Parasites come in many sizes, shapes and levels of "severity" for our pets. This collection of parasites are those commonly found on dogs and other species, sometimes affecting humans (called a zoonotic disease).
Fleas. They make pets' lives miserable, and humans begin to itch just at the thought of them. Vets are often asked what pill, drop, dip, collar, or shampoo works the best to get rid of these persistent parasites. The answer is that there is no single method or insecticide that will completely eradicate (or at least control) a flea problem. The flea life cycle is fairly complex, and understanding the various stages will make it easier to get rid of them.
Heartworm disease is caused by a parasite that lives mainly in the blood vessels of the lung and in the heart, transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm disease has been seen in several species, but dogs are very susceptible. It can be fatal and is difficult to treat, but fortunately heartworm disease is easy to prevent.
3. Ear Mites
Ear mites are tiny parasites that live out their life cycle mostly inside the ear canal. They are quite common, and can cause severe irritation and itchiness of the ears.
The most common ear mite of cats and dogs is Otodectes cynotis, and therefore an infestation with ear mites is sometimes called "otodectic mange."
4. Demodex Mite
Demodex mites are microscopic normal inhabitants of dog skin. In a healthy animal, the mites are few in number and do not cause skin problems. In some cases though, the mites can take over, leading to a condition commonly called "mange" or demodicosis. Learn about the types of mange and various treatment options for this skin parasite.
Cheyletiella are mites that live on the skin, causing irritation, dandruff, and itchiness. A distinguishing feature of this mite species are the large, claw-like mouth parts. These mites can be found quite commonly on cats, dogs and rabbits, and other species. Though humans are not a natural host for this parasite, Cheyletiella mites can happily live on humans for a while, causing an itchy rash.
There are many ideas about the best way to remove a tick, one of the most common tricks being to put a lit match on the tick to make the tick "angry" enough to back out on its own. The truth is, this can actually make things worse for you and the tick; injecting more foreign material into you (or your pet) from the tick. Early removal of the tick is very important. Find out how to check for and remove ticks safely in this how to.
Has your pet been diagnosed with ear mites? Please share your story - what did you notice first, was your pet's treatment successful?
Please note: This is a space to share your story (not Q & A) with other viewers. Please see the ear mite article and ask your vet about pet-specific questions and treatments.