Symptoms of mites in dogs
Dog mite symptoms will vary depending on the type of mite involved, but the signs primarily involve the skin. Read on to find out more about the three important mite species that can infest your dog.
Demodex mites are a normal inhabitant of your dog’s skin. These mites live in the hair follicles and are passed from a female dog to her pups during nursing. The dog’s immune system normally controls the number of mites so that they cause no harm.
Dogs can develop signs of disease (known as demodectic mange) if their immune system is unable to control the mite population. This most commonly occurs in young or malnourished dogs. An excessive mite problem can also occur in dogs that have other diseases that compromise their immune system.
Demodex mite symptoms can include:
- Hair loss
- Thickened skin
- Skin infections
As the mites themselves are too small to be seen with the naked eye, your vet will need to examine a skin scraping under the microscope to identify the mites.
Sarcoptes mites cause a disease called sarcoptic mange in dogs. The mites easily pass from an infested dog to other dogs that are in close contact. The mites can also be transmitted to humans.
Sarcoptes mite symptoms in dogs can include:
- Intense itching
- Hair loss
- Skin infections
Confirming a diagnosis of Sarcoptes mites can be difficult as the mites live within the skin. Your vet will need to examine a skin scraping under the microscope to identify the mites.
As their name suggests, ear mites inhabit the ear canals and surrounding skin. Ear mite symptoms can include:
- Skin irritation in and around the ears
- Scratching around the ears, head, and neck
- Head shaking
- Dark and waxy ear discharge
- An unpleasant odour from the ears
An ear mite infestation may also allow for a secondary bacterial or yeast infection to occur in your dog’s ears. Your vet can diagnose ear mites by looking at a sample from the ear canal under the microscope.
How to get rid of mites in dogs
It is important to visit your vet if you suspect that your dog has mites. Your vet will need to examine your dog and possibly perform tests to confirm the diagnosis, and determine whether any secondary problems are present (e.g. a bacterial skin infection).
Simple monthly dosing with NexGard® for Dogs or NexGard SPECTRA® for Dogs treats and controls the three most common mites infesting dogs in Australia: Demodex mites, the cause of demodectic mange; Sarcoptes mites, the cause of sarcoptic mange; and ear mites.
How long does it take to get rid of mites on dogs?
NexGard for Dogs and NexGard SPECTRA for Dogs are highly effective at treating Sarcoptes mites, Demodex mites and ear mites. A single dose is highly effective against ear mites. For Sarcoptes mites, two consecutive monthly doses are recommended. For Demodex mites, monthly treatment should be continued until the absence of mites is confirmed by two consecutive monthly skin scrapings (this test would be performed by your vet).
How do you get rid of ear mites on puppies?
How do I get rid of mites in the yard?
Close contact with other dogs is typically what causes mites to be transmitted to your pet, but some mites can also get onto surfaces in the environment (e.g. bedding) and infest a dog when they come in contact. Protect your dog from mites with NexGard for Dogs or NexGard SPECTRA for Dogs. Just one monthly chew helps keep dogs healthy by treating and controlling Sarcoptes mites, Demodex mites and ear mites.
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