Here is a photo of a skin scrape taken from a 7 month old Staffy. A skin scrape is a process where a scalpel blade is scraped across a skin lesion covered in oil to collect a sample from a few layers down. We often find on a single scrape, small amounts of red blood cells, hair, skin cells (epthelials) and debris. In this sample there is something else! Can you see small cigar shaped objects around the image? Some are slightly bent, and others are perfectly straight. If you look really carefully you can see little dots at one end in some of them.
How did you go? The diagnosis?
Demodex mites/Demodectic mange. This is a relatively non itchy disease that causes hair loss and is especially common in young dogs. It is more common in Staffy’s and their crosses, than most other breeds. Treatment can be a bit lengthy, but is, in most cases, relatively simple. It is a disease that is inherited from the mother and so as a general rule, breeding should not occur from an affected line of dogs.