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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28968
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Humans in my yard get chiggers. My dog has inflamed ears. Could

Customer Question

Humans in my yard get chiggers. My dog has inflamed ears. Could the chiggers be the cause of the ear problems. The dog scratches outside of the ear area until it is raw. Answers and suggestions welcomed.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Yes, if you know that chiggers (harvest mites) are present in your yard, they should be incriminated when Trooper is scratching the exterior surfaces of his ears. This is more commonly seen with sarcoptic mange mites, however. Recent studies suggest that 0.25% fipronil pump spray (Frontline, e.g.) or combination permethrin-pyriproxyfen pump spray or spot-on is especially effective when used according to label instructions. Topically applied 0.25% fipronil spray 6 mL/kg (3mL/lb of body weight) administered every 2-4 weeks may also be effective in preventing reinfestations. Chiggers are usually easy to see with the naked eye although sometimes only the mouth parts are present because my patient has scratched away the rest of the mite. While possible, a food intolerance isn't likely to cause pruritis (itchiness) only in those areas. Food intolerant dogs will often have a generalized pruritis but mainly about the face, ears, extremities, and bum. Atopy (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust and dust mites, etc.) should also be considered in a patient such as Trooper. I would expect otitis externa - inflammation in her ear canals - as well in that case. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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