Demodex canis mites sometimes cause mange on a dog's feet, or pododermatitis. Michigan State University calls them follicle mites. You may have trouble eliminating mange on your dog's paws and the dog may become susceptible to bacterial infections. If you see symptoms of mange, your veterinarian can test skin scrapings to determine the cause. Then he will prescribe one of several remedies.
Limping may be the first sign you notice. Your pet may seem lame and have trouble walking. If only one foot is involved, he may avoid stepping down on it, walking three-legged. If all feet are involved, he may not want to walk at all.
Licking and Chewing
The mites burrow under the skin and into the hair follicles. Because of the irritation, your dog will constantly lick and chew at the affected foot. The licking and chewing will cause more damage.
The mites damage the hair follicle, resulting in hair loss. Hair loss may also result from the constant licking.
When the demodex canis mite invades a foot, the foot becomes swollen. The swelling foot will ache and the dog may not want you to touch it.
Nail Bed Infection
As a side effect, often bacteria will infect the nail beds. They will look red and inflamed. Your dog will not want you to touch or clip his nails.
According to VetInfo, when the demodex canis mite locates in the feet, it may lead to bacterial infection. As the infection progresses, red, ulcerated bumps or dry, crusted areas may cover the bare skin. These sores may ooze pus or blood.
When a dog has mange in the paw pads, he may also have a fungus infection. Often this makes mite identification difficult. The problem will get worse if you treat the fungus infection, and overlook the mites.
Mites attached to Hair Roots
Because the mites live in hair follicles, they often attach to the hair root. If he plucks a hair from the infected area, your veterinarian can often see the mite attached to the root, under a microscope. Race Foster, DVM, at Pet Education states that it is too small to be seen with the naked eye. It is a very small white dot.
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