shampoo will probably be advised as well.
Treatment could be oral, topical or a combination of both depending on the problem. Where there is
a lot of dog itching, treatment with an antifungal dog shampoo such as malaseb or DermOpt dog
shampoo, combined with malaseb wipes or DermOpt Coat Conditioning spray will not only relieve
the symptoms very quickly, but will tackle the underlying dog skin problems and get rid of the fleas,
dog ticks and mites that result in a dog with itchy skin. Is this the best dog shampoo for dog itchy
So, if you’re asking the question why does my dog look scruffy, the answer is probably somewhere
between the fact that he’s had a dust bath or, he’s suffering from something that needs a vet’s
Recognising a serious skin condition in your pet is critical to the overall health of your dog. If you
suspect something isn’t quite right, your first step should be to pay a visit to your local vet.