Parasitic skin diseases are a common skin problem for dogs. When confronted with skin issues always check for parasites as this is often the root of many skin issues.
Skin mite is not visible with the naked eye but they live on the skin of the infected dog. If your dog scratches itself excessively and has a thicker skin than usual it can indicate that it has skin mites. In order to determine the type of skin mite, you can go to your local vet to get a biopsy of the skin. Sarcoptic mite and Cheyletiella mite are easy to treat. Demodex mite is more difficult to treat and require a special bath product.
Fleas are the most common skin parasites. They vary between 1-3 mm in size depending on the type of flea. Almost every type of flea can settle in the fur of your Chi so it is very important to check the fur often. Fleas are visible with the naked eye. Adult fleas settle between the hairs of your dog and can lay hundreds of eggs that fall on the floor into carpets. This is why fleas are highly contagious. In order to get rid of fleas, you can use an anti-flea product that has to be applied directly on the skin of your Chihuahua. This is often not enough because eggs can be present in the house and/or on the pillows, carpets, etc… You can put these outside during the night if it freezes or there are products which you spray on your carpet to get rid of the eggs.
Lice can sometimes be found in the fur of your Chi. They are around 1mm to 2mm in size. They cause irritation and some types of lice can suck blood. Lice can be easily treated with anti-parasitic products.
This tiny parasite is transmitted through mites and sandflies. This parasite attacks the immune cells of your dog and causes a wide range of problems. If your dog has scabs and is losing weight without a change in diet it is possible that it has been infected with Leishmaniasis. This parasite can be fatal and is transmittable to humans. In order to prevent this parasite avoid endemic areas and wear clothes that cover up.
Ear mites are a common parasite for dogs that can irritate the ear. You can determine that your Chi has ear mites if it has a lot of irritation on its ears and if there’s a dark brownish discharge from its ears. In order to treat for ear mites, you have to apply ear drops during two weeks. Otherwise, you risk the infection coming back.
Ticks can be found most often in damp forested areas and agricultural areas. They crawl on your dog as it passes by, they dig their teeth into its skin and suck blood. Tics don’t really cause skin irritation but you can easily locate them as the are around the bit gets red and swollen. They are dangerous as they can bring infections into the bloodstream such as the disease of Lyme. There are anti-tic products but it is most effective to check your dog after a walk through a forest or high grassed area. try to remove the tic as soon as possible before it digs deeper into the skin. If you spot a tick you remove them yourself with tweezers. You first soak the tick with some alcohol and afterwards you can grab them with tweezers. Try to grab as close to the skin as possible with the tweezers to avoid pulling the tick in two.