Scabies, also known as sarcoptic mange, is a skin disease that can affect dogs. It is caused by mites that live just below the surface of the dog's skin. It is fairly common in puppies between the ages of 3 months and 1 year, but is also found in older dogs as well. If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms, you should visit your vet for a diagnosis and for the appropriate treatment, which may be in the form of either topical or internal medications.
Any puppy suffering from scabies will likely be very, very itchy, and will consequently be scratching like mad. If your puppy is constantly scratching and biting at herself, scabies is a definite possibility. She may even scratch herself to the point where her skin becomes covered with oozing sores.
A simple test known as the "pedal-pinna reflex test" can help you know if your puppy's itchiness is likely due to the presence of scabies rather than another disorder such as dermatitis or some type of allergy. In order to perform this test, you just need to scratch your puppy right along the edge of his ear flap (pinna). If there are any scabies mites present on your puppy's body, there will almost certainly be some in this area, and scratching your puppy like this when he has scabies will cause him to move his back leg reflexively as if he's trying to scratch.
Loss of Hair
Scabies will usually cause your dog to experience a certain amount of hair loss, particularly around her ears (which may also feel somewhat crusty, particularly around the tips), face, legs and elbows. If the scabies goes untreated, she may eventually have hairless patches all over her body.
Areas of your puppy's skin where the mange mites are most active will eventually not only become hairless, but may also change color. The first discoloration may take the form of red scabs or pustules, then yellow crustation. If the skin irritation is allowed to go on for a long time, the traumatized skin may take on a thickened, wrinkly appearance and become noticeably darker.