Dog Mites - what you need to know.

What are dog mites?

Dog Mites are tiny creatures that live on the hair follicles, they are long and thin a bit like a cigarette and visible through a microscope. It is mites that cause an itchy red skin infection, called manage.

The Demodex mite lives on a certain type of host, Demodex Canis – lives on dogs, Demodex Cati - lives on cats and humans have their own form of the demodex mite.

Most healthy dogs have a small number of demodex mites present on their skin, puppies get an initial small population of mites from their mother soon after birth. A small number of mites can cause your dog no problems,unless they have trouble with their immune system which controls the number of mites.


Secondary Infection

When the number of mites multiplies to an unacceptable number they cause itching. Your dachshund starts scratching until he damages the skin and this allows bacteria to set up an infection.

The result of this secondary infection is that the skin develops areas of infections which are red, weepy and the hair falls out leaving bare patches this is known as mange. This over time the skin can look like leather.

These dogs are more at risk of demodex mange

  • Dogs or puppies that are physically ill or stressed
  • Young dogs or puppies are more prone to demodex

  • Dogs infested with intestinal worms or heart worms
  • Dogs with cancer, diabetes or Cushings disease are more at risk
  • Dogs on steroid medication


Unfortunately a number of breeds of dogs are prone to mange infections and the Dachshund breed is one of them. Dogs with a severe manage infection should not be bred because the disease has a genetic component. Keeping your dog in good physical condition and stress free, this will go a long way to keeping him mange free.


Ear Mites

A fairly common problem with dog ear health is ear mites ( Otodectes )  they cause infection inside the ear canal, they are tiny creatures that live on or under the skin.

These mites are often found in young puppies especially abandoned pups and dogs found in shelters. Mature dogs do sometimes get ear mites but they seem to be much more resistant to them. Humans are not hosts of these mites so are not affected by them.


Signs of ear mites

  • Dog will be scratching his ears excessively
  • Shaking his head excessively
  • Discharge from ears, looks a little like coffee grounds, dark brown or black, dry. This discharge is made up of blood, ear wax, mites and has an unpleasant smell.


Treatments for dog mites

There are a number of suitable treatments available for ear mites.  When administrating treatment ensure you follow instructions carefully as often if the full course is not given, the mite life cycle will not be destroyed and the problem of mites will reoccur. If left untreated painful ear infections can result.

Other pages of interest

Dog parasites

Dog flea control - how to kill those nasty fleas

Dog ticks - how to control this parasite

Dog lice - learn about this parasite

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The information given on this site,is compiled from our
knowledge and research and is designed to supplement
not replace your vets or other professionals advice.

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