Animal Care Clinic Tips

Nov 23, 2009 6:14 PM by By Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP

Mites on my pet?!

This month we have looked at inhaled allergies, fleas and food allergies as causes of skin disease in dogs and cats. There are many other things that can cause itchiness and hair loss.

One of the more common problems in younger pets is mite infestation, often called mange. Puppies that develop Demodex mites are often short-haired and will show small bald & scaly spots that are not very itchy. The mites are usually easy to diagnose but can be difficult to treat. Dips, topical flea products or injections may be needed to clear the infection.

Demodex mites all over the body or in adult dogs can be a very serious problem. Dogs may also get Sarcoptic mites, or scabies, which tend to cause extreme itchiness and hair loss in the armpits and on the feet, face and ear margins. They can be very difficult to diagnose with lab tests and can also be tough to treat at times. Again, we may use dips, topicals or injectables.

The most common mite in cats is the ear mite, which causes a coffee-ground like exudate and extreme itchiness in the ears. These are generally easy to diagnose and treat, and can be prevented with some of the topical flea products. Cats also get their own form of Demodex and Scabies.

If you have an itchy pet, give us a call. We are open Monday through Friday 7:30-6, Saturday 9-3 and Monday nights until 8 p.m.

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