Like human beings, your pets can also develop allergies too. It could be an allergy to specific food stuff like corn, fish, chicken, beef, grain or allergy to pollen, fleas or dander. Dust mite allergy is the type of allergy caused by very tiny creatures that exist in the environment to eat the skin and hair flakes produced by our bodies. These flakes are not visible to the naked eye but beneath a microscope you could notice that they appear similarly to a white flea. These mites are from the family as the spider and also possesses eight legs. Mites and the waste the produce can get to the skin of your pet or can be inhaled into the lungs irrespective if the mites are alive or dead – so you cannot just kill them.
To get rid of mites, you need to clean your house extensively to get rid of the bodies and the waste they produce. If your pet is suffering from allergies like this, you need to watch out for symptoms like red and oozing skin, a rash, scratching, excessive licking or watering of the eyes and nose and redness. More severe reaction could lead to an inflammation of the airway which would trigger a constriction that would make it harder for your pet to breathe. It is important to know these so you can get your pet to the hospital as soon as possible.
Dust mites can hide anywhere in your home but they prefer to stay in dark, warm locations of the house. They also lay their eggs within the upholstery and the carpeting meaning your pet beds are the best place for these dust mites to excel because of the warmth your dog’s body would provide the dust mite to reproduce.
If you are looking to prevent this, you can choose to layer your pet beds with a Sherpa top cover or an infrared cover or washable dog bed covers. Either one of this can protect the bed of your pet and reduce the risk of dust mites. If you notice your dog is still exhibiting any of these symptoms after taking them to the vet, the safest bet is to purchase a new bed and install any of those covers to protect your pets from a dust mite infestation.
To further reduce the risk of a dust mite infestation within the body of your pet, consider the following steps that you can take:
- Pet owners should opt to install bare floors like vinyl, tiles or hardwood. Try to avoid carpets but if you have no choice, select one with a low pile – mites have been known to thrive in carpeting.
- Do not use any naturally occurring material when making your pet’s bed. Choose only synthetic material. Stay away from wool, horsehair, feathers and cedar shavings as the later could trigger allergic dermatitis in your dogs.
- Regularly wash all the bedding used to make your pet’s bed. The whole bed not just the cover.
- If your pet sleeps in your bed, ensure the mattress and pillows are covered in plastic and seal zippers and use tape to cover the edges as well. Make use of washable blankets and mattress pads.
- Regularly replace the air conditioning and furnace filters. You could choose an electrostatic filter to filter out dust, mites and other particles that could be inhaled.
- Pet owners should opt to groom their pets regularly. Do this outside the house if possible
- On a daily basis, vacuum the floors, wet mop and dust off with a damp cloth. When this is don, aerate the room for at least 30 minutes.
- Make use of air conditioning to regulate the temperature during the warmer months. Central air conditioning is an advantage but window units can be used as well. it is advisable to maintain humidity levels of between 30 – 50%. If you need to get a dehumidifier, that would also prove helpful.
How to Diagnose Dust Mite Allergies in your Pets
Pet owners need to know how to diagnose the allergies when it shows up within their pets. This could be difficult for some people to figure out because it might occur to be a general itchiness coupled with a runny nose. This is why it is important to take note of all the symptoms to help the doctor with a positive diagnosis. Your vet will do a total and complete physical exam which also includes a skin and coat condition, vital signs, general health and some blood tests like a full blood count, blood chemistry profile, electrolyte level check, bacterial and fungal swap and an urinalysis amongst others.
- Serum Allergy Test:
If you believe the mites are the cause of the itchiness experienced by the dog, explain this to the vet and request for a serum allergy test. Usually, this test is carried out by using a blood sample that is tested under a microscope for the signs of an allergic response. If the test is positive, your vet will send you to a pet dermatologist to do an intradermal allergy test.
- Intradermal allergy testing:
These tests are carried out by the pet dermatologist and it costs slightly more than other tests but it has been known be more accurate when checking for topical allergens.
Within this procedure, your dog will need to be put to sleep with the help of anesthesia and an area to be tested will be shaved off. A small needle will be used to inject your dog with different allergens checking for reactions in the form of redness or inflammation. This takes about 5 minutes.
How to Treat Dust Mite Allergies in your Pets
The best type of treatments for allergies in pets are antihistamines, corticosteroids, topical ointments or in special cases a special medicated shampoo.
- Immunotherapy Shots:
Think of these shots are allergy shots human beings receive. But they are very effective and take a long time to work. Most vets prefer to teach the pet owners how to give their pets the shots with a tiny amount of allergen daily – increasing the quantity to desensitize your pet to the mites gradually. The problem with this is that it could take a longer amount of time and shots before your dog becomes completely desensitized. In fact, for some pets it may never work.
Another risk is that the shots could trigger reactions which in some cases might be life threatening like anaphylaxis.
The best way to treat dust mite allergy is to prevent as it as much as possible. Always take time to check your pet out and ensure their body and their surroundings remain in top conditions.