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Mighty Mite by Dr. David J. Kerr, DVM

There are many different types of mites that cause problems with dogs and cats. These microscopic, eight-legged, skin dwellers cause conditions like Mange, Scabies, Walking Dandruff, Red Mange among others. All these critters live in or on the skin, cause itching and all are contagious to dogs and cats and some contagious to humans.

Ear mites, Otodectes cynotis is the most common mite. This mite generally affects immature animals and promotes ear infections.

Red Mange caused by Demodex canis lives in the hair follicles of the skin and when this mite multiplies hair falls out and infection invades the skin. All this causes the skin to be inflamed and red leading to the name.

Cheyletiella is a white mite that lives and moves around on the skin. Due to its color and movement it is sometimes called Walking Dandruff. This mite feeds of the outer layer of the skin and causes mild itching.

Mange, Sacbies are names given to the disease caused by Sarcoptes scabeii. This mite lives in the skin of dogs and sometimes people. Sarcoptes causes intense itching and is the most itchy disease of dogs. Dogs scratch so much they can injure their skin and cause bacterial infections.

These pesky parasites often can be cured quickly bringing relief to irritated skin and ears. Sometimes though, if left too long, bacterial infections can occur and the mite (in the case of Sarcoptes) can make the humans in the family itchy as well.

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