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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3026
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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I have found clusters of tiny bugs only on the tips of my

Customer Question

Hi,
I have found clusters of tiny bugs only on the tips of my dogs ears(I checked everywhere else). I pulled them out and put them is soapy water. They did die. Some of them sort of looked striped. What are these things? And how can I get rid of them?!
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 4 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 4 months ago.

Can you lay these bugs out on a paper towel and take a few close pictures of them? I'll need to identify them first to be able to tell you how to best approach their treatment and prevention.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi here are a few pics. You can see in one of the photos the bug is striped. I didn't see any flea dirt anywhere
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 4 months ago.

From what I can tell, these look like some variety of beetle which are likely on your pet's coat but not actually infesting (living) on them. What flea/tick prevention protocol are you currently using? Is your companion partially outside?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
They were definitely attached to his skin. I got them off with tweezers. I'm currently using wondercide, and all natural repellant
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 4 months ago.

Based on what details I can see in the pictures, these look very similar to Sehirus sp. to me, which are endemic to the USA and Canada. Perhaps the best way to have them properly identified will be to present a few of them to your local entomological department for microscopic analysis. Typically there is one associated with any large school and they usually offer this service for free.

In the meanwhile, I would apply the wondercide directly to the ear tips with a q-tip and, once dry, follow this up with not only diatomaceous earth on the ear tips (apply by packing it into a toothbrush and "brushing" the ear tips) but also sprinkling DE anywhere your companion likes to be long-term outside. If the wondercide does not do the trick, the DE should by desiccating the insects. You'll need to apply the DE to the ear tips at least twice weekly and anytime it rains outside, you mow the grass, etc. The DE is non-toxic to dogs but does a great job of preventing insects from infesting an area they like to lay (commonly near bushes or shaded areas) where fleas also tend to congregate (so it will help with summer-time flea concerns, as well, though I'd still use the wondercide regularly).