Dog TipsFood & Health

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Mites?

Mites are extremely tiny creatures; there are typically only a millimeter long. They burrow themselves into the skin of your dog and irritate and inflame the skin. Mite infestation is a common health issue in dogs. They are considered parasites that cause a slew of skin issues, from dry skin to hair loss. Mites thrive in the fur and make the life of your dog extremely uncomfortable. Mange, which is a well-known skin issue in dogs, can be traced to mites. Because of this, you might be asking: how do you know if your dog has mites?

What Are Health Conditions That Can Be Traced to Dog Mites?

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Mites

If your pet is suffering from a mite infestation, it can result in a condition called mange. Mange can be divided into two types, sarcoptic mange and Demodectic mange. Conditions that can be traced to mites are cheyletiellosis, and trombiculosis otherwise known as a harvest mites infestation. Your dog might also suffer ear mites that burrow deeply into the ear canal. It results in extreme discomfort. It is crucial to spot-treat ear mites to soothe your pet.

What Are the Signs of Dog Mites?

Mites that result in sarcoptic mange cause itch and an unpleasant skin condition that can be spread to humans. Affected dogs will have a dirty coat and continuously scratch. It leaves their skin with red patches and scabs.

Demodectic mange results in serious skin issues that result in hair loss, redness, soreness, scales, crests and lesions. It darkens the affected skin. Younger dogs typically suffer this type of mange. It can become extremely serious if not treated promptly.

Signs of dog mites:

  • Hair loss
  • Dandruff
  • Excessive scratching
  • Visible irritation, such as red skin
  • Mites crawling on the skin and fur

Mites in Dogs – How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Mites?

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Mites

You will can detect if your dog has mites by examining their skin. If your dog is continually scratching, biting, and chewing themselves, they might have a mite infestation. Take a closer look.

However, your vet is the best expert to diagnose mites. They can identify the species of mites your dog is suffering from and the best treatment for it.

Your dog will examine the mites under a microscope. It will help your vet identify the species of mites affecting your dog.

Treating dog mites

Fortunately, a majority of mite infestations can be treated with an antiparasitic. You can utilize antiparasitic shampoos to mitigate and control any mite. These are readily available in pet shops, but it is crucial to ask your vet for a recommendation to make sure you are using the right shampoo.

Your vet may also recommend a medication or a spot-on treatment to eradicate an infestation. In some cases, you might need to apply more than one treatment. These have to be administered for a period. As a dog owner, it is crucial to apply the treatment and be patient, and persevere. Very soon, your dog will be mite free.

Why do dogs get mites?

Dogs might pick up mites from several places. Typically, it is transmitted from dog to dog. However, these can be picked up in the environment as well.

Your dog might suffer a mite infestation if they come in contact with other infected dogs. They could get mites from animal shelters or grooming salons. A majority of dogs will be examined before they can utilize these services. But accidents do happen. Dogs could also get them from other dogs when they are walked outdoors, especially in dog parks.

Dog mites can thrive in places such as beds and carpeting. Your dog can be reinfested, which is why you should make sure all items in your household are clean and parasite free.

Types of Dog Mites

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Mites

Although it is easy to misconstrue a mite for an insect, they aren’t insects. Instead, mites are considered arthropods, which are joint legged invertebrates. They belong to the Arachnida class, which is the same as spiders.

Several types of mites can infect dogs:

  • Demodex canis mites
  • Sarcoptes scabiei mites
  • Otodectes cynotis mites
  • Cheyletiella yasguri mites

Each species of mite will cause your dog to exhibit different symptoms:

Demodex Canis Mites

These mites create an infestation called demodicosis. This infestation is otherwise known as Demodex mange. These mites stick to the hair follicles on your dog’s coat resulting in mange.

Demodex mange typically affects the following dogs:

  • Puppies
  • Dogs with weakened immune systems
  • Young and senior dogs with poor diet

Since mange mites are wedged into the follicle, an infestation results in thickening of the skin, hair loss, as well as yeast and bacterial infection. If a vet examines your dog and diagnoses a Demodex mange, you can apply a few medications such as afoxolaner and sarolaner.

However, a popular treatment is a lime sulfur. This is a combination of lime and sulfur. No matter what medication your vet recommends, it is crucial to continually apply the treatment until the skin examination reveals that all mites are eradicated.

Sarcoptes Scabiei Mites

In contrast to Demodex canine mites, which attach to the hair follicles, the Sarcoptes mites burrow into the skin of your dog. Your dog will be suffering never-ending itchiness. You might find that your dog is scratching excessively, especially in their groin and armpits. Red skin and hair loss are two top symptoms of this mange.

These mites result in sarcoptic mange. It is otherwise known as canis scabies or simply scabies. Unfortunately, this condition can be transmitted to humans. According to data, scabies affect 30 million people each year.

If your vet diagnoses your dog has sarcoptic mange, they might recommend heartworm medicine. According to experts, ivermectin, which is the main ingredient in heartworm medicines, can eradicate several mites. Other alternative prescriptions are moxidectin and imidacloprid.

Otodectes Cynotis Mites

These mites are surface mites that wedge into your dog’s ears and result in extreme itchiness. Ear mites are often found in puppies as well as dogs who get in contact with stray cats. Dogs with ear mites exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Your dog is scratching its ears constantly
  • Extreme headshaking that results in breaking blood vessels in the ears
  • Dirt is wedged on the inner flaps of the ears.

However, headshaking can also be a symptom of ear infection. Once you get your dog to the vet, they will recommend a treatment for your dog’s ear discomfort. When it comes to mites, a majority of vets will recommend an ear drops prescription.

Cheyletiella Yasguri Mites

These mites result in cheyletiellosis. It is a type of mite infestation that is otherwise called walking dandruff. This type of infestation got this weird name because, at first glance, it is similar to dandruff. However, under the microscope, these are mites and not dead skin cells.

You can treat this infestation with selamectin every couple of weeks for a total of three applications. You must follow the treatment procedures because this medication targets each lifecycle of the mite. Applying pyrethrin shampoos is also helpful in mitigating mite infestation.

Symptoms of Mites in Dogs

Keep in mind that there are different types of dog mites; symptoms may vary because of this. Common symptoms are the following:

  • Intense itching
  • Constant scratching
  • Raw and red skin
  • Crusty patches
  • Bacterial or fungal infections
  • Hair loss
  • Dandruff
  • Dirt

These symptoms might be caused by other conditions as well. Allergies and hotspots can also result in hair loss and red patches.

Prevention of Mite Infestation

Prevention is the best strategy to stop mite infestation. You must follow your vet’s recommended flea and tick prevention plan as well. You might want to adopt the following tips:

  • Your pet must have a grooming routine.
  • Use cleaning and hygiene products specially formulated for pets.
  • Provide your pet with grain-free and organic food. It helps promote your dog’s overall health while enhancing their immune system function.
  • Apply an ear cleaning solution to wash the ears of your dog.
  • Infuse your dog’s diet with skin-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Wash your pet’s items regularly, such as their bedding, to mitigate the infestation
  • Examine your pet’s skin regularly and look for signs of mites, fleas, and ticks
  • Bathe your dog immediately after boarding them at a public kennel

How to Keep the Mites Away

If your dog suffers a mite infestation regardless of the species, it is crucial to know that your pup can get immediate relief by getting them to the vet and following a treatment plan. However, you don’t have to wait for a mite infestation before you take action.

It is crucial to bathe your dog regularly and feed them an optimal diet that includes probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids. It helps make your dog skin optimally healthy and mitigate the risk of future mite infestation.

Supplements for dog mites

It is crucial to consult with your vet and provide the recommended medications. You may want to consider supplementing with a nutrient that can enhance your dog’s immune system. Although supplementation alone cannot mitigate mites, it does boost your dog’s immunity. Studies show that a weakened immunity can result in a breeding ground for Demodex mange. Thus, it is crucial to have a strong immune system to reduce the risk of developing this type of mange.

You might want to add the following ingredients to your dog’s diet:

  • Multiple strains of probiotics
  • Superfoods such as blueberry and pumpkin for additional nutrients
  • Digestive enzymes

Steer clear from probiotics that are designed for humans. It is also crucial to avoid any food that contains the following:

  • Synthetic flavorings, preservatives, and dyes
  • Wheat and corn fillers
  • Artificial preservatives

Even if your pet has never suffered a mite infestation, you must add a high-quality probiotic to their diet. It is a tasty way to enhance your dog’s overall health and wellness.

Natural Preventatives for Dog Mites

Treatment is typically straightforward. Conditions such as mange and ear mites can be treated at once since there are readily available interventions in pharmacies. But you can apply daily preventive measures to ward off these parasites and make your furball happy and healthy.

Utilize an all-natural organic shampoo to keep your dog clean. When you wash your dog, be careful not to get water into their ears. Moisture can result in ear infections. When you bathe a large breed dog, they may be difficult to control if they are uncooperative. You may want to bathe them outdoors rather than to bathe them in the tub.

To soothe the itchy skin of your dog, apply skin tonic spray. These sprays have potent and soothing neem oil that enhances skin health. You can also utilize skin tonic oil for areas or patches with wounds.

If your dog is a rescue or a stray dog, it is crucial to examine them for mite and mange infestation thoroughly. If there is a serious infestation, your dog might have hair loss or redness. It is crucial to get them to a vet at once for treatments.

You can also utilize home remedies to soothe symptoms. Ingredients such as Apple cider vinegar and honey serves as a natural antiseptic that is soothing to the skin. Make sure you apply raw honey rather than commercial brands that utilize artificial colors and sugars. Apple cider vinegar is an organic and all-natural antiseptic. It has a potent smell, but it can help alleviate symptoms and soothe the skin.

But avoid getting too experimental with home remedies. Do not utilize ingredients and recipes that are not recommended by experts. It can result in further irritation. Never substitute online recommendations for the advice of a licensed veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

Mites are extremely uncomfortable and can cause endless sleepless nights for your dog. How do you know if your dog has mites? Dogs with mites excessively scratch themselves. It is crucial to stop mites before it becomes a full-blown infestation. Keep in mind that the effects of mites can be transmitted to humans. It is crucial to neutralize their presence and apply interventions on your dog and your environment—clean suspected items and areas with a mite infestation. Prevention is better than cure, so it is best to have routine cleaning and maintenance in your home.

Leave a Comment