Treating Ringworm and Mange Holistically in Dogs

This protocol was created by Kasie Maxwell, founder of SF Raw Feeders

IMPORTANT NOTE: The below treatments are FOR DOGS ONLY. Some of the below protocols would not be safe for cats.

As for ringworm, use pretty much the same protocol, but you will want to be very fastidious about cleanliness as it is contagious to susceptible humans (other dogs and cats with **healthy immune systems** should be able to resist infection though).

I HIGHLY recommend consulting with a homeopath in either scenario, but especially for the ringworm.

There is also a difference for the topical treatment for ringworm. Instead of using the Lemon Skin Tonic or the Lavender EO blend, it is important to
clip the areas that are infected and to use the following blend for the patchy areas of ringworm infection:

  • 1/2 oz. Olive Oil
  • 200 IU natural Vitamin E
  • 1/2 tsp. high quality Tea Tree EO or Niaouli (MQV) EO

Alternatively, you could make the following decoction, using the whole plant of plantain (Plantago major) and goldenseal root powder:

Use 1/2 cup of chopped fresh plantain plant per every cup of spring or distilled water. Place the plantain and water into a glass or enameled pot. Boil about 5 minutes, remove from heat. Add 1 rounded tsp of goldenseal root powder per cup of water, then let the brew steep for 3 minutes, covered. Strain and cool. Massage this blend into the skin twice a day until the ringworm clears. This herbal treatment is best for use in young animals. The EO blend is only to be used on adult dogs and puppies over the age of 6 months.

I hope it helps!

“I have treated mange many, many times in rescue dogs without ever having to report to using the chemical treatments. I have minor cases like your dog has and treated severely neglected dogs with generalized demodex and deep, oozing staph infections so bad that the dog could not even use their legs. If your dog has a small area of demodex, it should be easy to treat with the following protocol…

Here’s what I do:

  1. Feed 100% grain-free raw diet with the addition of a good, high 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 they are severely disabled/ill, 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, use only pastured, organic and grass-finished meats.
  2. Do not vaccinate (this is huge! – the mange is almost always a direct result of puppy vaccines) or give any chemical “preventative” medications; heartworm, flea medication, etc.
  3. Plenty of daily outdoor exercise; for young dogs this usually means 1-2 hour off-leash hikes, beach walks and lots of fresh air. Do not expose them to extreme temperatures and only exercise them as much as they can tolerate without being physically stressed – meaning, let them guide you as to how much they can handle – do not push them to do too much. In severely debilitated animals, you will have to start with short, frequent walks at first. Try and walk them only in natural areas, away from roads and pollution.
  4. Clean their bedding in hot water every 3 days (use sheets or towels to cover their dog bed(s) or crate pad to make this easier) – do not use dryer sheets or chemical laundry detergents; use a natural unscented detergent.
  5. Give once a week baths with a very gentle, natural shampoo: California Baby has bubble bath and shampooing that’s safe for use on pets – there’s also Flutterby Organics and CyberCanine. Do not use chemical or medicated shampoos. (I make my own shampoo – see “Rara Avis Uber Natural Shampoo”.)
  6. See Lemon Skin Tonic recipe or Lavender EO oil for a topical treatment below. I also make a Rara Avis “Mite-B-Gone” oil that can be used.

If you follow the above protocol, your dog will get better. I have had full recoveries happen in a matter of weeks, but most dogs take a few months. Basically you are allowing for their immune systems to recover and helping/letting their skin flora rebalance.

Some dogs with minor cases will get better with zero treatment by the time they are about 12-14 months old. The thought is that they simply “outgrow” the mange, but my opinion is that it takes about this long to finally recover from the puppy vaccines that put their body into this compromised/crisis state, and their immune systems are also finally maturing by this age.

If you want to, you can also add a few supplements to the above regime. Adding the supplements alone won’t help though – it’s the overall holistic treatment/husbandry that matters, so you need to consider their lifestyle, diet and overall husbandry first. Adding supplements alone won’t do it. Supplement information can be found in the below email I wrote to a list member of one of the lists I run:

Demodectic mites are normally present on all dogs raised by/with other dogs, but is normally kept under control by a healthy immune system. It is not contagious. Demodex only develops into a problem when the dog’s immune system is depressed or compromised by the stress of being in a shelter environment, immune-harming medications, poor husbandry food/environment), and/or vaccines. Certain breeds are more susceptible to this condition – my opinion is, these breeds or individuals are more susceptible to the damaging effects of vaccinations. Dogs that develop manage should never vaccinated again, or should be vaccinated by the minimum requirements dictated by your state’s laws.

Demodex is fairly common in young dogs/puppies under the age of 12 months. Demodex infection is common, because (at least in holistic circles) it is considered to be one of the negative results of puppy vaccinations. Most dogs will “outgrow” Demodex by 12-14 months old on their own – when a more mature immune system is developed and able to handle the imbalance, without any assistance whatsoever. Usually, these are dogs who’s life-force/immune systems are able to recover from the damage vaccinations have done to their system. Some dogs, rarely, have a much harder time with this early assaults, and Demodex can develop into a generalized state where it covers the majority of their body and can, rarely, become life-threatening. These dogs can still recover when their systems are properly supported and they are given the chance – by not further assaulting their system with medications and vaccinations. If you are dealing with a more than mild case of demodex, you need to consult with a qualified homeopath. Find a list of homeopaths at the end of this message.

Feeding them wholesome, clean, fresh foods, living in a clean environment, regular bathing, minimal stress, daily access to fresh air, sunshine and exercise is critical. Many, many dogs in rescue suffer from a Demodex “infection” and I have treated many dogs without the use of chemical remedies. My opinion is that the chemical medications further complicate the issue, mask the symptoms, and further damage the immune system. Oftentimes, the medications will appear to have worked, but this brief respite from the disease only lasts for a short period and when the mange returns, it comes back like gangbusters – or at least worse than the first time.

Don Hamilton and Richard Pitcairn’s books both have excellent sections about mange that speaks about not only the how’s and whys, and why allopathic care for this (esp. in young dogs) is more damaging than helpful in the long-run, but also gives recommendations as to the treatment using safe, gentle home remedies. I highly recommend you purchase one or both of these books and read these sections. Their recommendations are similar to what I have listed here.

Supplements you can add to your pups diet to help counter the mite overgrowth are as follows:

  • Zinc, in the form of either raw, ground pumpkin seeds or a chelated zinc tablet, 10 to 30 milligrams/day
  • Vitamin C, 250-1000 mgs twice/day
  • 100 to 400 IU of vitamin E daily (discontinue use before any surgery)
  • ½ to 3 teaspoons of lecithin/day

Topically, you can rub fresh, organic lemon juice on the affected area every day or make a tea infusion of thinly sliced lemons (3 lemons to a quart of boiling water) – let steep overnight, strain and store in the fridge. Pour or spray this ‘lemon tea’ on the dog’s bald/patchy areas 2x/day.

Alternatively, you could add a high quality organic lavender essential oil (10-15 drops) in a base of almond oil or jojoba oil (1/2 oz.) and apply this EO formula to the affected areas. Use as many drops of the oil necessary to cover the areas of skin where the hair is thinning or bald; apply twice a day to these areas.

At only # months old – the last thing you want to do is suppress minor symptoms such as these and further compromise your puppy’s immune system. He/she is just a pup! The best thing you can do is counter their current state of low-resistance/immunity with care that will further strengthen their immunity and lay the foundation for a healthy, capable immune system
that can swiftly handle something as minor as demodex, and also manage future symptoms that might be more complicated and serious as she grows into adulthood.

Consulting with a good homeopath will help your dog tremendously in this situation.