I've been travelling through Mexico for a month now, and I often come across street dogs in bad states, especially with mange (not sure what kind) and secondary infections from this, and often with injuries.

I'm a bit of a bleeding heart I guess and I have been losing sleep over some of the dogs I've come across, especially one at gas station in the middle of nowhere in Baja California who was covered in mange, very hungry, and clearly had a broken foot. All I could think to do was help its immune system by buying it some food. But we were gone in 5 minutes. I wish I had been more prepared, informed, and had something I could have given the dog to help it and I've been somewhat plagued by it emotionally ever since. It was clearly miserable, and the only consolation I could think of was to hope its end was near so the suffering would stop. The eyes pleaded with me, but I had nothing, and I'd like to change that.

I've looked around online and all the vets seem to indicate that not all mange is treated the same, that tests need to be made etc. Also treatment seems to need to take weeks. I feel a bit deflated by this because I'm not around these dogs for very long.

I'm wondering what, if anything, could I do/have/give that would have the biggest impact for dogs in this situation? I just can't stand to seem them so un-cared-for and suffering.

Is there something I could buy like antibiotics, or ivermectin, or something I could hide for them in a hotdog or burrito that would help their state? I may only have 5 minutes with the dog. I don't want to give them anything that would make it worse.

Other times, for example now, I'm in a place for a week or two and see certain dogs regularly with bad mange, rubbing their heads on the ground to deal with the itching. Is there anything I could do for these dogs?

I don't necessarily feel safe enough to try to give them a bath, even if I had a big tub. Maybe there's something I could squirt on their back like flea medicine?

Anyway, looking for informed opinions on what I could do that could pack a big punch for these dogs to help make their lives more tolerable.

  • 3
    Sadly, I expect that, unless you're willing to become a dedicated rescuer retrieving these dogs into medical care, the best you can do is leave them some food, but hopefully someone will have a better suggestion.
    – Allison C
    Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 14:49

1 Answer 1


Apart from donating to a local animal rescue organisation so they may have the resources to take in those dogs and treat them (if such even exist, unlikely in poor areas) there is very little you can do.

And such would have to be a long term commitment, as a one time large donation won't give them the funds to hire people and buy cars, other equipment, and medical supplies long term so they won't do that (as it'd be wasted in the end).

Sadly street dogs with serious medical problems are a thing in poor countries (and even poor areas in richer countries), and some of those conditions can cross over to humans as well. The main thing local authorities can (and sometimes do) do is to go in, and either shoot the feral dogs or catch and then euthanise them when the situation gets out of hand, this usually after the packs of dogs start attacking children or animals kept by residents or are suspected of harbouring rabies.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.