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Augustas in dogs: risks, precautions and prevention

Auger mites are one of the small bugs that can cause severe allergic reactions in dogs, which can lead to skin lesions. These mites may be tiny, but they can be very virulent. Let's find out who exactly these parasites are, what are the risks incurred by the dog victims of Augustats, and if it is possible to protect his little companion by preventive means.

What is an augur?

The larva of a mite (Trombicula autumnalis) that belongs to the Trombiculidae family is called an augur. This tiny bug is red in color like the silky Trombidium (Trombidium holosericeum) which is nicknamed red spider and which swarms on low walls heated by the sun during the summer. But be careful, they should not be confused. The Trombicula auumnalis is much smaller.

The auumnalis lives mainly in Europe, Australia and America. It is mainly found in slightly humid and well exposed to light herbaceous areas. Consequently, this mite is more frequently found in the countryside than in urban areas.

The larvae mainly feed on the tissue fluids of animals and humans. It injects enzymes into the skin of its victim to predigest the cells it feeds on by sucking them up.

In our country, depending on the region, the augur is nicknamed puron, vendangeon or rouget.

Attack of augustats: what are the risks for the dog?

It is especially in August that the "attacks" of august mites occur, as they do not take long to colonize their host.

When the mite settles on a dog for example, it pierces its skin with its hooks - called chelicerae - to feed. With each impact, virulent itching appears. The dog scratches intensely and bites itself to soothe them. This leads to superinfection.

Dogs suffering from autism: a consultation is necessary

It is important to consult a veterinarian when the dog keeps scratching or biting itself. It is essential to limit the risk of superinfection. An inspection of the dog's dermis does not always allow the owner to visualize the parasites, on the one hand because a larva does not exceed 0.2 mm in length, and on the other hand because once they have eaten, the parasites leave the body of their host. It is therefore better to entrust this visual examination to a veterinarian.

In addition, the practitioner will probably have to prescribe a treatment if the dog shows an inflammatory reaction. This can be done with a lotion, an ointment or even a drug treatment with antihistamines, antibiotics or corticosteroids.

The dog heals within a week if there is no allergy, otherwise the treatment must be prolonged.

It is also essential to consult a doctor if you think your dog has fallen victim to Augustats, as these mites can transmit certain diseases such as myxomatosis and ehrlichiosis.

How can I protect my dog against Augustas?

It is impossible to prevent 100 % of the attacks of Augustats, especially if the dog is used to running in the fields or playing in the lawn. However, it is possible to limit the attacks of these parasites with a flea repellent or a preventive treatment against ticks.

If possible, you should avoid letting your dog run around in the high grass in the middle of summer and you should make sure that the lawn is mowed frequently.