How to Treat Your Dog For Chigger Bites?

BY | September 28 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

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You canโ€™t really see them, but, they sure can cause havoc for your dog. Yes! Weโ€™re talking about chiggers. They can cause intense itching and leave your dog scratching endlessly. In fact, they can cause serious problems if left untreated. For example, the vigorous scratching, which is a consequence of the itch caused by chiggers, can cause your dogโ€™s skin to break. The broken skin can get infected and lead to various other complications. So, get your dog treated right away if he/she has chiggers.Here are a few treatment suggestions, but, before we go there, letโ€™s get a basic idea about chiggers.

What are Chiggers?

Chiggers are basically mites that attach themselves to a host (your dog) and cause intense itching. They generally tend to inhabit dark, wooded areas, but, as larvae, they are pretty much okay with any location. In fact, the larvae stage is when they are likely to end up on your dog. Chiggers tend to affect dogs mostly during the fall and spring. They look very similar to fleas, ticks, and scabies. However, chigger marks are hardly noticeable like ticks or flea marks. You would likely need a microscope to even know your dog has chiggers. So, if your dog is scratching and you canโ€™t find the source of the itch right away, itโ€™s likely to be chiggers.

Treatment options

There are allopathic and natural treatment options for chiggers. Your vetโ€™s treatment suggestion will most likely involve the use of either an anti-parasite topical application or 2 pyrethrin based dips. The pyrethrin based dips are applied on a localized area, with each dip being applied two weeks apart. Injectable or topical steroids are also a treatment option. They are very useful in alleviating any itchiness.As for natural treatment options, green tea is known to offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Thatโ€™s exactly why they are used to treat chigger bites. All you have to do is brew some green tea according to your dogโ€™s size. Then, dilute the green tea with water. Use the diluted green tea to rinse your dog. This will take care of the itch. You can repeat if necessary.Bathe your dog immediately if you suspect he/she has been affected by chiggers. After you bathe him/her, apply hydrocortisone over the areas that are itchy. As an alternative, you can even use calamine lotion or topical steroid. They are sure to help with the inflammation.If none of the above treatment suggestions work, please visit your vet immediately. Ideally, itching should stop within a few days, while the bumps should go away in a couple of weeks.As a preventive measure, keep your dog away from areas that are known to host bugs or have very heavy vegetation.

What You Need to Know About Chigger Infestation in Dogs

Among other parasites that can latch on your dog, few are as troublesome as Chigger larvae. The worst thing about Chiggers is that they cannot be easily detected by naked eyes. Chiggers not only pose problems for dogs but for all other animals- including humans. Chiggers are found in areas that have little or no sunlight falling on the ground. Especially dangerous areas are wooded areas with a lot of grass and plantation. One walk through such an area, and your dog would end up scratching himself continuously.Chiggers are found concentrated in a patch. An animal which accidentally sets foot in such an area will be infested with swarms of Chiggers. As they are found on the ground, they hook themselves on more to a dogโ€™s belly, feet, face, and other parts that are in close proximity to the ground.

Are chiggers very dangerous?

Chiggers often scare people because of certain misconception. Contrary to what people may say, chiggers donโ€™t burrow themselves into the hostโ€™s body. Besides, chigger infestation is not very hard to cure. However, it can be difficult to identify a chigger infestation as it ca be easily confused for other skin conditions.Generally, a Chigger infestation is followed by reddish rashes in areas that have less fur and are in closer proximity to the ground.Itโ€™s important to identify chigger infestation and check it on time as there is always a danger of secondary infections caused due to over-scratching.

How to treat Chigger infestation

Dog-owners who have had nasty experiences with Chiggers insist that green tea is of amazing help in case of Chigger infestation. Brew some green tea, dilute in some water, and give your four-legged friend a good rinse. Green tea, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, soothes the skin and washes away the larvae. Green tea has a reputation for being an enemy to pests and bugs, and the same applies to chiggers as well.Other owners simply give their dogs a warm bath in which they mix an adequate quantity of water and a tiny quantity of dish-washing soap. The salt has anti-inflammatory properties and soothes the skin, while dish-wash soap is poison to chiggers.In case the infestation is very aggressive, it would be a good idea to consult a vet or an expert. In these cases, itโ€™s also a great idea to use medicines that have been made especially for this. Like mentioned already, although a chigger infestation itself may not be dangerous, the constant scratching can cause secondary issues like breaking of the skin.Ideally, be careful where you take your dog for a walk, and in case you know your dog has been to places where there could be a chance of chigger larvae thriving, it would be a great idea to give them a green tea or Epsom salt bath even if symptoms havenโ€™t flared up.

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