Although it’s not officially harvest time yet we are seeing an increasing number of dogs presenting to us with grass mite infestations. Dogs will be going frantic, scratching or biting at their paws, and developing red lumps. Have a close look at the itchy areas – usually where the skin is thinnest or near to the grass. Your dog could be suffering from a harvest mite infection.
Most common places are the tummy, groin, and around the paws. See if there are little raised lumps usually with a little hard crust on top. Sometimes there may be small oozing spots with intense irritation. These little pests also affect humans, and you may also find you are itching around your legs with these same little red lumps.
There are several mite species that may annoy animals and humans directly, especially during the late summer and autumn. They tend to be found in areas of grassland and cornfields.
The minute, reddish larvae, which are the size of a pin head, suck the lymph and blood of humans and other mammals. They puncture the skin and inject a substance that dissolves the skin tissue to form a kind of feeding-tube. Their bites produce small spots that itch intensely and are often called ‘heat-spots’. Dogs may be considerably annoyed by these larvae, which attack them between the toes, on the tummy and the groin areas. The itching can last for days to weeks. Once fully developed the larvae turn into nymphs, which later become adult mites. Neither the nymphs nor the adults suck blood and both these more mature stages are quite harmless.
Prevention is the best treatment for harvest mites, keeping your dog off grass will be impossible, we recommend keeping your pet covered with a Bravecto parasite treatment which comes in a tablet form and lasts for three months.”
If your pet has a bad infestation already he may need to see the vet where further treatment may be necessary