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Mites (Fur) in Dogs and Cats

Fur Mites in Dogs and Cats

Herbal remedies to help support symptoms of skin fur mites on dogs and cats.

Nutrition plays a major role in skin and bone health. Healthy skin and bones are a result of a well-functioning,immune system which also impacts many organs and tissues in the animal body. Herbal nutrition can help support skin and coat, and help your dog and cat counteract fleas, ticks, mites, mosquitoes and other insects by boosting immune health and maintaining the skin's ability to withstand and repair the effects of topical wounds, scars, burns, environmental exposure to toxins, allergens, antigens and microorganisms, both bacterial and viral.

Fur mites, also known as Cheyletiella mites, are larger than most other mites affecting pets, and can actually be seen by the naked eye. These mites can cause Cheyletiella mange which is demonstrated by skin irritation, hair loss, itching, and dandruff. It is often referred to "walking dandruff" as the mites move around under the scales and skin flakes on your pet giving the impression of moving dandruff.

Fur mites can live in the environment without a host for up to 10 days and so it is fairly common for bedding and carpeting to become contaminated. Fur mites can also temporarily affect humans causing itchiness and skin irritation, and even painful skin lesions in severe cases.

Fur mites on cats are very contagious and can be easily transmitted from pet to pet through direct contact or through contact with contaminated environments. There are a number of different species of parasitic mites and they usually live in the hair follicles of our pets.

The entire life-cycle of the fur mite is approximately 3 weeks in which the female will lay eggs. The eggs can contaminate bedding, leading to constant re-infestation if pets, bedding and environment are not treated. 

Mites are usually transmitted from mother to young in the first few weeks of life, and generally live in harmony on your pet without causing any problems. However, malnutrition, a weakened immune system, genetics, disease or intense stress can disrupt the natural balance. Mites can reproduce rapidly and become out of control. 

Hair loss is usually the first visible symptom. Hair loss typically begins on the head area, starting around the eyes and muzzle. Crusty, red skin may look moist in appearance and can be sensitive, itchy and may crack and ooze.

Untreated mite infestation can become a serious problem. It can even be fatal. In serious cases hair loss can spread over vast areas of the body, lymph nodes can become swollen, the skin can become inflamed and painful and secondary infections can quickly develop. Your pet can become very ill and may develop symptoms such as a fever, lethargy and lose of appetite.

Mites flourish on animals with a poor immune system and are most common in canine puppies with under-developed immune systems or older pets with suppressed immune systems. Corticosteroids or other immune-suppressing drugs have also been implicated as a possible cause for demodectic mange as well as other types of mange caused by demodex mites.

Mites are almost always transmitted from mother to young in the first few weeks of life, and generally live in harmony on your pet without causing any problems. However, when something such as malnutrition, a weakened immune system, or intense stress disrupts this natural balance, these mites can reproduce rapidly and become out of control.

It is not enough to treat one pet in the household after a fur mite infestation. Because mites are so contagious, each pet, all bedding, collars, grooming aids, carpeting, rugs and floors have to be cleaned and disinfected. 

Helpful suggestions:

Feed your pet a natural, home cooked, raw or premium diet that does not include inferior proteins, corn, wheat, soy, colorants and preservatives

Give your pet immune boosting supplements

Give your pet fresh, filtered water daily

Dry your pet’s ears thoroughly after bathing or swimming

Clean inside your pet’s ears regularly using cotton wool or soft gauze and some cleaning solution

Check your pet’s ears for foreign objects

Start cleaning your puppy or kitten’s ears at an early so that they can get used to the idea of having their ears handled

Have excess hair plucked out of your pet’s ear flaps by your vet or a grooming service

Insert a few drops of olive oil or vegetable oil into the ear using an eye dropper to smother the mites

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies are safe, gentle but effective and acts as a natural deterrent for fleas, mites and other parasites; act as a natural insecticide, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic and antibiotic which can help guard against infections after a mite infestation; help create a blood Ph to repel most insects, mites and parasites; helps soothe itchy skin, to heal skin lesions and sores; helps limit inflammation and histamine and mast cell triggers related to allergies; help stimulate tissue growth; helps promote skin healing properties and boost immunity.  

Flea, Tick & Wound Defense Meal Topper for Dogs and Cats* - (learn more) is used as a natural insect repellent, insecticide and anti-parasitic, without harsh chemicals; natural plants creates a pH balance in the blood that naturally repels fleas, mosquitoes and ticks; may help address all types of bug, flea and tick bites and irritations; as a natural plant liquid “band aid, use may help heal and seal  and heals all types of wounds, abrasions, rashes, cuts, hot spots and infections, including bacterial, fungal, viral or microbial in origin; may help lessen and/or limit itching, inflammation and infection due it’s strongly anti-hemorrhagic, insecticide, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-septic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, larvacidal, anti-parasitic, vermifuge (removes worms from organs) and pain relieving plant actions; nutritional content may help boost immune health and may stimulate collagen production and cellular repair matrix of skin and coat; safe for all life stages dogs and cats.

Seal ‘Em & Heal ‘Em – (learn more) promotes healing for all types of wounds, including hot spots, abscess, abrasions, bites, cuts, scrapes, skin irritations, infections, viruses, bacteria, fungi and germs; for bleeding & hemorrhaging conditions, ulcers, GERD, esophaghitis & other degenerative conditions of the larynx & throat; for DNA and RNA viruses; used holistically to address respiratory viruses A and B (RSV) and influenza virus A (FLU-A) and para-influenza (PIV); inhibits bacterial and microbial skin fungus infections related to Staphylococcus aurous, S. epidermis and other gram negative bacteria such as enterobacteria, citrobacteria, salmonella; helps provide cellular support of tissue, skin & coat; for gastrointestinal distress; as a neurasthenic that blocks the activation of nerve fibers & tissue response to inflammation, supporting the body's tissue repair mechanism to stop mutations (important in the treatment of all types of Lyme disease, including Lyme borealis, burgdorferi, borreliosis & Chronic Lyme disease (CLD); and may help remove plague and tartar upon application to help support healthy teeth and gums.; Strongly anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, antibiotic, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerous, anti-Candidal and reduces nerve pain associated with wounds and injury.

Shake Ur Groove Thing  (learn more) promotes healthy bowel function, purification, gentle parasitic detoxification and body clarification; waste and toxin removal, including pesticides, environmental toxins found inside and outside the home, chemicals related to flea and tick products and drugs regimens such as NSAID’s and synthetic glucosteriods and corticosteroids; helps remove inorganic synthetic and derivative compounds from an animal’s cell walls to help reduce toxic load in the body; also used for cramping, pain, constipation, gas and bloating; helps support a correct balance of native intestinal flora and helps calms the digestive system; promotes immune balance and helps to limit inflammation, which is important in disease prevention; used holistically for anal fissures, fistulas, hemorrhoids, food allergies and hypersensitivities and as a general skin support. 

First Aid & Wound Meal Topper for Dogs and Cats* - (learn more) is used holistically to help provide relief against external and internal wounds, cuts, bites, hot spots, bites, infections, bruises, scrapes, abscess, cellulitis, allergic responses and more; as a hemostatic which may help stop bleeding on contact; may help promote collagen production, cellular repair and wound healing up to 30 times faster than without use; may help accelerate wound healing and combat infection; may be used internally or externally for bacterial, fungal and microbial infections as well as for its anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties; used holistically for its action on intestinal parasites, which are known to compromise immune health; may help as an adjunctive to help address acute and chronic diseases related to bacteria, germs, fungus and viruses, including retrovirus; cytomegalovirus; E. Coli; Staph; Bacillus subtilis and DNA and RNA viruses and as a holistic adjunctive for cases of rabies. 

Conventional Remedies:

Your vet will probably examine your pet’s skin and fur with a magnifying glass; do skin scrapings, or combings to detect the fur mites and their eggs.

In the past, most conventional flea programs could be used to control both fleas and fur mites in dogs and cats. However, newer, safer flea products tend to be less effective that the older pyrethrin-based flea treatments. Today, conventional treatment of a fur mite infestation usually includes chemical based lotions, shampoos or dips. These products often contain chemicals such as pyrethrin, lime sulfur, fipronil, or selamectin.

An injection or oral dose of ivermectin is also a possible treatment; however, this is not an option for herding dogs such as collies as normal dosages of this drug could be fatal for these breeds.

Conventional treatments of fur mites often include harsh chemicals which may cause a number of unwanted side effects



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