Matt Davies Harmony Communities feels you should consider yourself lucky if you have never suffered the itchiness, hair loss, skin diseases, or ear infections brought on by dog mites. Several different species of mites can infest dogs, and they all produce unpleasant symptoms that can vary from itchiness and pain to severe skin infections as a result of the harm that these pests have done to the dog’s skin. Additionally, there is a risk to the public’s health since, under rare circumstances, mites can spread from dog to dog or even from dog to human. Knowing what to look for and pursuing safe, efficient treatments are essential to getting rid of these little pests.
Dogs commonly have four types of mites. The first three are frequent, particularly in young, underfed, or neglected dogs. For symptoms and possible treatments, keep reading.
Symptoms and Treatment for Demodex Mites
Young, emaciated, and neglected dogs are frequently infected with demodicosis or infestation with Demodex canis mites. All dogs have these mites in their hair follicles, which are transferred from the mother dog to her pups when they are nursing. The Demodex mites persist in the hair follicle without causing any symptoms in most dogs because the canines develop immunity to infection with the mites. However, these mites can multiply when the dog’s immune system is impaired, either by immunological suppression or poor diet, leading to hair loss, skin thickening, and in some circumstances, infection with other organisms (Staphylococcus bacteria or Malassezia yeast). While subsequent yeast or bacterial infections might cause itching, affected dogs do not itch.
For many years, the only available treatments were dangerous amitraz dips, months of daily oral ivermectin, or lotions for minor lesions. Recently, it was discovered that a new generation of prescription isoxazoline-class flea and tick preventatives work well for Demodex mange even though they are not intended for this use. Afoxolaner, sarolaner, lotilaner, and fluralaner are the four alternatives from this pharmacological class that are readily available when this article is being published. These oral treatments are particularly effective against mites and are available from your veterinarian.
Symptoms and Treatment for Sarcoptes Mites
Another type of mite infection that can affect dogs and be spread to humans is scabies, often known as sarcoptic mange. The Sarcoptic scabiei mites that cause this infection burrow into the skin, causing severe itching, hair loss, and secondary skin infections. It spreads from a dog with the infection to other dogs nearby. Other symptoms include red, scaly skin that begins in sparsely haired regions, like the groin and armpits. The presence of these mites on a skin scrape confirms the diagnosis, but since they burrow so deeply, positive skin scrapes from positive animals are uncommon. Selamectin (a flea and tick preventative) given every two weeks rather than monthly or imidacloprid/moxidectin given once a month have been used as treatments for a long time. With monthly administration, the isoxazoline class (already mentioned) is also effective against scabies.
Symptoms and Treatment for Ear Mites
Otodectescynotis, sometimes known as ear mites, commonly affect pups but can also affect older dogs who have been exposed to outdoor cats. These bothersome mites produce a ton of dry, black detritus and are irritating. Intense swelling and pain can result from blood vessels in the ear rupturing due to frequent head shaking and scratching. Fortunately, these mites are easily treated with prescription drops or by applying selamectin monthly to avoid fleas and heartworm. A sample of the debris can be examined under a microscope to make a diagnosis. Given that these mites have a three-week reproductive cycle, the therapy will probably need to be repeated if an infection is found. All bedding should be put through a washing machine and dryer to kill the larval stages.
Symptoms and Treatment for Cheyletiella Mites
Cheyletiellosis, often known as walking dandruff, is an infection caused by a mite that spends its whole life cycle on dogs (Cheyletiellayasguri in dogs). Although they resemble dandruff flakes, these mites can be seen moving on the fur. Their bites might result in a rash with little red splotches on the skin because they are incredibly itchy. The number of mites will decrease with bathing, but the infection will not disappear. The diagnosis is made by collecting flakes with a piece of tape and identifying them under a microscope. There is no approved medication to cure these mites, but selamectin applied every two weeks for three treatments will kill all phases of the mite life cycle. Additionally efficient are pyrethrin shampoos or weekly lime sulfur baths.
As you can see, mites have noticeable symptoms and can worsen infections because they harm the skin or ears. Since the mites are not always visible on a skin scrape, diagnosis of cheyletiellosis necessitates the fabrication of a tape sample. So, Matt Davies Harmony Communities thinks you should advise your veterinarian to be on the lookout for these pests. Fortunately, the oral flea and tick medications in the isoxazoline class will clear up sarcoptic and demodectic mange. Call your veterinarian if your dog is scratching or shows signs of a skin infection.