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What is the difference between mites and fleas?
Dogs are at risk of playing host to a number of parasites, from fleas and ticks to lice and mites. While all of these parasites are bad, they can wreak havoc on your pet in many different ways. It is important to know the difference between fleas and mites in particular so you can best protect your pooch.
Owners tend to be familiar with fleas because they are one of the most common parasites a dog can get. These jumpy, wingless insects are known for biting and sucking blood from your dog, which often causes an allergic reaction called flea dermatitis. This itchy skin condition may cause your dog to scratch places of its body raw, which can then lead to hot spots and bacterial infections.
If your dog has fleas, you should consider treating it with pet products like Frontline Spray, which kills as many as 100 percent of fleas in less than 24 hours and lasts for a month. You might also want to give it a bath with pet shampoo like Be Flea Free Shampoo and start it on flea-killing pet drugs like Comfortis or Pet Armor.
You can treat painful hot spots or any remaining skin conditions with other soothing shampoos like Epi-Soothe Shampoo.
You often hear about a "mangy" stray dog, and may have thought it just means kind of scrappy or in rough shape. In reality, it usually refers to a health condition called mange, which is caused by mites. There are two types of mange, sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. There are also ear mites, which can be treated and controlled using pet drugs like Revolution.
Demodectic mange, also known as red mange, is generally not contagious. In fact, all dogs have demodex mites on them, but those with healthy immune systems are able to fight off the parasites. When a dog has a compromised immune system, it is less able to fight them off, and thus experiences demodectic mange. This is characterized by patches of dry, scaly skin and redness near the mouth or eyes. Your vet will likely prescribe Mitaban Dip, a topical treatment that relieves the pooch of skin irritations associated with mange. The vet may also recommend a supplement like Vetri-DMG to strengthen the dog's immune system.