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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Walking Dandruff (Cheyletiella Mange)




Condition Overview

Cheyletiella mange is a highly contagious skin disease that affects young puppies. These mites live on the surface of the skin and die within 10 days without a host.


Cheyletiella mites are usually found along the back, but occasionally infest other parts of the body. The signs are a red bumpy rash along with a large amount of flaky skin in the hair coat. The condition is also called walking dandruff because when you look at these skin flakes, you may see them moving. This movement is actually caused by the mites moving around under the scales of the skin.


It is caused by large reddish mites that infest kennels and pet shops.


The diagnosis is made by finding mites or eggs in dandruff scrapings collected with a flea comb or sticky tape. In some cases the mites or eggs cannot be seen, and the diagnosis depends on the animal's response to therapy.

Suspect this condition if you find heavy dandruff over the neck and back of a recently acquired puppy or kitten. Itching may be intense to complete absent.


All animals who have been in contact with the affected dog must be treated to eliminate mites from the kennel and household. Pyrethrin shampoos and 2% lime-sulfur dips (LymDyp) are effective in killing cheyletiella mites. Follow the directions on the label. Treat weekly for 6 - 8 weeks. If the mites are resistant, seek veterinary advice as other treatments are available.

Other dogs and cats in the house should be treated as well.


Clean and spray the dog's quarters with a residual insecticide appropriate for killing adult fleas. Repeat this every 2 weeks during the treatment period.


Please contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet may have this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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