Understanding ticks and mites in dogs

Understanding ticks and mites

What are they?

Trying to understand the many different parasites can be a confusing place as a dog owner. Our vet nurses have broken it down so you can easily understand the difference between ticks and mites.

 

Fleas, ticks and mites are pesky parasites that live on our pets. They fall under a group of parasites called ‘ectoparasite’, which basically just means they live on the skin of the pet. While ensuring that you protect your pet from ectoparasites might feel daunting, it is simple when you have the right knowledge.

A ticky situation

Ticks belong to the spider family. Ticks are seasonal creatures so they’re more active in the warmer months from spring through to autumn. Unfortunately, they can still jump onto our pets any time of the year. They live in the environment and they’re particularly common in grassy or woodland areas, but are often present in lawns of gardens. For a short time every year ticks need to feed.

There are many skin lumps that can look like a tick, or sometimes ticks that look like skin tags or warts. If you have found something on your pet and you are unsure whether it is a tick or not, it is best to get veterinary advice.

 

How do ticks survive?

When ticks are active they start looking for something to feed on, and that can include our pets. They use their mouths to bury their heads into the skin and attach like glue. Once they’re attached, they’re very difficult to remove. Ticks feed on the blood of the host and start to swell, which is a terrible thought! They will eventually drop off when they are full, to continue their life cycle. In this time there is a risk of transmitting disease to your pets.

"Lice can make the skin dry, itchy and cause dandruff. You may even see hair loss."

What are mites?

Mites are pesky little critters that burrow under the skin of dogs, and can cause itching, hair loss and skin and ear infections. While incredibly unpleasant for your pet, the good news is that they can be treated. Treatment will depend on the type of mite present and the severity of the infestation present. Some mite infestations can cause damage to the skin and potentially create a gateway for bacteria and infections, so your vet may need to treat your pet's skin alongside the mites to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.

 

For 24/7 vet car

Remember, if you are in need of advice about how to protect your pet from these creepy crawlies, our vets and nurses are always available to provide pet care within the Joii Pet Care app.