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Mites on Dogs

mites on dogs


Mites. The mere thought of them is enough to make you itch. These tiny parasites can be a real nuisance for your dog and should be treated by your vet to ensure they are removed completely. The sooner the problem is dealt with, the easier it is to treat and the less chance there is of more serious health issues occurring. In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on mites on dogs, how to spot them, what to do when you do and information on the treatment that will rid your dog of these pesky passengers.

What Are Mites?

Mites are a type of parasite that live on dogs, cats, livestock and other animals. Unlike fleas that just bite their host, mites bite and burrow into the skin causing intense irritation. There are many different types of mites but the good news is that they can all be treated by your vet.

Common types of mites in dogs include:

  • Ear mites
  • Sarcoptes mites (also commonly known as mange)
  • Demodex mites
  • Harvest mites

Signs That Your Dog Has Mites

Mites cause a similar reaction to fleas, but the exact symptoms your dog will experience will also depend on the mite in question. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Excessive licking anywhere on the body
  • Itching
  • Patches of hair loss
  • Shaking of the head
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Oily skin with an odor
  • Flaky skin

It’s so important to address mites as quickly as possible as an infestation can lead to more serious issues. For example, dogs with ear mites or an ear infection could develop (in the worst-case scenario) a hematoma in the brain. A prolonged skin irritation can also lead to an infection. Your dog can also do a lot of damage to his skin through self-trauma caused by itching and discomfort.

How Do Dogs Get Mites?

Mites are usually passed from dog to dog but they can be picked up from several places. If your dog comes into contact with an infested dog at a grooming parlor or animal shelter, for example, there is a good chance that your dog will pick up a mite or two.

Mites can also be picked up from the environment, such as your dog’s bed or from the carpet. If your dog regularly runs through long grass or on farmland where livestock passes through regularly, there is also a higher chance of picking up mites.

What Health Conditions Are Caused by Mites in Dogs?

If your pet has a mite infestation, it is known as a condition called mange. There are two most common types of mange; demodectic and sarcoptic. Other conditions that can be caused by mites include trombiculosis, also known as harvest mite infestation and cheyletiellosis. Ear mites can also take up home in your dog’s ear canal. As you can imagine, any mite infestation can be uncomfortable and painful for your dog and should be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Diagnosis of Mites in Dogs

If your dog has started scratching, biting and chewing at their skin, there is a chance he could have mites. The good thing about mites, although you might not agree when you see one, is that mites can usually be seen with the naked eye. However, your vet is the best person to diagnose mites in your dog. They will not only be able to identify that your dog has mites but will be able to determine what types of mites are present. Once identified, your vet will then recommend the best course of treatment.

Treating Mites in Dogs

The good news is, most mite infestations can be treated with a simple anti-parasitic wash. Antiparasitic shampoos can help cure your dog of many kinds of mite. You can buy them from many pet shops, although it’s best to ask your vet first to make sure you’re using the correct shampoo.

Your vet may instead provide you with medicine or a spot-on to help get rid of the infestation. Sometimes more than one treatment will be used at a time, and they may have to be administered for a while. The only thing you can do it be patient and persevere – and soon your dog will be mite-free!

Covering the Cost of Diagnosis and Treatment

Mites can be particularly distressing for your dog and you’ll want to ensure that he gets the best treatment possible. However, treatment for most veterinary testing procedures and treatment can be costly. By taking out a pet insurance plan with, you will get the best protection possible for you and your pet.

Cover Your Dog Today

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