Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Reviews of Home Remedies for Mange

If you have a dog who you think may have Mange or are planning on adopting one from a shelter (places that are often full of this disease), you may want to read this information and keep it handy.

I want to thank several recent viewers for their recent suggestions on complimenteary medical treatments for Carmella. I took a long look the other night at what's out there in the way of home remedies and found some useful information I'd like to pass along.

One cream to treat the itching I was given a link to mixed both natural herbs and Hydrocortisone together. The natural ingredients would be no problem for Carmella but the Hydrocortisone is steroid-based and my reading suggests that any steroid could weaken her immune system in the long-term. Also this cream did not claim to actually kill the mites. I was particularly interested in remedies that do and in how they work.

There were several remedies out there that looked quite promising, some of which had pages and pages of positive reports. I've included the safest and (as far as I can tell) the most effective in this post, although there are some comparisons mentioned with agents that I would not recommend putting on your dog (such as Pyrethrum or Pine Sol).

One is a combination of Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax called Ted's Mange Cure.

Here is the exact formula below for any of you who might need it for your dogs now or in the future. (Re-printed from this site http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/dog_mange_cure.html with slight correction for grammar and clarity. The originator is from Thailand);

Ted from Bangkok, Thailand writes, "The best cure for dog mange is to mix a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution with water and add borax. Dissolve thoroughly. Wash the dog with it once a week. Do NOT WASH THE solution left on the dog with ANY WATER. Do not wipe the dog dry. The solution will take effect on mange. The treatment period should not be longer than a month or two. The dog will probably not be resistant as the treatment is painless. This has worked well for me."

More Exact Measurements (excerpted from various emails on our Reader Question & Answer Section)

Ted replies, "A definitive recipe is add 1-2 tablespoon of borax per 500 cc of 1% hydrogen peroxide solution. To make a 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1%, roughly get one part of 3% H2O2 plus two parts of water. Then apply them on the dog. Wash with this solution daily, no rinsing. If it doesn't go away, I have found mites, or mange to have a large "beehive" hidden somewhere. In which case, quarantine the dog in a small area that is 100% sterile."

"Approximate measurements are 1 bottle of 500 of 3% H2O2, plus 1000 of the cc of water, plus heaping 3 tablespoons of borax. Stir until most of borax is dissolved. The borax is past the point of saturation here so you will see some borax around. Technically the concentration is around 1.5% H2O2, and this is a bit stronger because by the time we finish with it, the H2O2 gets reacted with other things, and by the time we used it is is usually ends up near a 1% solution anyway."

"You need to get put as much borax until it no longer dissolves in a pail of water and forms a precipitate. This is a saturated solution of borax. Add H2O2 to about 1% concentration to a pail of water. Soak the entire dog, several times. Keep the dog wet for some time. The borax will destroy the eggs from laying under the skin which causes the mange. Get some solution and spray or use this to wipe all floors so the dog will not get re infected. Repeat this every week when bathing.

This is not a perfect cure, but my dog now no longer has mange. My dog was completely cured. You can try other chemicals such as sodium perborate, which is more convenient since you don't need to add the hydrogen peroxide."

"The solution (borax or preferably sodium perborate) is to be applied AFTER the shampooing and rinsing. The sodium perborate should remain on the dog after the bath. You will not rinse this at all. It must remain on the dog throughout the day so that it will act continuously on the bugs."

"However, I do recommend a less toxic form of borax, which is sodium perborate if you can find one. The secret is that borax (plus hydrogen peroxide) will work better then most other remedies I have tried, this includes mineral oil, neem oil (no, neem oil does not kill the mange as effectively as sodium perborate) I have tried it in my "mange colonies", and commercial brands to kill insects don't work. Hydrogen peroxide DOES NOT KILL mange, I USED IT SIMPLY USED IT AS A CATALYST for ordinary borax in case you cannot obtain sodium perborate. Mineral oils simply prevent oxygen from reaching mange, but that didn't stop it. I have tried naphta, bentonite clays, DMSO, potassium permanganate, light fluid, etc. They all worked temporarily, and it just came back. I must make a strong statement that the formula (borax+h2o2 or sodium perborate) works bests and it is broad spectrum. You can use it to control mange, mites, fleas, and lyme disease (initiated by those crawly insects).

I have actually compared side to side with neem oil, mineral oil, apple cider vinegar and others here in Bangkok and this is the most wide spectrum cure I have found. Borax prevents denaturation of DNA/RNA in dogs and I currently use this as life extension for dogs. For example a ribose sugar, deoxyribose sugar, and various sugar that causes accelerated aging in dogs can be slowed down with supplementation of dogs indirectly when you do the borax wash. "

"Prepare peroxide 1% solution, add 2-3 tablespoon of borax to that cup. Stir and wait for a couple of minutes for the borax to dissolve. The formula doesn't require an exact science. The importance is to add enough borax until the solution is no longer soluble and well past saturation."

"...The reason why it is not working is YOU CANNOT RINSE THE DOG OF borax and peroxide solution with any shampoo or water. After bathing the dog, keep the dog that way, no drying no rinsing. This is why the dog has not improved. Also BORAX is added DIRECTLY to the 1% hydrogen peroxide solution and no water is added separately, otherwise the solution is too weak."

TED'S UPDATE7/12/2006: "I have reviewed all the dog's mange treatments both by my own tests and by many contributors. It appears that many people have trouble obtaining materials, such as sodium perborate hydrate, so I revised the remedy to hydrogen peroxide plus borax solution applied only once or so every week. The solution of sodium perborate hydrate is very much similar when borax and hydrogen peroxide is added. Some have either substituted hydrogen peroxide with benzoyl peroxide.

The problem about benzoyl peroxide is the upper limit by which you can use it without effect the dog as it is somewhat more toxic if given beyond a 10% concentration. 5% is usually a safe concentration. Benzoyl peroxide because of its toxicity is somewhat of an insecticide, while hydrogen peroxide is not, what it is in the original formulation is that it is a penetrant allowing the borax to go through the skin. Now some did not like hydrogen peroxide due to its limited supplies, so they make use of apple cider vinegar. For me a regular vinegar will do. Both a vinegar and hydrogen peroxide has two similarities. It is both a penetrant and when added with a safe insecticidal material such as borax, which has an toxicity on LD 50 equivalent to that of salt, this is the preferred method. However, one should not use boric acid since there are reported deaths associated with boric acid but not borax.

Boric acid is not recommended for use as it is much more toxic than borax. Borax's toxicity is about 3000 mg/kg, which is the equivalent toxicity to about that of salt. (check wikipedia). The idea is to make a solution of borax so that the solution can cover the entire body and penetrate through the skin of the dog to kill the demodex mites, for example. To use a spot treatment by pure powder will take an infinitely long time as it does not get to it through the dog's skin.

In some cases, people have tried neem oil, mineral oil. Both of these have similar effectiveness, but in different ways. Neem oil prevents the Demodex fleas from laying eggs by modifying their hormones, while mineral oils are moderately toxic only to the demodex eggs, not necessarily killing them. However, both are very limited based on my tests in really killing the insect. You see, borax will both kill the eggs, modifying the hormones and their eggs by drying them all at once. The weakness of borax is limited solubility and limited penetration of the skin which you need either vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, benzoyl peroxide (toxic), MSM or DMSO solution. Ideally 10% DMSO should be preferred.

Pine Sol has limited insecticidal effectiveness, being a contact insecticidal, and does not provide lasting killing power once it has evaporated and does not kill living fleas, but it does kill their eggs somewhat. Only a fairly concentrated solution works and it does not prevent re-laying of stray eggs by the dog. In other words, the use of neem oil, mineral oil, benzoyl peroxide, and vaseline will not prevent the recurring of mange since eggs are not just on the dog, but can be anywhere in the house. Therefore re-infection is at issue. The one magic that borax has over its neighbors is that the borax powder that the dogs leaves in the house will kill the eggs even after the dogs no longer has mange and re-infection is therefore next to impossible. However, borax has limited effect on killing the larger mites and fleas, but not mange.

I found that adding 1/8 teaspoon per liter of water of borax added to the dog's water will cause the larger fleas to dry up and die at the same time. My dog for some reason likes to eat something like more than 1 gram of the sodium perborate crystals whenever he feels sick and the fleas just die off. The borax modifies the dog's blood and kills the mange inside out. This is why borax, i.e., sodium perborate, is required for mange, but not anything else due to preventive re-infection of the mange by the powder of the borax that destroys the eggs where the dog sleeps and where it walks around throughout the house.

VASELINE: The problem about using vaseline as an insecticide is that it has limited killing of eggs, but its weakness is that it is not a penetrant, and therefore the frequency of applications will take at least once every other day. Additionally, the hair of the dog will prevent proper application.
Some have went so far as to not use a solution of borax with hydrogen peroxide as a rinse then followed likely, perhaps a borax powder after bath. On the argument of being effective only as a spot treatment. Since dogs do not have sweat glands, not using a rinse will prevent the borax from absorbing into the skin to kill the mange under its skin. So this is not going to work. You need both borax as an insecticide, the water as the solution which to spread it to the skin surface, and a reliable penetrant to get it through the skin, such as vinegar, msm, DMSO, or even hydrogen peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is both a penetrant and insecticide, but at higher concentration is somewhat toxic for dogs and as a result you are pretty much limited by the maximum concentration not to exceed beyond 5% being a preferred safety. I would prefer to limit myself at 3%.
I therefore suggest, not to get you lost in the woods, is that whatever formulation you use, always stick with borax and borax derivatives, such as sodium perborate monohydrate being the main insecticidal chemicals for the dog.

Pyrethrum is o.k. but in very low concentration of about 0.1% - 0.2% to prevent skin irritation for the dogs near the skin infection areas. The second mix you need is always the penetrant and the third formulation is appropriate dilutions in water. To provide lasting killing effect, non of these chemicals should generally be non-volatile insecticidal mixtures, which unfortunately most recommended are, with exception of perhaps borax and bentonite. Bentonite causes eggs to dry, so they can be used also, but they have no insecticidal mixture as borax and borax can performs both killing the insect, modifying the hormones to prevent egg laying, becomes a stomach poison for the insect, and at the same time causes their eggs to dry up.

I therefore will remain very flexible about what penetrants you use including hydrogen peroxide, benzoyl peroxide (limited concentration), and vinegar. It must be noted that when formulating any mange it must be noted that they must be non-volatile and the chemicals should cause microscopic residues around the house so that re infection of mange is prevented, including mites and fleas.

I think this wraps up the basic theory and application of mange treatment, and hopefully other people will make a more effective formulations in the future at least equal or better than the original formula I have proposed. Just want to tell you that there are many ways you can treat mange, but the issue is one of toxicity, re infection, toxic levels, which portion kills it and how, and which is the penetrant (which is the key to it all).

Penetrant is important, the chemical must reach the target demodex under the skin. Usually hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, DMSO, and MSM will do that. It must be reminded again that borax, to work most effectively, must be prepared with the penetrant as a solution without washing it off, followed by a small amount of borax powder to be applied if you wish.

Other applications other than this such as using as purely powder form is NOT going to work."

500 cc = 1 pint or 16 ounces.

1000 cc = 1 quart or 32 ounces.


I also found another remedy using lemon. The principle of both these remedies is the same; to dry out the Mange mites so that they could no longer live in her skin.


Topical Lemon Solution

3 Lemons/Qt. of boiling water
(or fresh, organic lemon juice)

Thinly slice 3 lemons and add to 1 quart boiling water
Let steep overnight
Strain and store in refrigerator
Pour or spray on dog’s patchy areas 2 X/day



10-15 drops high quality Lavender essential oil
½ oz. Almond or Jojoba oil

Apply twice/day to affected areas

Diet: Feed 100% grain free raw, whole food diet with addition of a good quality fish-body/wild salmon oil EFA and natural Vitamin E. Give 100 IU Vit E for every 1,000 mg of Salmon Oil.

If the animal is severely disabled/ill, or new to a raw diet, add a high quality digestive enzyme and probiotic supplement. If they are too ill to tolerate a raw diet, then feed a home-prepared cooked diet using fresh foods until they can tolerate raw. As much as possible, feed only pastured, organic, and grass-finished meats.


For maintenence I found that these supplements were recommended to prevent Mange overgrowth once it is treated:

* Zinc, in the form of either raw, ground pumpkin seeds or chelated Zinc tablet, 10 to 30 milligrams/day

* Vitamin C, 250-1000mgs twice/day

* 100 to 400 IU of Vitamin E daily (discontinue use before surgery)

* ½ to 3 teaspoons of Lecithin/day

Carmella's mange actually began drying up 2 days after she'd had the dip at the vet's and some of the scabbiness and dead skin began flaking off. I wondered whether I could give her a bath with her regular shampoo to wash away the excess debris. I called Dr. Norwood's office and spoke with Gwen who was answeing the phone and she told me that I should hold off on giving her any baths in between these treatment as it could water down the effectiveness of the dip.

It occurred to me that I better wait before tring the Borax and Hydrogen Peroxide because they recommend basically bathing the dog in it, so in the meantime I'm trying the lemon, just dabbing it on with a soaked paper towel. That shouldn't water down the effectiveness of the dip and hopefully it will help heal her faster.

Last night I found a really good deal at DickBlick.com for the cold-pressed Arches 140 Lb. watercolor paper block to start my Carmella series on. The pages are 12 X 16", so these paintings are going to be pretty substantial. They'll be a good size to put on a bedroom or livingroom wall. I can hardly wait to get started!



designsbyone said...

Oh my Carmella!! You are SOOO cute and what a precious little expresion on your face :) I hope you continue to get better

Giftbearer said...

Thanks! Keep reading.