Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Might my Dog have Mites?

Today was a very gloomy, overcast day for Denver, the city known for having 300 days of sun.  It has been a very poetic mirror image of my mood.

I finally got around to taking Indiana to the vet today, after a balding spot on his elbow started turning red and inflamed.  I'd had a case of the "Oh I'll wait a week and see if it gets better."  That was about two weeks ago.

A snowy ride to the vet and some nervous throw up from Indiana later, I now know he has localized Demodectic MangeGross

The cuplrit

These mites usually live happily in the microscopic ecosystem of a dog's fur and skin.  However, a shift in immune system can lead it to actually harm a dog, making him lose hair in spots and get an inflamed rash.  Usually, it just happens to puppies that have inherited the condition from their parents.  Indiana just happend to hit the Immune System Jackpot, once again.   Luckly, Indiana doesn't have the generalized version all over, where all of his fur would fall out.  I don't think he'd survive being furless in January.  We'd have to get him full body pajamas.

The doctor assured me this diagnosis was actually a good option compared to a bacterial or fungal infection or an unkown allergy condition, which could come up again and again.  Plus, he can't give it to other dogs (or me, the Husband, Onyx or the furniture and carpets much to my relief).  After a hefty bill, I got lots of bad tasting medicine to force feed with peanut butter give Indiana over the next three weeks, till he goes back to the vet to be checked for any straggler mites.  Hopefully that will be the end of it and Indiana will be healthy for a while.  This has been my third vet visit in about five months.  His previous conditions included tapeworms (which manifested in a day of bloody diarrhea and me freaking out) and kennel cough, even though he's been vaccinated against it.  I think he just likes the cookies at the vet's office, even if he does throw them up almost into the vet's lap...

Still recovering from a vet visit.

I've refrained from posting unsettling pictures of dogs with full demodectic mange.  I'm sure you've seen poor dogs with Sarcoptic Mange (the nasty spreadable variety on some shelter dogs.)  The symptoms are very similar.  More information here.


  1. Oh no! Hope everydoggie is back up to feeling 100% real soon!

  2. Now My Vickie has the creepy crawlies all over her body and I don't even have the mange. Glad you went over the signs and stuff. It helped us learn a lot.

    HOpe Indana's hair grows back quick.

  3. Poor pup! Hope Indiana feels better soon.

  4. Oh no! And I thought goopy ears were bad! Hope Indiana is feelin' better soon!

  5. Poor Indiana, hope he feels better soon, I'm sure he will now he has the right medicine.
    These gloomy days are miserable aren't they.
    Hugs, Lynne x

  6. I hope Indiana feels better soon!


  7. Poor pup. At least now you know (and your readers know) the signs. Hoping for a quick recovery :)

  8. I've experienced catching Sarcoptic mange from my dog. It was really awful. Demodectic mange is more manageable- if I were to comment about the two.

    My doctor prescribed Amitraz, but I'm hoping to use Kakawate leaves because they're natural and less poisonous than the former.

    Anyway, don't worry. Demodectic mange will take a little longer to cure but I'm sure Indiana will be A-OK.

    Huggies and Cheese,



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