Mites, our pets and what to do about them!
Animals infested with mites, will commonly present with skin issues such as itchiness, dandruff and hair loss.
Mites aren’t actually an insect, they are a type of arthropod (joint-legged invertebrates) related to Arachnida family. There are four common types of mites that can infest animals which are:
- Demodex canis mites
- Sarcoptes scabiei mites
- Otodectes cynotis mites
- Cheyletiella mites
These mites will commonly cause different symptoms and therefore veterinary surgeons can sometimes suspect which might may be the cause based on these symptoms however a skin scrape will be taken to confirm to ensure they receive the correct treatment.
Demodex canis mites
Demodex canis can be otherwise referred to as demodicosis, demodex mange, demodectic mange or red mange. These mites are a parasite and attach themselves to the hair follicles on the animal’s coat causing mange. It will mostly commonly be seen in young dogs (as it is easily passed from mother to puppies during nursing), neglected dogs or dogs with lowered immune systems.
As the mite attached to the animal’s hair follicle, they will typically present with the below symptoms:
- Thickened skin
- Hair loss
- Secondary infections (yeast or bacteria)
Demodex can be typically treated with a spot on or tablet treatment that will be prescribed by your veterinary surgeon as they will be a prescription only medicine.
Sarcoptes Scabiei mites
Unlike Demodex canis mites, Sarcoptes scabiei mites burrow into the animal’s skin. We know, gives you the creepy crawlies just thinking about it! These mites may present with the below symptoms:
- Scratching more than usual especially around the groin and armpit
- Reddening of the skin
- Hair loss
Similarly like demodex canis mites, these mites can be treated using a spot on or tablet treatment that will be prescribed by your veterinary surgeon as they will be a prescription only medicine.
Otodectes cynotis mites
Otodectes cynotis are surface mites that target the ears on your animal, an animal infested with these mites will typically have the below symptoms:
- Constant scratching at their ears
- Shaking of their head
- The inside of their ears may appear dirty
These mites can be treated with a spray, spot on or tablet treatment, our veterinary surgeons will be able to advise the most appropriate product if these mites were found on your pet.
Cheyletiella mite infestation may also be referred to a cheyletiellosis, or more commonly known as ‘walking dandruff’. You make be thinking that is a strange name for a mite but it makes sense. This mite commonly looks on first glance like your animal just has dandruff however if examined under the microscope, they are actually mites hence the name ‘walking dandruff’
These mites can be treated, our veterinary surgeons will be able to advise the most appropriate product if these mites were found on your pet.