Scabies, or sarcoptic mange, describes a highly contagious and zoonotic (contagious to people) mite infection caused by the mite Sarcoptes. The mite lives and completes its lifecycle within the outermost layer of your pet’s skin. Sarcoptes infection induces a tremendous inflammatory response and causes intense itching. The Sarcoptes mite tends to set up house on your pet’s ears, elbows, ankles, and under side. Lesions on the skin include hair loss, crusts, and thickening of the affected skin. Diagnosis of scabies requires demonstration of the mite from the skin. Your veterinarian will collect multiple skin scraping samples from various locations on your pet’s body and examine the specimens under the microscope. Finding the mites on skin scrapings can prove to be challenging. Your pet may be treated for Sarcoptes based on presenting signs of acute onset intense itching even if no mites can be found on skin scrapings. Your pet will be treated with an oral medication daily for an extended period of time to eradicate the mite infection. Most pets will also need to be treated for secondary infections that develop. Steroid anti-inflammatories may be necessary to provide relief from the intense itching. Your veterinarian will discuss with you how to decontaminate your pet’s environment to prevent recurrence.