Signs of demodectic mange are those of hair loss without itch. It occurs among dogs three to twelve months of age and is caused by a tiny mite, Demodex canis, too small to be seen without a microscope.
     Most dogs acquire Demodex mange mites early in life from their mothers. This usually does not cause a problem. All the factors responsible for symptomatic skin disease are not fully understood. It is known that Demodex mites are able to produce a substance that lowers an animal's natural resistance to them, allowing them to multiply on the host. Several kennels have reported that some females have a higher incidence of Demodex mange in their litters than others. This would suggest that in some purebred dogs there is a lowered immunity to the mites.

     [We would like to add, at this point, that demodex is usually prompted from anything that stresses the animal and lowers it's natural immunity. Stress is the common cause when a dog or puppy suddenly breaks out with demodex within days of changing homes or when a female goes through a heat cycle at or before 1 year of age. It has been linked with an "immature  immune system". In Chihuahuas, the immune system may not be fully mature until approximately 3 years of age. The presence of an active case of demodex in an immature dog or bitch is not an automatic marker to have the animal spayed or neutered. Demodex can be totally reversed by administering Tea Tree Oil to the skin and injections of Immuno-reglin which boosts the immune system. When the immune system rebounds, the disease will spontaneously heal itself. Once the immune system is fully mature, the decision for sterilization can be made.]

     The disease is more common in short-haired dogs with oily skins. Symptoms appear at puberty. At this time, sebum, which mites feed on, is increasing in amount.
     Demodectic mange can take one of two forms:

Localized Form
     This occurs in dogs up to one year of age. It begins as thinning of the hair around the eyelids, the lips and corners of the mouth and front legs, giving a moth-eaten appearance. (Some people will mistake a chihuahua's natural changing of coat at about 12 weeks of age for demodex) It progresses to patches of hair loss about one inch in diameter (which may be confused with ringworm). If more than five patches are present, the disease could be progressing to the generalized form. After one or two months the hair begins to grow back. In three months most cases are healed.
     Treatment: A topical preparation such as Canex or Goodwinol (Tea Tree Oil from the health food store) can be used to shorten the course. Many cures attributed to drugs probably are  spontaneous recoveries. Watch closely to be sure that localized form is not progressing to the generalized type.

     Something NEW and totally Natural    And from personal experience----IT WORKS!
     We recently learned from personal experience just how frustrating demodex can be. And everyone should know that our problems were NOT linked to a problem in our breeding lines but was in fact a direct result and side effect from over exposure to Frontline Flea and Tick Spray. Fipronil is the active ingredient in Frontline (and some others) and while eveything on the label will say it is safe for warm blooded animals, PAY ATTENTION, it can cause reoccuring cases of demodectic mange in future offspring. Fipronil crosses the placenta. It has also been proven to reduce reproduction in breeding animals to 67%. It can cause sterility and in some cases death. It is absorbed into the sabaceous glands within the first 24 hours after treatment. Sebum secreted from these glands is what demodectic mange mites live on and multiply from. But don't despair! ! !  It can be cured----permanently.
     Recipe for spray.   This works. Take the peeling from 4 lemons and bring to a boil in one quart of hot water. Boil for approx. 20 minutes. Remove from stove and let cool. Pour into glass jar or container with an airtight lid and let it stand for at least 2 days. Leave the peels in this solution while it ages. Then strain into a spray bottle and spray the animal at least every other day. You can see a marked difference in 11 days. This is a homemade formula for D-Lemonene. I am currently using it on a bitch that had generalized form so bad that she had hardly no hair left on her body. At present, she looks like a fuzz ball and is getting better every day. A Vet would have taken one look at her and recommended she be put down. She is on her way to a full recovery.

Generalized Form
     This starts out as a localized case but instead of improving it gets worse. Numerous patches appear on the head, legs and trunk. The patches coalesce to form large areas of hair loss. Hair follicles become plugged with mites and debris. Skin breaks down to form sores, crusts and draining sinus tracts---presenting a most severe and disabling condition.
     Treatment: Treatment is prolonged and response is slow, requiring frequent changes in medication. Cure is not always possible.
      Cultures from infected skin sores will determine the most effective antibiotic. Cortisone is contraindicated because it may depress the dogs immunity to the mites, making the condition worse. Generalized demodectic mange should be treated under veterinary supervision.