One of the many reasons a dog might go to see the Veterinarian is because of Dog chiggers. The intense itching accompanied by dog chiggers attack is a heartbreaking sight for pet owners.
The tiny, orange-red, and oval parasites that cause this condition only leave your pets when they are engorged; but the effect lingers on for weeks until measures are taken.
Your furry friend would probably decline going out into the fields or playing in the sand anytime soon if it knew that what is causing the discomfort was picked up in one of the places.
In this article, you will learn more about dog chiggers and the treatment options available. Read on!
Dog Chiggers: What It Is!
The parasitic larvae stage of mites of the family Trombiculidae causes a type of mange called Trombiculosis or what you now know as chiggers.
These parasites look like tiny spiders and can be found in suitable habitats like tall grasses, thick vegetation, wooden areas, or rotten materials. If your dog has gone out to the fields to play or rolled over in the sands as they often love to do, and then start scratching — you might want to incriminate dog chiggers amongst other causes.
These mites are also known as red bugs, itch mites, scrub mites, and harvest mites. They are predominant during the summer and fall and look like orange-red oval dots. They are quite microscopic and are usually clustered around the ear, feet, belly, or head of their host; being that the major part of the dog’s body is covered with fur.
A lot of people think that these parasites burrow into the skin of their host, but they just feed off the fluid of the skin tissues and then leave days after they are well engorged and satisfied. Dog chiggers’ potential irritation and hypersensitivity reaction you observe on your furry friend is due to the cytolytic enzyme they inject into the dog’s skin once attached.
Symptoms Of Dog Chiggers
Listed below are the various signs you would notice if your dog has the chiggers:
- Redness of the skin — especially the area that is in contact with the parasite
- Skin bumps
- Hair loss
- The crust on the skin
- Broken skin which might result in secondary infections
- You will also find red patches on the skin
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Diagnosis Of Dog Chiggers
Except you are well acquainted with chiggers, telling if your dog has it will need a trip to the vet. The signs and history will guide the vet or you in determining if your dog has the dog chiggers. The Veterinarian will need a complete history including listed places and activities, diet as well as possible contact with allergens.
The Vet will rule out other causes of itching in dogs through a thorough physical examination; it is unlikely that you see the larvae of the mites on the skin since they don’t live on their host forever, although the severe itching and discomfort they cause live on.
Confirmation of the diagnosis is gotten from a careful examination of the area affected, and a skin scraping viewed under the microscope to ascertain the presence of the larvae. Other diagnostic tests may be performed to tackle other issues or secondary infections that may arise from the infestation.
Dog Chiggers Treatment Options
It is worthy of note that there are several home remedies a pet owner may try to soothe the dog and minimize the discomfort the dog is in. The home remedies include a cup of oatmeal added to warm bathing for the dog, and bathing a dog with warm water containing an adequate amount of Epson salt. These home remedies are often less effective as they are just temporary measures. Before trying any home remedy you know, consult with the veterinarian to ensure you are on the right path. If the mites are seen on the body of the dog, vet-recommended wipes can be used to remove them.
Treating dermal infections in dogs can sometimes be a hard and long process but the result is worth the while.
Your Vet might prescribe topical sprays and medications that prevent ticks and mites on a monthly basis. It could be a spray for the yard or for use on the dog’s body. These topical sprays and medications also prevent dog chiggers. It is essential that you read the labels carefully and follow the instructions provided by the Veterinarian. Examples of such sprays include Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Spray, kin+kind Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs & Cats, and FRONTLINE Dog Spray.
Your veterinarian might also recommend a chemical bathing for the relief of irritation and itching in dogs. Certain shampoo such as SynergyLabs Antiparasitic-Antiseborrheic Shampoo, Oatmeal Shampoo, and Wahl Dog Shampoo is used to bathe the dog and provides soothing relief to the skin. Most of these shampoos also have an anti-inflammatory effect and contain chemicals that kill the mites. It is recommended that the environment be treated with an insecticide to kill the ticks in the beddings, carpets, and other areas.
Alternatively, the Vet can prescribe anti-inflammatory medication such as prednisolone to help mitigate the itching and scratching effect of dog chiggers. Other medications such as antibiotics can also be prescribed to tackle secondary bacterial infections if the itching and scratching are prolonged and accompanied by the dog biting the affected area.
When using tick spray and sprays for the environment to combat dog chiggers, it is recommended that instructions be taken to the latter. Ingestions of these chemicals may cause organophosphate poisoning in your dog. There are no mincing words that poisoning is a greater issue if ingestion occurs. Therefore, read the labels carefully. It is safe to remove your furry friend from the environment for about 12hours.
Read more about What Is GenOne Spray For Dogs: Remarkable Facts Revealed!
Bugs, mites, and ticks bite our furry companions and cause great discomfort. Dog chiggers leave our dogs with irritations, bumps, broken skin, and hair loss. Treatment can be long and frustrating but patience is worthwhile.
Diagnosis is based on a complete physical examination, and identification of the causative agent through skin scrappings viewed under the microscope. There are several products on the market that can be used to soothe the condition in addition to prescribed medications from the veterinarian.
Although most pet owners turn to home remedies as a solution, it is advisable to follow the veterinarian’s treatment plan. With patience and the right treatments, dog chiggers would be a thing of the past. We hope this article answered all your questions and will help with managing dog chiggers.
How do I know if my dog has chiggers?
Raised bumps, broken skin, hair loss, and crusts on the skin are some indications that your dog might have the chiggers.
How long can chiggers live on a dog?
The larvae of Trombiculidae (chiggers) live on the host until it is engorged. They are usually clustered around the belly, ear, and interdigital spaces.
What does chiggers look like on a dog?
Chiggers are small, almost microscopic organisms that look like orange-red, oval dots. Your dog will intensely scratch and itch, although your vet will have to rule out other causes of itching.
How long do chigger bites last on dogs?
Chigger's bite is accompanied by intense itching. If your dog went on a walk or play in the woods/sand, comes back, and begins to itch, then you should suspect chiggers. Once chiggers are removed from the dog's body, the itching should subside in a day or two.