You CAN’T Contact Canine Demodex Mites From Your Pet

A recent news story on KDKA TV highlighted human eyelash follicle infections with Demodex mites that can actually be found on about 50% of humans and usually do not cause any problems. The news story implied that humans could be infected by contact with dogs.

As is often the case with one minute new segments, the ophthalmologist interviewed did not clarify that the Demodex canis mite which is specific for dogs does not infect people. People are infected by Demodex folliculorum or Demodex brevis which are specific to humans. These mites do not cross-infect other mammalian species.

At one point in the story, the ophthalmologist stated that he thinks he sees more cases of problem human eyelash infections in people who own dogs. Since these human Demodex infections are picked up from dust in the home or buildings, or by direct contact with other people, the only role your dog could play in this scenario is to be a source of dust transmission containing the human mites. Any of our clients who have dogs with Demodex mite infestations do not need to be concerned about contracting the dog mites themselves.

Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.

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