Many dog owners are seriously concerned about mites on their dogs. Think of mites as the common cold equivalent to humans. They are incredibly contagious and can easily spread from one dog to another, and because they are so prevalent, almost every other dog has experienced mites at one point or another.
Mites are generally not a major problem, and, in most cases, a mite infestation may resolve itself without requiring any kind of intervention. Mites are small, microscopic, crab-like parasites that you might consider a part and parcel of life. However, there are certain kinds of mites. Some of these can lead to serious problems in animals if you do not treat them.
Types of Dog Mite Infestations
Mite infestations are likely to cause skin irritations in dogs. This skin irritation is known as “mange.” However, when it comes down to the basics, there are four different types of mites that are likely to result in serious effects and symptoms. These are as follows:
Canine scabies: These types of mites tend to burrow into the skin; they are not satisfied with just residing on the surface.
Otodectes cynotis: These ear mites like to reside in the ears. You can easily spot them due to the black or brownish red crusting that develops in the dog’s ears.
Demodex canis: These are small mites that tend to live in the dog’s hair follicles, and they can cause a condition known as demodectic mange. These kinds of mites are quite prevalent, and you can easily find them in healthy dogs.
Cheyletiella yasguri: These types of mites are known as “walking dandruff,” they are most commonly found on the surface.
Handling a Mite Infestation
It’s obviously not a good feeling when you think of parasites stuck to your furry friend’s body and feeding off of the animal. Demodex mites are generally found on healthy dogs that receive proper care. Unless the animal’s immune system is affected, their presence isn’t going to cause much of an issue. So how do you get rid of mites on a dog?
Most dogs that generally have a strong immune system can easily prevent these mites from spreading. When the mite population starts to increase, it eventually causes inflammation and can lead to excessive itching. This can eventually pave the way for a bacterial infection.
Pets that have a weakened immune system are at a much higher risk of developing a serious case of mites. While there are several cases where demodectic mange is quite prevalent among puppies and resolves on its own, there are other issues that may worsen the problem. Some of the most common reasons that can worsen a mite infestation are as follows.
Stress is a major problem that can bring down even perfectly healthy dogs. Dogs tend to get stressed due to a variety of reasons, with the most common one being separation anxiety. Dogs like to stay as close to their owners as possible, but they don’t always get to. During the day, you might have to go to work, and the animal is likely to get stressed out over time.
With the passage of time, the dog’s condition is going to wear out and they are going to be at a heightened risk of a mite infestation. Stress needs proper management, so make sure that you spend appropriate time with your dog and include it in your life.
Lack of Exercise
Lack of exercise is a serious problem in many large dogs. If you have a large breed animal, such as a Siberian Husky or a German Shepherd, you will want to make sure that the animal gets at least an hour of exercise a day. The animal’s going to have a lot of pent-up energy inside of it, so that needs to be released.
Without proper exercise and a runaround, your dog is not going to be able to feel healthy. With the passage of time, this could lead to a series of different problems for your dog.
Dogs are generally quite clean creatures, and like to make sure that their environment remains neat and clean. However, if your house isn’t clean, it could eventually cause problems for your dog. An unclean environment could spell disaster for your dog and cause serious problems.
With the passage of time, you will notice your dog wheezing or suffering from respiratory problems. Eventually, this might lead to other issues such as fever or infections. All of these problems ultimately exacerbate the problem and can significantly increase the chances of a mite infestation.
It’s also important to note that nursing dogs or pregnant ones are at a considerably elevated risk of an infection.
Is it Deadly?
While most mite infestations are not deadly at all, untreated demodectic mange can eventually kill the dog. If you see patchy skin developing on the dog’s face, it’s a common symptom that your dog is suffering from demodectic mange. Eventually, it’s going to spread to the rear of the dog, and will cause serious discomfort to the problem.
While the mite infestation is mostly localized in adult dogs, older dogs suffer from demodectic mange all over their bodies. If you notice patchy skin developing on your dog’s face, you need to take action right away. It might be a wise idea to visit a veterinarian to figure out the problem.
It might be a wise idea to invest in a safe spray or a shampoo that is specifically designed to treat this condition. These are specifically designed formulae that can help alleviate the symptoms and remove the mites from your dog’s skin, thus providing your dog with considerable relief.
If you are looking for a simple treatment for your dog’s mite infestation, you might want to mix a bit of hydrogen peroxide (1%) with some borax powder and water. You will also need a soft cone to put around your dog’s collar. All of these are generally available on the cheap and you can easily buy them from your local general store.
Once you mix them properly, you should put the solution on properly. Carefully mix the solution and apply it to your dog on a regular basis. This is going to eventually kill the mite population and provide relaxation and relief to your dog. These are just some of the things that you need to do to deal with the infestation.