Mangy, Motor Oil-Coated Dog Rescued & Recovering

“Diego stood right up with his tail wagging. He immediately went into spa mode, receiving numerous baths to remove the motor oil that was drenched all over his coat and skin.”


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When two-year-old Airedale/Rottweiler Diego was found tied up to a pole in San Antonio, Texas, he was missing hair from mange and covered in used motor oil.  Thankfully, he is now recovering, but we take this time to ask readers to share this important message:  motor oil is an ineffective and dangerous way to treat mange.

It is apparent that Diego’s owners tried to treat his sarcoptic mange the best way they knew how, but after their attempt was unsuccessful, they simply abandoned the sticky, uncomfortable dog at the North Side Humane Society shelter.  Staff quickly got to work on cleaning and pampering the poor pup.

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“When greeted, Diego stood right up with his tail wagging and was ready to enter the SAHS,” read a statement on their website.  “He immediately went into spa mode, receiving numerous baths to remove the motor oil that was drenched all over his coat and skin.”

Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious.  Like head lice in humans, mites can easily jump from one dog to another.  According to Vet MD, they burrow under the skin, causing intense itching and scratching, which is what causes dogs’ hair to fall out.  The first symptoms may take anywhere from two to six weeks to present after exposure.

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Many people mistakenly believe that slathering on the motor oil will help, but this is highly toxic to dogs.  If you wouldn’t bathe in it, your dogs shouldn’t, either.

In addition to a severe case of the itchies, Diego had to deal sludgy, smelly, poisonous oil on his skin.  He also may have been blinded in his right eye, and will soon be going to a specialist.  A foster family has been provided for him, but monetary donations would be greatly appreciated to assist with his recovery.  If you would like to help, please click here.



175 thoughts on “Mangy, Motor Oil-Coated Dog Rescued & Recovering

  1. I am not a dog person but I believe the people who mistreat animals, deserve the same treatment.

    1. Many years ago before oil companies started putting addictive in motor engine oil this treatment worked and didn’t hurt our dogs, we had an Irish wolfhound and a beagle and both contracted mange. My father used used motor oil on both dogs and it healed them, stopped the itching and their hair grew back in a pretty and soft as when they were puppies.

      1. Raven you are correct! I know someone who used it on their dog. For years the poor dog was suffering from some sort of skin disease, an old neighbour came to rescue advising to use old diesel oil. Apparently healed it!

      2. When i was a young kid growing up in puertico i had dozens of abandoned dogs in my beighborhood with severe mange and i treated every single one of them with burned old motor oil and in about 2 weeks these dogs had a body full of beautiful soft fur with no mange

      3. We was always instructed to go out with a gun and dispose of stray dogs with mange, but yes motor oil will cure the red mange

      4. Regardless of what others say, motor oil works. I grew up in the 80s and I’ve witnessed this treatment on dogs and it healed them. Just seen on Dirty Jobs how they use it to treat camels as well.

  2. ANYBODY!!! who abuse poor defenseless animals deserve to literally rot in HELL!
    You are scum of the earth.

  3. I hope this poor pup gets well soon. These people should have checked with a vet before putting motor oil on him. Get well Diego!


  5. Poor baby. I hope they are able to get rid of that awful mange and he can recover and live a life with people who will love and care for him.

    1. No, motor oil is not a proven cure to mange. Please quit spreading misinformation.

      What would happen if you pour motor oil all over your dog? For starters, there’s always the severe rashes that will result due to skin irritation. It will also cause extensive skin damage, because your dog’s skin will actually absorb all the toxic chemicals from the motor oil.

      That’s all just on the surface too, but it gets much worse than that. When a dog absorbs the oil through the skin, it penetrates the body and affects the internal system as well. Obviously, this causes a whole new host of problems, such as drastic changes in the blood pressure, as well as severe kidney and liver damage.

      Unfortunately there’s one more gruesome aspect left to cover. Remember how dogs just love to lick and bite themselves all over, especially if they have mange? Well, what happens if they follow their instincts and proceed to lick their own skin… after being coated with motor oil?

      Yes, they’ll swallow it, and the oil will induce vomiting, which in turn will introduce some of the oil into the lungs as well. This subsequently gives them pneumonia.

      1. Yea i don’t knw where you get your info from but I’ve helped out abandoned strayes for many years using old motor oil to cure their mange and in a two week period of the oil treatment these animals looked like someones house pet with no trace of mange whatsoever. I have never seen any of these dogs get any secondary complications from the motor oil. They suffer more if left untreated, I’ve actually saved many many dogs using the motor oil treatment and never did a single one get sick from the oil. I knw it works i have done it hundrets of times on those poor abandoned animals.

        1. Gus Marquez…can u please tell me exactly how to treat my dog with the motor oil as he is suffering from severe mange and we can’t put him down he is like a family member to us we love him very much.

  6. Let me educate you – mange mites are on all dogs but are kept in check by the dog being in a healthy condition. When a dog gets an infection somewhere on his body that isn’t treated the mites then multiply and become rampant on their skin. When you treat the infection with antibiotics and they get healthy the mites can then be dealt with. We use a mixture of 20 Mule team borax, water and a little Dawn dish washing detergent as a spray and it works(look online for the amounts. We have had to deal with this twice in the last year. Our lab had a bad ear infection both times and the mites appeared and hair fell out around neck and patches on other parts of body. Takes a couple weeks.

  7. they didnt mistreat the dog!! read the article… they did what they thought was right to get rid of mange (bc it is proven burnt motor oil can get rid of it), they just didnt know any better. when it didnt work, they dropped him off. to me that means if they were abusing him, they wouldnt have gone through the trouble of trying to treat his mange (which is not from abuse)

    1. (burnt motor oil can get rid) maybe you can try using the motor oil on yourself to help with your “brain dead” thinking.

    2. Yeah, I read the article,,,so what??!! Ever heard of the internet or check out the nearest telephone book to find a vet or use your cellular phone and look the damn treatment up!!!! These people are morons and shouldn’t be allowed to have pets of any kind. It’s called research!!!


  9. Who would do such a horrible thing to such an innocent creature. Thank DOG for the good people who rescue!

  10. Is it really possible that someone is that stupid? Who could do this, or allow this to happen,and then abandon him? What the hell is wrong with humans?

    1. not really.. not really it never ceases to amaze me how little people know about the simplest health care of themselves and their animals. so much is done because someone told them that is what to do..never thinking to consult a doctor or vet. if you are sick..stay the h-ll will give what you ahve to all you come into contact with..that is criminal. and on and on it goes till we have an epidemic.

  11. The cruelty if humans never ceases to amaze me. If you see abuse and don’t feel comfortable rescuing yourself PLEASE call law enforcement

  12. My God seriously some people don’t deserve the air we breathe. I read an update that the dog has been adopted. It looks like they blinded him in one eye.

  13. i don’t understand some people. why be cruel to dogs? dogs are very loving animals if treated properly. if that’s an anaconda trying to eat you and you hurt it then that’s fine. but a poor dog??? ugh.

  14. Honestly it looks like the oil did the trick if the dog were still covered in mange all them hairless areas would be red and scabbed up…is it the best method no but you can go buy mange treatments. …theres chemicals in there that are harmful if injested and what will a dog with mange do…in jest it…so either way it sucks for the animal…

  15. Sorry buddy… Despite what you’ve been shown, not all of us are mean. I hope that when you find a loving forever home you can wholly give your heart and trust.

  16. If I showed my ignorance and actually thought used motor oil would cure the mange I would sign in also as anonymous. I think people who mistreat animals should receive the same treatment. If you’re not willing to take a sick or injured animal to a vet you don’t need one.

  17. What many people today don’t realize, is that decades ago, used motor oil was said to be treatment for mange. Whoever did this really should have taken this dog to a veterinarian. What they were doing was based on a myth. I’m explaining this because the person who did this probably was a misled person, not a #$**%&!. So glad this dog is getting the help he needs.

    1. Sharon, You are correct. Decades ago it was THE treatment for mange in any animal (cows, goats, horses, AND dogs). Back in those days, motor oil was just a refined petroleum oil. Nowadays it is filled with lots of machine detergents and other chemicals that might be dangerous to the animal being treated. I say MIGHT because, unlike all the haters that want to burn the original owner at the stake, I realize I am not a biologist and I have not studied the effects of ANY of the chemicals on animals. I accept that it probably is harmful, but I have no idea to what degree. Just watch some TV and you’ll realize that almost ALL treatments for diseases have negative side effects. The key is making sure the positive outweigh the negative ones. Motor oil used to be an excellent cure for certain kinds of mange.

      All of you others that think the original owner should be hung from the nearest tree need to take another look at how you raise your own dogs. I am sure there is some expert out there that will tell you how badly you’re doing it and how you’re harming your pet. What do you feed it? A national brand? SHAME on you! they all contain colors and fillers! You feed it what you eat? SHAME on you, human food isn’t proper nutrition for a dog!! Do you keep your dogs inside or in a penned up yard? SHAME on you, dogs need to burn energy and get exercise!

      All you haters in this thread need to seriously take a good look at yourselves and your practices and try just a touch harder to be more understanding of others and their ways and situations. Perhaps that family just couldn’t afford a $300 vet treatment, does that mean they don’t deserve to have the love of a pet in their life? It looks to me like they did what they could, then found the help the dog needed even though it meant giving it up. If I were a dog I’d rather be with them than with most of you.

      Sharon, you hit the nail on the head!

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