Youtube Play

What are Storage Mites Allergies?

Similar to humans, your dog can become allergic to anything. A storage mite allergy is not the worst thing for your dog to have, though some cases of these allergies can cause distressing symptoms. It may be annoying, but it is not generally life-threatening. The problem with storage mites is that they are almost impossible to get rid of, making the allergy difficult to treat as well. A storage mite allergy is caused by tiny spider-like creatures that live in our homes to eat food, such as grain, flour, and dry dog food (kibble). The mite is so common and hard to kill that just one tenth of a gram of flour or other dry food can hold approximately 200 storage mites and over 600 dust mites. It is not just the mites that are allergens, but their waste and body parts when they die. They are too small to see, but under a microscope they look similar to a white or tan flea, but they have eight legs as they are related to the spider.

Storage mite allergies in dogs are similar to dust mite allergies, The two are very closely related and it is impossible to tell the difference if you are not a professional. Both allergies present the same signs, such as atopic dermatitis symptoms, which are itching, redness, inflammation and sometimes respiratory symptoms, like sneezing and watery eyes. The main difference in these microscopic pests is where they live. While dust mites live in carpeting, beds, furniture, and drapes; the storage mites live in food such as flour, grains, and dog food.

The storage mite and dust mite both have several species and subspecies which are all so similar that you cannot tell the difference unless you are an expert. It is not important to know which one is causing your dog’s allergy symptoms because they all have the same symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment. Almost every household has mites in their home of many species, so an allergic reaction to mites can be caused by any of these species and subspecies.

Storage Mites Allergies Average Cost

From 391 quotes ranging from $300 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,500

Symptoms of Storage Mites Allergies in Dogs

Symptoms of storage mite allergy can vary from dog to dog, depending on the amount of mites in the home (and in the food) as well as your dog’s immune system. The most often reported symptoms are:

  • Crusty skin
  • Excessive licking
  • Hives
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Scratching (anus, ears, eyes, groin, muzzle, paws, underarms)
  • Sneezing
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Gasping for air
  • Wheezing

 Types

There are many species, subspecies, and types of storage mites with several different names.

  • Acarus siro
  • Blomia tropicalis
  • Cheese mites
  • Dermatophagoides farina
  • Dermatophagoides microceras
  • Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
  • Euroglyphus maynei
  • Flour mites
  • Glycyphagus domesticus
  • Grain mites
  • House mites
  • Lepidoglyphus destructor
  • Mold mites
  • Storage mites
  • Tyrophagus putrescentiae
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Storage Mites Allergies in Dogs

Storage mite allergies in dogs are caused by dust mites and their dead bodies, body parts, and waste. If your dog has been having symptoms the entire year and seems to breathe better outdoors, you should suspect mite allergies. This includes house mites, dust mites, and storage mites. Any dog can have an allergy to storage mites, but it is more frequently seen in:

  • Dogs over three months old
  • Basset Hound
  • Bichon Frisé
  • Boxer
  • Bull Terrier
  • Bulldog
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Dalmatian
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • French Bulldog
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Pug
  • Tibetan Terrier
  • Vizsla
  • West Highland White Terrier
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Storage Mites Allergies in Dogs

Because the mites are so small, there is no evidence that they are the culprit making your dog ill. Your veterinarian will want to give your dog a thorough physical examination including skin and coat condition, vital signs, general health, as well as some laboratory tests. Some of the tests your veterinarian may suggest are a complete blood count, blood chemistry profile, bacterial and fungal swab, urinalysis, and fecal examination.

Even with a physical examination, the veterinarian may not suspect an allergy to mites because skin afflictions, such as dry skin or chronic dermatitis, are so common. Give the veterinarian as much detail as possible about the symptoms you have noticed and any new foods, toys, treats, or shampoos you have tried. Share your opinion if you believe your dog may be suffering from storage mite allergies and explain why. The veterinarian can do a serum allergy test to look for the presence of IgE antibodies or an intradermal skin test. However, be sure to let your veterinarian know if you have given your dog anything, such as antihistamine, because that can affect the results of the test.

Serum Allergy Test

A small amount of blood is looked at under a microscope for signs of IgE antibodies. If the test is positive, your veterinarian may send you to a veterinary dermatologist for intradermal allergy testing if they cannot do it there. 

Intradermal Allergy Testing

The dermatologist uses a tiny needle to inject a small amount of the suspected allergens (different types of storage mites) and waits for a skin reaction. Redness and inflammation will be present if your dog is allergic to that specific allergen.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Storage Mites Allergies in Dogs

Medications and Shampoos

The best treatment for an allergy is to get rid of the allergen. However, since getting rid of all storage mites is a long and difficult (almost impossible) process, the use of antihistamines, corticosteroids, and cortisone cream will help. In addition, a special shampoo may be prescribed to decrease the itching and an antibiotic to prevent infection.

Immunotherapy Shots

The veterinarian will show you how to give your dog a shot with a small amount of allergen (storage mite waste) daily, adding a bit more each day to desensitize your dog to storage mites gradually. This type of treatment can sometimes take several months before your dog is fully desensitized. As a matter of fact, in some cases, it may never work. Your veterinarian will give you further instructions of what else you can do in this case.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Storage Mites Allergies in Dogs

It is almost impossible to get rid of all the mites, but you can make a significant difference in the case of dust mites by removing carpet and replacing upholstered furniture with leather or vinyl, use mattress and pillow covers, and wash all bedding in hot water once a week. If you choose to keep your carpet, use a professional carpet cleaner every week as well.

Giving your pet a veterinarian recommended hypoallergenic canned food diet may be the answer to the storage mite problem as your pet will not be exposed to the storage mites commonly found in dry kibble, cereals, grains, and cheese.

Your dog should show improvement in a few months, but it can take up to a year or more in some dogs. Immunotherapy or skin creams do not cure the allergies, but it does make your dog more comfortable and can prevent a secondary infection from scratching. If you have questions or concerns, give your veterinarian a call right away.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Storage Mites Allergies Average Cost

From 391 quotes ranging from $300 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,500

arrow-up-icon

Top

Storage Mites Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Bulldog

dog-age-icon

One Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

We’ve been giving our dog flea and tick medicine for 5 months now. The reason being she developed scabs on her fur. We thought it was mites but it hasn’t gone away. Other than her flea and tick medicine we give her a bath once a week with anti fungal shampoo and spray her with a similar spray when she’s itchy. Please help.

Oct. 30, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

3 Recommendations

Scabs and itching can have many causes including atopic dermatitis, a flea allergy, pyoderma etc. Ideally, we would have some tests run to determine the exact cause of the issue. This may include scrapes and swabs of the skin. Then, we can determine the most appropriate treatment.

Oct. 30, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Gigi

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

7 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Itching
Irritation
Rash

Hi, my dog is suffering with itchiness and her hair is falling out in certain areas on her back. I am wondering what we should do to cure and help Gigi get rid of her symptoms of mites and hopefully find something that will help her stop being so depressed from her horrible allergies. She has had her blood tested but we have not worked on finding something like wet food so mites wont get in it like they do with dry food. I just hope you can help me find something that will help my poor 7 year old Gigi!

March 3, 2018

Gigi's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. It is very difficult to remove mites from the environment, and may be easier and better for Maggie to treat her for her allergies instead. There are many good medications for allergies available to help Maggie. it would be best to discuss possible treatments for any allergies that were found on her allergy blood tests. I hope that you are able to get relief for her.

March 4, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

Storage Mites Allergies Average Cost

From 391 quotes ranging from $300 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,500

Need pet insurance?
Need pet insurance?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.