Is there anything I can do to alleviate demodex symptoms between Mitaban dips?

We rescued an 8 week old basenji mix puppy 3 weeks ago. After having her for 2 weeks we discovered she had roundworms (though the rescue says she had been de-wormed). A few days after seeing the vet we noticed a small loss of fur around her eyes and the next day she had thinning hair on her forehead. We took her to the vet immediately and found out she had demodex mange. She was given a Mitaban dip and we were told she would need to come back every 2 weeks for several treatments until we had 2 negative scrapes for mites. As we left the vet told us that she could possibly get worse before she gets betters, including reddened skin and bumps. This morning (2 days after her dip) she is definitely worse and now has bumps, scabs and a few sores. It is Sunday so I plan on calling the vet tomorrow first thing because I fear she may have gotten a secondary infection that requires antibiotics.

My question is: Though I plan to continue with the vet’s treatment plan, I wonder if there is any SAFE things I can do at home to alleviate the symptoms? I can tell she is uncomfortable because she doesn’t want to play, sleeps and cuddles a lot, itches herself, and pulls away if I try to touch her head (where there appears to be bumps/sores). I have coconut oil and I wonder if it would be okay to dab a little of that on her scabs since it is safe to ingest. I don’t feel comfortable using benadryl or cortisone cream without my doctor’s approval. And even though my doctor did not mention anything about whether or not she could be bathed in between dips, I have read online that you should probably not get them wet in between. Like I said, we will be seeing him tomorrow, I just wonder if there’s something I can do today.

First Reply:

Answer by cat & jo
I wouldn’t use anything topical without consulting with the Vet first. You can ask him or her about adding an Omega 3 fish oil capsule to her food, too. Also ask your Vet about ester-C as a supplement. Both help bolster the immune system and that can help with demodex mange since it breaks out when the immune system is lowered. Ask if you can give her something to help alleviate the itching as well as how much you can give her. There are some over the counter meds and there are scripts that your Vet can recommend.


  1. Daniel says

    The demodex should go away without treatment as the dog gets older.

    You can try putting some Benadryl lotion on her. Keep it in the refrigerator as it will be more soothing if it is cold. It is safe and may help the itching.

  2. A Great Dane Lady says

    I have one who has demodex.
    I did not do the dips. The problem is a faulty immune system that lets the mites take over. I choose to try and boost the immune system with probiotics and vitamins. I also gave a little olive oil every day till the hair grew back.
    What started all this was a single parvo shot. Vaccines lower immunity so they can work. I don’t allow any more vaccines for my guys. He hasn’t had an outbreak since the first one.

  3. anne b says

    Your vet is scamming you for money, and dips are very harsh and hard on a weakened immune system, especially for a puppy, so he is putting your dogs life at risk, too.

    Find a better vet and get a second opinion. Small does of oral ivermectin over the course of a few weeks can cure without harming your dog. In the meantime, get your pup on a high quality immune boosting diet and possibly a immune booster vitamin.

    The skin is red and irritated because the chemicals are so harsh. Put your dog in t-shirts so she won’t scratch and make scar tissue that doesn’t grow hair back.