Dogs and mites I know sounds crazy but, I am going to touch on two common mites that affect dogs, all dogs inherit the Demodex mite from mom at birth believe it or not we as humans have our own form of Demodex mites on our skin and they too can get out of control and cause skin issues. So Demodex mites on your dogs skin is normal and all dogs have these tiny microscopic mites living on them, but when the immune system can't keep them in check this is when they create issues marked by hair loss and if it continues skin infections go with the territory. Often this can start out around the eyes and mouth but if the dog continues to get more patches of hair loos it becomes more of what they call generalized Demodex and this needs treatment. A young immature immune system you can see puppies with a few patches that often resolve once the immune system matures and the numbers are under control again. This often Veterinarians don't treat unless it becomes more generalized and doesn't resolve. There are many different treatments now available to completely resolve Demodex Bravecto being one of them. This type of mange is generally not itchy just unsightly and if the dog gets secondary skin infections this can cause itching depending on what the infection is, often it is Staphylococcus and this needs to be treated along with the mites. There are breeds who are more prone to Demodex due to faulty immune systems that can be inherited: Pit Bulls, Pugs,Bostons, Shar -Pei,Bulldogs, to name a few breeds. But now with so many great treatments out there it is a real game changer!
Then there is Sarcoptic Mites. Now these are extremely itchy to the affected dogs often picked up in areas frequented by fox an coyotes or playing with or through an area or bedded area a affected dog has been. Many dogs go Un diagnosed for years due to the fact only 20% of skin scrapings can pick them up! This is the dog form of Scabies and yes they can get on human skin and make you itch and even been documented cases of them completing life cycles on humans though UN common. Usually presents as a papular rash that is very itchy often lasting a couple of weeks if un treated if it continues you will need to seek your DR for treatment. This mite often starts on the ear tips as a waxy substance with hair loss and itching, also affecting the hocks, armpits and under belly of the dog. This is an extremely itchy condition often non stop. Sometimes this is the only symptom even documented cases they do not have any hair loss. One great test you can do is rub the Ear Pinna between your fingers to see if they are positive for the pedal reflex. The hind leg will try to kick and itch this is high diagnostic for Canine Scabies and needs further investigation and often medication to rule out Sarcoptic Mites. Many Veterinarians mistake for allergies and dogs and humans may suffer better to treat and rule out if you have a very itchy dog. There are many good treatment options first in line being Bravecto in a single dose or Revolution given every two weeks for three to four treatments to hit all life stages of the Mite. There are other treatments as well topical and dips and of course adressing underlying skin infections that go hand in hand. I highly recommend preventive so you never have to deal with this mite. Bravecto and Revolution are my personal choice.