Your login session has timed out.
Please login below.

Willows website uses cookies - by continuing to browse the website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Further information

close willows alert cookies

Submit Case Report

Do you wish to submit this report?

Submit Case Report

Prior to submitting please preview the report using the Save and Preview button.

Use the browser back button to return.

Cancel Case Report Assignment

Are you sure you wish to cancel your assignment to report on this case – all inputted data will be lost!

Delete Case

Do you want to delete this case?

This site is optimised for modern web browsers, and does not fully support your browser version, we suggest the use of one of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, some sections of the website may not work correctly such as web forms

Demodex - This mites surprise you!

19 June 2015

Demodex are microscopic cigar-shaped mites living within the skin of every dog. Most of the time, you would never know they were there as they live within the hair follicles without causing problems. In some cases, disease can result when dogs become immunosuppressed, and mite numbers grow out of control. This can either occur in young dogs with juvenile-onset disease and a genetic susceptibility to mite proliferation, or it can occur in adult dogs with adult-onset disease due to systemic ill health. The disease due to Demodex mites, called demodicosis, results in red inflamed skin, with black heads, scaling and hair loss and is not infrequently seen.


An adult Demodex mite

An adult Demodex mite


Demodex mites are in fact thought to colonise most mammalian species – including humans, where the mites live within the hair follicles and pores on our faces. We can’t do much about them being there, and its estimated that on average, we all have as many as 2 mites living within each hair follicle. The following article from the BBC provides more details, but if you’re squeamish, you might not want to think about it too much!

BBC's story: These microscopic mites live on your face


For more information about Demodex mites and demodicosis in animals, please see our Ectoparasites (fleas and other skin parasites) information sheet:

For dogs

For cats

For rabbits