Dawa knew to be suffering from the dreaded dog disease, mange.

“I just don’t like the look of this dog”, he often heard people say. But it saddened him immensely how repulsed people felt about dogs in mange.

He thought that it was really not fair, as it was not the dog’s choice to get the disease in the first place, and it definitely was not in its power to cure itself.

Now, for the first time in his life, he wished he had an owner.

(cit. Dawa The story of a Stray Dog in Bhutan)

Mange is a class of skin diseases caused by parasitic mites. Since mites also infect plants, birds, and reptiles, the term “mange”, suggesting poor condition of the hairy coat due to the infection, is sometimes reserved only for pathological mite-infestation of nonhuman mammals. Thus, mange includes mite-associated skin disease in domestic animals (cats and dogs), in livestock (such as sheep scab), and in wild animals (for example, coyotes, cougars, and bears). Since mites belong to the arachnid subclass Acari (also called Acarina), another term for mite infestation is acariasis.

Parasitic mites that cause mange in mammals embed themselves either in skin or hair follicles in the animal, depending upon their genus. Sarcoptes spp. burrow into skin, while Demodex spp. live in follicles. In humans, these two types of mite infections, which would otherwise be known as “mange” in furry mammals, are instead known respectively as scabies and demodicosis. (wikipedia)


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