Wednesday, 12 June, 2024

Chiggers In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment And Prevention

Chigger is a parasitic mite that can cling to your dog’s skin and cause severe discomfort. Chiggers can cause extreme scratching, but they can be treated. Unfortunately, dogs can get Chiggers as much and just as easy as humans. Dogs benefit from the safety of their fur, which makes it more difficult for Chiggers to enter their eyes. Dogs with thicker fur are well protected.


Symptoms & Signs


Chiggers do not cause symptoms in some animals; others may itch the region where the chiggers are present. Pets owners may see the parasite on their dog, or they may find that their dog is itchy. Chiggers can be present in dogs around the legs, head and belly.


Causes of Chiggers in Dogs


Your dog’s reason to be diagnosed with chiggers is actually getting exposed to them when it’s outside. Adult mites lay their eggs on the grass, then hatch into the chiggers that threaten your dog. Since the larvae hatch on the turf, they end up creeping into the grass and bushes where your dog is exposed. Chiggers stick to your dog to feed, then fall and moult into adults.


Chigger treatment and removal for dogs


Chiggers can linger on your dog’s skin for a few days, but once you’ve noticed them they’re very easy to pull off. In certain instances, the dog will also scratch them off on its own.


If you find that your dog has chiggers, give them a bath or a shower. Playing in the surrounding lake will do a trick as long as the chiggers get under the water line. In some cases, this will not be enough to eliminate the chiggers and you will have to take more intensive care. Dog owners can for example, send their pets a set of pyrethrin-based dips spaced a few weeks apart if they know that a dog has chigger issues. A topical anti-parasite medicine can also be used by the dog owner in the region of the skin where the chiggers cause skin inflammation.

If your dog is really itchy, you might ask the vet to prescribe a suitable oral or topical anti-inflammatory drug for your particular dog. In extreme cases, injectable steroids can be given to the dog for a few days to avoid repetitive scratching.

Preventing Chigger Infestation

The best way to prevent the infestation of chiggers is by keeping your pet indoors, particularly in spring and fall.  If your dog is on a monthly topical or oral flea preventative, they are less likely to get infested with chiggers if they’ll go outdoors.