These microscopic parasites can create intense irritation for canines and felines. Three types of mites commonly cause problems in our cats and dogs.
Ear mites reside in and cause irritation in the ear canal which leads to excessive itching, scratching and head shaking. Scratching may get so severe that it often leads to open sores and bleeding around the ears. Ear mites are extremely common in cats in our area.
Scabies mites are highly contagious, affect dogs and cats, and can happen at any time of the year. These mites burrow through the skin and often cause severe, intense itching with hair loss, a skin rash, and crusting on the skin. The bacterial skin infections often develop due to the animal damaging its own skin. Scabies is a zoonotic disease, which means people can catch scabies from their pets. If your animal has scabies, and you develop an uncontrollable itch or a skin rash, please consult your physician.
Demodex mites are another mite than can cause hair loss and bacterial infections in our pets. Demodex mites are normal inhabitants of all mammalian skin, meaning that all our pets and even all of us have demodex living in our hair follicles. These mites only cause problems in animals whose immune systems are having toubles. Immunocompromised pets may show small spots of hair loss due to demodex, or they could be so greatly affected that much of their hair coat is lost and their skin can become severely infected with bacteria.