How to keep mange out of shelters

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:

Accompanying ANIMAL PEOPLE on shelter visits in the Chennai area was Ved Joshi, DVM, from far distant Himachal Pradesh, who rode the train for two days in each direction to discuss opportunities to take an advanced course of study in wildlife medicine in the U.S. this fall. Joshi would then return to India to teach others.

Joshi turned out to be a most valuable escort, because he knew an inexpensive way to keep mange out of animal shelters. “The insecticide Malathion can be safely used for mange control when recommended doses are employed on the animal and premises,” Joshi explained at each stop. “The product we use is Cythion, which contains 50% Malathion as its active component. The recommended dilution ratio for a dog-dipping solution or cleaning cages and floors is one part of Malathion to 1,000 parts of water, i.e., one millilitre of Malathion to each one litre of water. The
dog’s entire body is dipped in the solution until the hair and skin are wet, and the dog’s head is treated by sponging the solution over the head and face. Infections by sarcoptic and psoroptic mange mites will be cured with a single dip. Two or three dips, seven to ten days apart, should be sufficient for treatment of demodectic mange; however, while demodectic mange is not contagious, it is very hard to completely cure, and it can recur later. Collars, leashes, and bedding materials should also be dipped in the solution, to eliminate all possible sources of infection. Each newly arrived dog should be dipped before admission to the kennels to prevent reinfection outside.

“This dip will control other ecto-parasites, such as ticks and lice,” Joshi advises, “and can also be used with cattle,
buffalo, sheep, and goats.” If any animal accidentally ingests enough dip to become ill, a relatively rare occurrence, Joshi recommends administering atropine sulphate at a ratio of from 0.2 to 0.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. “A fourth of the dose should be given intravenously and the rest by the intramuscular route,” Joshi advises.

A shelter in India can be kept mange-free with Malathion dips and cage-and-floor-washing for as little as 50 rupees (under $1.00 U.S.) per week.

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