A chigger attack might have happened to you if you’ve ever walked your dog through a field or through the woods only to have them itch for the next few days. These minuscule, red parasites are so minute that you might not even notice them on your dog, but if they start to itch, it’s hard to ignore them.
What Are Chiggers?
Chiggers are sometimes referred to as red bugs, harvest mites, itch mites, and scrub mites. The scientific name for chiggers is Trombiculamites. The small pests are frequently observed in wooded areas and regions with long grasses, especially in the Southeast of the United States.
Chigger larvae consume a variety of species, including birds and reptiles. When dogs enter a chigger’s native habitat, their bites can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. The American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) points out that developing chigger larvae frequently aggregate in one location, making it more probable for an unwary host to come into contact with a large number of chiggers at once.
According to Dr. Susan E. Little, chair of Veterinary Pathobiology at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, “they are so tiny you can hardly see them. A single chigger infestation may be sufficient to keep pet parents who live an active lifestyle indoors, according to Little.
The idea that chiggers burrow into the skin and feed on blood is probably the most common myth about them. Chiggers don’t actually enter the skin; instead, Little claimed; they feed on skin cells. According to the AAVP, the larval chigger’s salivary secretions solidify to create a tube known as a stylostome that it utilizes to suck out liquefied skin tissue from its host. A few days may pass between feedings. The chigger completes its task, then separates and moves on to the prenymphal stage of its life cycle. The feeding tube continues to be linked to the host, which is what is causing the lingering itching.
The main symptom of chigger bites, which are most prevalent in the summer and fall, is intense itching. According to the AAVP, chiggers do not transfer disease, but scratching the bites can cause a secondary infection.
Treating Chigger Bites
Because of its fur, a dog’s body is generally protected from chigger bites, although chiggers can adhere to a dog’s head, especially the skin in and around the dog’s ears and eyes. “Little remarked, “The sooner you get them off, the better.
Little advises rubbing the region with a soft cloth or a skin wipe that has been approved by a veterinarian to get rid of chiggers from these delicate locations. A hot bath can be beneficial. Prednisone may be prescribed by a veterinarian in cases of severe infestation to reduce scratch-induced skin inflammation, according to Little. In addition, systemic pet treatments with acaricides (any drug used to kill ticks and mites, including as Frontline, Revolution, and Seresto) can help deter pests by eliminating ticks and chiggers simultaneously.
Happily, according to Dr. Christine L. Cain, assistant professor and section chief at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Dermatology & Allergy Section, chiggers don’t jump from dogs to people. Additionally, even though the chiggers themselves are not difficult to get rid of, the itching can last for up to a week. Chiggers won’t survive on dogs for very long.
Dog owners could be tempted to experiment with complementary therapies to help relieve their pets’ itching discomfort. But using Epsom salts, oatmeal, or green tea in the bath water as a remedy may or may not work. Cain advises consulting your dog’s doctor before attempting any alternative therapies.
What signs do my dog have of having chiggers?
Chigger Symptoms in Dogs
- elevated red bumps.
- Rashes that typically appear where skin has contact with the ground (feet, stomach, nose, ears, head)
- Scratching can break open skin lesions, which can cause secondary infection.
- on the skin, orange crusting
- Skin patches that are erythematous.
- Alopecia. Hair loss
How do you get rid of dog chiggers?
Chiggers are dreadful little mites that can be found in grassy areas around lakes and rivers, golf courses, parks, and meadows. They can bite both people and their pets.
They lay their eggs in dirt and close to grassy places, and they do best in warm, humid environments. When your dog might like nothing more than a roll around in the lush, dewy grass in spring and summer, there is a higher danger of infestations.
Chiggers are tiny mite-like spiders that belong to the family Trombiculidae. They are sometimes referred to as harvest mites, red bugs, and berry bugs.
They are difficult to see with the naked eye because they are tiny—about the size of a pin—and orange or red. The extreme itching may be the first sign that your pet has an infestation.
This severe itching and flat or raised red spots on the skin that occasionally look blistering are signs of chigger bites.
Chigger bites on your pets are typically concentrated on the abdomen, groin, and inside of the ears. Therefore, breeds with wrinkled skin, like Shar Peis, are particularly vulnerable to chigger bites.
The crotch and genital areas, armpits, elbows, and behind the knees are the areas of thinner skin where chiggers most frequently bite.
The feeding mechanisms and mouth portions of the chigger are inserted into the skin when it bites. They inject skin-damaging enzymes into the host, and it is these that frequently cause reactions by destroying the tissue around the bite. They place a feeding tube, known as a sylostome, further into the bite region once the area around the bite hardens. If they are not disturbed, they can feed on the skin through this structure for a few days.
When your dog scratches these irritating bites from chiggers, the injured skin can quickly become infected. You should find these popular remedies below helpful in calming the issue.
Soothing home remedies
Your dog will feel better if you give him a warm bath with 2 cups of Epsom salts to comfort him and a small amount of dishwashing liquid to help get rid of the ticks.
Avoid getting any of this liquid in your pet’s eyes, mouth, or nose at all costs.
If your dog has a special allergy to any of the components in Epsom salts or dishwashing detergent, you may want to speak with your veterinarian before doing this.
Dogs who have been bitten by chiggers may find it affordable and effective to use an ice pack that has been wrapped in cloth. The cold numbs the region, calms the skin, and lessens your dog’s itching and irritation.
Colloidal oatmeal is a calming substance with anti-inflammatory protection. To help relieve the itching, simply stir in a cup of ground oatmeal to your dog’s bath water. Then, let your pet soak.
Put some porridge oats in a sock, hold the sock over the faucet, and run the bath through the sock with the oats inside. This is one of the simplest ways to add this to a bath. This will allow the soothing oatmeal to mingle with the water while keeping the oat granules inside the sock.
Green tea also has anti-inflammatory components that can reduce itching and get rid of ticks. Depending on the size of your dog, brew several bags of green tea, add cold water, and then thoroughly rinse your dog with it.
Aloe or calamine lotion use can also be calming. Antihistamines and topical lotions for treating insect bites and stings. The Click-it itch treatment clickers are a favorite among my kids, who vouch for their effectiveness.
The trick of filling the bath with an oat-filled sock works equally well for people.
To get rid of any mites, wash your clothing as well as any towels or pet blankets that have come into touch with the floor in hot water.
Useful substances Both rosemary and citronella have inherent deterring properties. It is also possible to use conventional insect repellant.
Every year, chiggers frequently choose the same breeding locations. When you know a place is crawling with ticks, stay away!
What does a dog’s bite from a chigger look like?
Chigger symptoms are difficult to distinguish from those of other skin disorders since they are generic. However, a few signs to watch out for are:
- elevated red spots Your dog’s itchiness will usually be intense, and they could be inflamed or irritated.
- damaged skin
- Your dog may have developed sores on his skin or scraped his skin until it was raw.
- RashesThese will probably appear on his body in places where he has touched the ground (underside, legs, ears, face and head)
- ErythemaRedness or a generalized rash-like irritation of your dog’s skin in spots
- Your dog may also get pimples on his skin, which can appear along with a rash.
- If your dog is experiencing a strong response, you might notice that some areas of his fur are falling out.
elevated red bumps These will typically cause your dog a lot of itching, and they could be swollen or irritated.
You might discover that your dog has rubbed his skin raw or developed skin sores.
RashesThis is most likely to happen on his body in places where he has touched the ground (underside, legs, ears, face and head)
ErythemaRedness or overall skin irritation on your dog that appears as a large rash in spots
AcneYour dog may also experience acne on his skin, which can appear in conjunction with a rash.
When the condition is further advanced or when there are serious symptoms, you might notice that your dog is balding in some areas.
Do chiggers hurt dogs in any way?
If your dog is typical of all dogs, it probably roams the home, alternately lying down on your spotless rugs and in doors. You undoubtedly consider your dog to be a vital member of the family, and you care deeply about his well-being. Can your dog, however, catch the same diseases as you? Consider chigger bites, also referred to as trombiculiasis mites. The parasite makes people itch and scratch, and it must be handled carefully to prevent subsequent infections. But can chiggers even bite your dog?
Can dogs get chigger bites?
YES! Dogs can acquire chigger bites, just like humans do. Some people may believe this because of their thick coats of hair, but in reality, this is untrue. Your dog is just as likely to develop an infection from chiggers as you are!
Does my dog have chigger bites?
Fortunately, the signs of chigger bites are quite easy to recognize. Does your dog constantly itch red, raised pimples on their body? Has your dog’s skin cracked, resulting in sores or irritation? Have any rashes appeared on your dog, especially on the areas of their bodies that frequently come into contact with the ground? Does your dog have any bald spots? These are all potential signs of chigger bites.
Most chigger bites occur as a result of your dog being outside. The ground is where the adult mites deposit their eggs, which hatch and subsequently bite your dog. The issue arises after the chiggers adhere to your dog to feed.
Chigger bites are primarily diagnosed physically by your veterinarian. In addition to keeping an eye out for an orange crust, your veterinarian might want to run additional tests to rule out other conditions. Your dog’s medical history and way of life will then be reviewed by your veterinarian to see whether your dog is likely to have come into contact with the mites. For details on the signs and symptoms of chigger bites as well as other issues, read our guide.
How do I treat my dog’s chigger bites?
Keeping your dog away from chiggers and keeping the infected area clean are the two main components of treating your dog’s chiggers. To try and get rid of the chiggers, take a soapy bath. To prevent additional infection, you should also try to stop your dog from scratching the chigger bites. Utilizing ice packs may help in certain cases to reduce the urge to scratch.
Your veterinarian can suggest some extra medicine to treat the parasites if no natural remedies manage to keep the chiggers at bay. Fipronil and permethrin can both be used to try and decrease any infection in addition to preventing infestation. But generally speaking, natural solutions are used for treatment.
How long it takes to get rid of the chiggers completely determines how well you will recover. After a day or two of being rid of them, your dog’s symptoms may start to improve. Your dog should be totally recovered in a matter of weeks if treatment is used. Your dog will recover more quickly and have a lower chance of contracting chiggers again if you keep him clean and away from chigger hot places.
How are chigger bites similar in dogs and humans?
The signs of chigger bites in dogs, people, and other animals share many characteristics. Here are some examples of commonalities you might observe:
Individuals may appear to be constantly scratching or itching, in both dogs and people.
Both cases have the potential for the problematic location to get infected and start generating discharge.
How are chigger bites different in dogs and humans?
Additionally, there are some notable variations in symptoms that are important to be aware of. Some of the variations include:
Dogs may experience patches of hair loss, especially in the area beneath their bodies that frequently comes into touch with hard surfaces. However, in humans, hair loss is not a symptom connected to chigger bites.
Humans frequently develop chigger bites on their legs when they come into contact with low bushes, long grass, etc.; however, dogs can develop chigger bite patches just about anyplace.
In people, inflammation and irritation will be considerably more obvious. Dogs will require closer examination due to their hair.
Chyna was a brown Labrador Retriever that was 3 years old. Her owners got concerned when the scratching became practically constant. The unoccupied farm field close to their home was suspected to be the likely culprit when the vet swiftly confirmed chigger bites. Chyna’s symptoms disappeared in about 10 days thanks to thorough bathing and keeping her away from the contaminated land. This shown that, in many cases, treatment may be carried out at home by following a few simple steps.