What do they look like and where do they live?
- The mite Demodex canis, which affects dogs, lives on the skin
- Cats can be infected by Demodex mites called Demodex cati, but skin disease caused by these mites is rare in cats
- The adult mite, Demodex canis is a slender mite with eight short stubby legs and a long body, often described as “cigar shaped”
How can my pet contract Demodex?
- There is only one instance in which Demodex mites can be transferred between dogs; and this is when the mites are transmitted from the bitch to her pups, via direct contact
- Other than during this brief period, the mite is not contagious
- The affected puppies will carry the mite on their skin for the rest of their lives. Many of these animals never go on to develop skin disease; it is only in certain individuals where the mites multiply in numbers and cause disease
How will this parasite affect my pet?
- In certain individuals, the dog becomes unable to keep the mite numbers under control; the mite numbers increase drastically, and start to cause clinical signs of skin disease
- Disease caused by Demodex mites is called demodicosis, and symptoms include hair loss and inflamed patches of skin
- The skin disease caused by this mite ranges from mild disease through to a severe condition
Can this parasite affect my health?
- This mite is not considered to be a significant risk to humans