Does Your Dog Have Harvest Mites?

Does Your Dog Have Harvest Mites?

Does Your Dog Have Harvest Mites?

Now that autumn has officially arrived, it is important for dog owners to be aware of harvest mites. These little critters can cause discomfort for your dog, particularly with regards to skin irritation.  Here’s what you need to know about harvest mites.

Is Your Dog at Risk?

Harvest mites are most active during the autumn months so it is possible that your dog will be affected at this time of year. It is not uncommon for dogs to become infested with harvest mites during autumn dog walks, especially in areas of long grass or dense foliage. They particularly favour these type of environments and are also more active during dry and sunny conditions.

Walking your dog earlier in the morning can therefore be useful for avoiding the potential for a harvest mite infestation, as can staying away from areas that are more likely to be hot spots.

Do Harvest Mites Pose Any Danger?

For the most part, a harvest mite infestation is believed to be irritating for your dog in much the same way as a flea infestation. This may not be the full story though. More worryingly, harvest mites have been potentially linked, although this is not confirmed, Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI). This is a serious condition that has been occurring during the autumn months for a number of years and has proved fatal in some cases. Experts have now suggested that it may be caused by harvest mites, although this has yet to be proved conclusively. To be on the safe side, it is best to avoid walking your dog in woodland areas during the autumn.

How to Know If Your Dog Is Affected By Harvest Mites

Itching is one of the most obvious signs that your dog may be suffering the repercussions of a harvest mite infestation. During the larvae stage, harvest mites will feed on warm blooded hosts and this can cause significant itching and discomfort for affected animals. This will usually begin hours of an infestation and can potentially last for a few weeks. The irritation associated with harvest mites can also lead to hair loss and flaking skin. In severe cases, this can result in infections.

A harvest mite infestation can sometimes be spotted as red or orange specks on your dog’s coat. Itching and visible signs are often focused on the head but can occur in other parts of the body.

Protecting Your Dog Against Harvest Mites

Some anti-flea products can also offer protection against harvest mites. If your current flea treatment does not offer this benefit, you may want to speak to your vet about switching to one that does.

 

[Photo Credit: Günter Hentschel ]