Seed ticks?

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pigpal

Post   » Sun Jan 13, 2002 7:28 pm


There´s a whole lot of scratching going on at our house.

The pigs started scratching excessively a few days ago. Since I can´t see anything buggy on them I thought it must be mites. I obtained some Ivermectin and propylene glycol to treat them. The skin on their bellies is a little flaky and there are a couple of raised red bumps with pin prick size open tops around their genitals.

The dog is also scratching and biting like crazy. No evidence of fleas or any other bugs on the dog, despite a very thorough search including Scotch tape impressions examined under a microscope. He too has raised red bumps on his abdomen and insides of his thighs. He is treated monthly with Frontline and has a known flea bite sensitivity.

This morning I examined his bed minutely and found some very tiny red brown creatures. They are about 0.5mm long and the bodies are round. I also found some jointed leg parts. Going back to the pigs, I found the same thing on the white haired pig´s abdomen.

Looking around on the net, the closest thing I could find is a seed tick (the nymph stage of a deer tick). We do have a lot of deer around but these things seem a lot smaller than the examples given. Can mites be brown?

Any ideas? Lynx, you´re the bug lady.!

I forgot - the kid has red itchy bumps on her too.
Last edited by pigpal on Sun Jan 13, 2002 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Evangeline

Post   » Sun Jan 13, 2002 7:38 pm


Pfff! Why ask Lynx when you could ask Patv, on CG?
Whahahahaha! Oh, sometimes I just kill myself!

pigpal

Post   » Sun Jan 13, 2002 7:39 pm


Sometimes, I wish you would!

pigpal

Post   » Sun Jan 13, 2002 7:50 pm


Awwww, you know I didn´t mean it!

Anyway, something else I wanted to mention - the question of whether the mites found on guinea pigs are species specific. My research indicates that although such mites as Cheyletiella (Walking dandruff) are unable to live on a human, they quite commonly cause an itchy red rash when a human has been in contact with them.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sun Jan 13, 2002 8:11 pm


That´s what I found too. Cavy mites are species specific but there are a few mites that cross species -- or at least can cause irritation though they might not live and breed on guinea pigs. I think I ran across rat or mouse mites as a possible irritant.

Get a really good magnification on the insect. For some reason, I don´t think it is seed ticks. We have them around here and while they can be irritating, they are not horrible. They do look like miniature ticks. The Cheyletiella mites are a possibility -- and depending on what kind of bugs you have around, they could be something like chiggers, which are excruciatingly itchy and irritating. Chiggers are the nymph stage of a field mite.

pigpal

Post   » Sun Jan 13, 2002 10:23 pm


I´m taking the dog and the samples in to see my dog vet tomorrow, to figure out what´s going on.

I found out that the nymphal stages of deer ticks live on rodents, especially squirrels. Maybe they think my cavies are squirrels?

I thought the Cheyletiella were whitish, no?
Last edited by pigpal on Sun Jan 13, 2002 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sun Jan 13, 2002 11:51 pm


I´m not sure what cheyletiella look like. I think I may have a pic linked on the hairloss page but they are so ugly it´s hard to say for sure what they look like.

If your vet doesn´t know, maybe you could take a sample to the county extension office. Sometimes they will even send them away to the state entomologist.

Let us know what you find out.
Last edited by Lynx on Sun Jan 13, 2002 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pigpal

Post   » Mon Jan 14, 2002 12:47 pm


Here´s a link to some really icky pictures of mites etc. and the rashes they can cause.

http://www.brisbio.ac.uk/ROADS/subject-listing/mites.html

I took the kid in to see the pediatrician before school, as I didn´t want to send her with anything contagious. She couldn´t identify the bugs, but told me she has often seen rashes like this one on humans with itchy animals at home. She´s just treating the symptoms as she said the bugs will most likely not be able to live on a person and therefore if we take care of the problem with the animals, the rash shouldn´t recur.

Next stop is the dog vet!

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lisam

Post   » Mon Jan 14, 2002 4:11 pm


Oh man, I went to that website to get a look. Those poor dogs! That one with mange, doesn´t look like he made it.

I hope you find out what those little buggers are!

pigpal

Post   » Mon Jan 14, 2002 9:20 pm


None of the vets in the office could identify the bugs.

The general consensus was they were either the larval form of Dermacentor occidentalis (Pacific Coast tick) or some form of fur mite they had never seen before, possibly Listrophorus gibbus (a rabbit fur mite). They offered to send the samples to UC Davis for definitive identification but I decided to wait and see if the treatment is effective. If I have no further problems I guess it doesn´t really matter what they are.

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Lynx
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Post   » Mon Jan 14, 2002 10:27 pm


Oh, but it would be cool to know!! If they are on your pigs, I can add the info to the parasite information. Sometimes extension agents will send things out and there isn´t a charge involved. It might actually help to know what they are in case the vet is way wrong and it is some kind of flea. Fleas live off the animal and there is a whole regimen to take care of the home and surrounding area.

The guinea pig fur mites are actually not supposed to be very irritating. This seems to be something else.

pigpal

Post   » Tue Jan 15, 2002 12:46 pm


There´s always the possibility that the pigs have invisible mites, which are causing the irritation. The single unidentified bug I found on the pig could have simply been picked up from being on the rug, where the dog has also been. Could well be that the dog and the pigs are scratching from entirely different causes.

I´ll find out if the UC Davis service is free. These are definitely not any form, stage or type of flea. The vets were agreed on that at least.

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Lynx
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Post   » Thu Jan 17, 2002 10:06 am


By the way, you mentioned your dog was treated with Frontline. I ran across a warning against its use in exotics by a vet and by the manufacturer:

http://www.rabbit.org/chapters/san-diego/health/vet-talk/frontline.html

pigpal

Post   » Thu Jan 17, 2002 4:42 pm


Yes, I do use Frontline for dogs due to the number of deer carrying ticks in our area. This particular breed of dog has an extremely long and thick coat, so spotting and removal of ticks by hand is virtually impossible.

I wouldn´t even consider using Frontline on the cavies. I use Advantage on the cat and cavies as I´ve been warned by my own vets that Frontline is not safe for cavies. Thanks for the warning though, better safe than sorry.

Evangeline

Post   » Thu Jan 17, 2002 8:22 pm


According to Joséphine, it´s not even 100% safe for dogs. Maybe she can explain more?

pigpal

Post   » Thu Jan 17, 2002 8:44 pm


I´ve heard some reports of dogs having problems with seizures after using Frontline. When I asked my vet about it, she said she felt these anecdotes were coincidental, as the breed of dog involved (boxers?) has a high incidence of seizures anyway. I believe she said Frontline is considered safe because the active ingredient acts specifically on the parasites´ nervous system.

I´ve discussed this in the past with other Tibetan Terrier people and they generally feel the benefits in eradicating potentially disease carrying ticks outweighs the remote risk of any kind of neurological damage. If I had a short coated breed I would probably just thoroughly search and remove the ticks by hand, but there´s no way I can find them under all that hair!

If anyone knows of any other problems linked to Frontline, I would definitely be interested to hear about it.

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Lynx
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Post   » Thu Jan 17, 2002 9:24 pm


I thought it was safe for dogs -- just not for exotics. I guess any drug carries some risks.

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