Recognize and treat chigger bites


Chiggers are the larvae (babies) of harvest mites or  Trombiculidae . Closely related to ticks, these mites are arachnids, part of the same family that includes spiders and scorpions .

Chiggers don't bite like ticks , but they have similar ​mouth parts. Their smaller mouths cannot hold on very tight, which means they usually go for thinner skin. They don't prefer humans because we're big bullies. We easily brush or wash chiggers away when they bite us (when we can catch them in the act), something their preferred prey—birds and reptiles—don't do.

Chiggers are so small, you are unlikely to ever see them. The way you're most likely going to find them is by finding their bites .

Are frequent trips to the veterinary hospital for ear cleaning or applications of medications required to keep your dog’s ears free from uncomfortable inflammation and infection? If so, you are not alone, as ailments affecting the ears are some of the most common reasons owners present their pets to their veterinarian for evaluation and treatment.

Pinna – Also known as the earflap, it’s the fleshy piece of skin that either sticks up or folds over. Since the earflap is a structure that’s external to the body, it’s susceptible to injury from an animal bite, penetration by a plant awn (foxtail, cactus, etc.), or even self-trauma from a foot’s repeat scratching. The earflap is especially prone to a condition called hematoma, where blood accumulates between the pieces of cartilage providing structure to the flap. Hematoma makes the pinna uncomfortably swollen and often requires surgical repair.

Ear canal – Our canine and feline companions have a different ear canal structure than people. Humans have a tunnel-like horizontal canal connecting the outside world to the tympanic membrane (eardrum). Dogs and cats have a vertical canal which opens at the base of the pinna and connects to a horizontal canal at an approximately 90° angle. This “L” shape permits fluid, environmental irritants, infectious organisms, and other materials to collect in the horizontal canal. The vertical to horizontal arrangement also makes it challenging for veterinarians to visualize the eardrum with an otoscope and difficult to remove discharge or other material taking up space in the horizontal canal.

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Chiggers are the larvae (babies) of harvest mites or  Trombiculidae . Closely related to ticks, these mites are arachnids, part of the same family that includes spiders and scorpions .

Chiggers don't bite like ticks , but they have similar ​mouth parts. Their smaller mouths cannot hold on very tight, which means they usually go for thinner skin. They don't prefer humans because we're big bullies. We easily brush or wash chiggers away when they bite us (when we can catch them in the act), something their preferred prey—birds and reptiles—don't do.

Chiggers are so small, you are unlikely to ever see them. The way you're most likely going to find them is by finding their bites .

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Recognize and treat chigger bites
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