Okay, many of you may remember that the day before yesterday we took Kenai in to the vet because he has a few dry flaky spots on his head where his hair is falling out. Well, after a scraping and testing, it turns out he has a puppy mite(can't remember the name, it starts with a D) The vet said it is not contagious to people or the other animals and so we have medicine to put on everyday for 3 weeks! He said it was a puppy immune problem, not our fault. He said that they are born with them and one thing or another can get them active. He said that it is typical between a puppy between 6 and 12 months old. I am so glad we caught this early.
Demodectic mange occurs only when a dog's immune system can't fight the mites that cause it (most dogs have the mites- but their immune systems can fight them). In young dogs- it's generally an inherited condition- but small localized areas may not be.
If you plan on breeding Kenai (and I won't go into my personal feelings here)... you really should talk to your vet about NOT medicating. A dog with a small localized infestation will fight it off as his immune system matures. A dog who is predisposed genetically to the condition will usually develop a generalized case- it will spread to other parts of their body. Obviously, in this case- the dog should NOT be part of a breeding program.
Most vets will allow a week or two for the dog's immune system to kick in if they understand that determining inheritability of the condition is important (ie- if they know the dog is part of a breeding program). If you treat it before he's had a chance to fight it off himself, you can't safely say that it's NOT a genetic condition that can be passed on to his offspring.
The vet said that he really had a small case and that there were not many there. Kenai doesn't seem to be affected really. He is not itching more than normal(he scratches at his harness all the time, he doesn't like it)