A mite infestation on a dog is typically seen as dry skin or fur due to excessive scratching, redness, and itchiness around the affected areas. In some cases, a large number of mites can also be visible in fur or small black specks on the skin. Dogs with mites may experience hair loss, dandruff-like skin flakes and scabs that become crusty after being scratched. Signs of discomfort including biting at the skin, excessive licking and chewing are common when an animal is infested with parasites like mites. Additionally, if left untreated for too long, other severe symptoms such as anemia can occur in some dogs due to high numbers of mites sucking away their blood supply.
Signs and Symptoms of Mite Infestation
One of the most obvious signs of a mite infestation on a dog is itching and scratching. The mites burrow into the skin, which causes the dog to itch and scratch constantly. In some cases, the dog may have redness, hair loss or scabbing due to the itching. You might even see small bites from where your pup has been infected by mites.
Another symptom of mite infestation is an off-color on your pup’s coat. If you notice that their usually healthy fur is weak-looking, brittle or darker than usual, this could be a sign of mites. Additionally, another common sign of a mite infestation is dandruff: if your pup seems to have flaking skin or large amounts of dandruff on their coat, this could mean they’re suffering from mites. Finally, take note if your pup smells musty or unusual; this too can be caused by a mite infestation.
Different Types of Mites that Attack Dogs
When it comes to mite infestations, the most common type of mites affecting dogs are Cheyletiella mites, Sarcoptes scabiei mites, and ear mites.
Cheyletiella mites, commonly known how long does it take seresto to work as “walking dandruff” will cause a white scaling on your pup’s skin and hair coat that looks like small pieces of snow. These tiny pests like to live on the surface of your dog’s skin, eating debris from oils and dead skin cells.
Sarcoptes scabiei is a species of parasitic arthropods that burrow into your dog’s skin to feed. They will cause intense itchiness and red or black patches on the affected areas. This can lead to secondary bacterial infections if not treated quickly.
Ear mites are parasites that inhabit the ears of your pup and are highly contagious. This infection can often be severe enough that you may see black or yellow discharge coming from the ear canal or your pup could start shaking their head repeatedly in an effort to get rid of them. If left untreated, this infection can create more serious problems like inflammation deep within the ear canal or even hearing loss due to damage caused by these pesky critters.
Where to Look for Mites on a Dog
The first place to look for mites in a dog is inside the ears. Mites, including the popular demodex mites, are drawn to the dark and moist environment of the ear canal. When scratching from an itch caused by the mites, your dog may shake its head vigorously or rub its head on furniture or other surfaces.
Next, look around your dog’s face and eyes. Mite infestations can result in eye redness, squinting, and facial itchiness. Your pet may try to rub or scratch at their eyes to get relief from the itching, which can worsen irritation even further.
Another telltale sign of a mite infestation are black spots on the skin. These tiny flecks contain eggs that have been laid by the parasites. Be sure to check areas such as your dog’s legs, belly and chest for these spots as well as an abnormal level of shedding that might be due to frequent scratching caused by skin irritation from mite bites.
Common Areas of Infestation
Mites are a kind of arthropod that feeds on animals, including dogs. If a dog is infested with mites, it can cause skin irritation and itching as well as secondary infections. The most common areas that become infested are around the eyes, ears, and feet.
Around the eyes, you will usually notice redness and swelling of the eyelids. Your pet may also rub his face, squinting or paw at his face in an attempt to reduce the itchiness.
The ears may be red and inflamed with visible crusty white material from mite fecal matter inside them. You may also hear your pet scratching or shaking their head due to intense itching.
Lastly, mite infestations often occur around the feet where the mites can burrow between the toes and create a scab-like reddish rash which is very itchy for your pup. This can cause your dog to constantly lick or gnaw at their feet when trying to relieve the itchiness of mite bites!
How to Treat a Mite Infestation
The best way to treat mites on a dog is by using a specialized insecticide specifically designed for use on dogs. It’s important to choose the right insecticide, as it will make sure that no other parasites are unwittingly brought in, making the problem worse. To make the treatment more effective, combine medicinal ointment with the insecticide and spread it across your pet’s skin using a cotton ball or washcloth. You’ll want to apply the concoction twice daily for three days.
In addition to treating your dog with an insecticide, make sure to vacuum your home thoroughly and often, especially around areas where pets spend their time. Doing this will help reduce mite populations dramatically and also break up any new mite colonies that form while you’re treating your pet.
Finally, keep an eye out for signs of mite infestations on other parts of your furry friend’s body — such as their ears or between their toes — since these are common places for mites to hide. Though hard to spot, if detected early enough mites can be eradicated before they cause any severe damage or discomfort in your pet.