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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, everyone,

8 months ago, we rescued a 10 weeks old puppy girl, who is a French Spaniel/sighthound mix. Here, where we live, many unwanted puppies are thrown in the country side, and lets not talk about how they and their mother were fed, prior to that (table scraps, when there are some, or the cheapest brand of kibble available). Adult dogs are often chained 24/7, and the less fortunate one, don't even had a shelter from cold, rain and sun. To make matters worse, the island is plagued with leishmaniasis, the stats say that 40% dogs here are positive.

In any case, Yulia was on the thin side, she was very fearful of other dogs and people, she was covered with fleas and full of worms. We took her for her 1st vet visit and vaccines, our regular vet was not there, so we dealt with his colleague. I don't like him, so I almost walked out, but I didn't want to be rude. He looked at her briefly, put some spot-on flea treatment on her, without asking us (I hate this stuff and never use it), and gave her the first combo vaccine shot and dewormed her.

We noticed she was scratching a lot, but having fleas, it was no wonder. The first few days with us, she did not sleep at all during the day, and would wake up every couple of hours at night. We had to take her out to pee every time. After about a week, she started taking very short naps, during the day, but always wit one eye open, and waking up at the slightest noise or movement. It took another week before she would sleep 4 hours at night, without waking up, scratching and wanting to pee.

After 2 weeks, we took her back to the vet for a booster shot, and this time our regular vet was there. He gave her a more complete exam (that's why we like him better, and he is gentler too), then her booster shots, and only then did he point out to us her "glasses." He said this was an obvious sign of demodectic mange, and did a scrapping that came out positive. :twitch: Having never dealt with mange before, we had no idea, and thought the hair around her eyes was just a different color... He prescribed Ivermectrin to be given orally, and we went home.

Before giving it to her, I researched it, and what I found horrified me. This of course, after getting mad at my vet for vaccinating her first, THEN telling me she had mange. Had I known the corelation between vaccination, mange and a poor immune system, you can bet I would not have allowed him to vaccinate her. I was also mad that the 1st vet did not notice anything, since she already had those "glasses" then.

Yulia was put on raw from day one, it took a bit over a week for her stool to become normal, but given that she was full of worms, it was not exactly a surprise. I decided not to give her the Ivermectrin, not only to preserve her immune system already weak, but also because she could be one of those breeds with the MDR1 gene. Instead, I hoped proper nutrition and a happy, stress free home, would boost her immune system, and she'd overcome mange on her own. Well, that was not the case. Although it improved slightly, it did not go away. So for a month and 1/2, I gave her a weekly bath using Dr Bonner peppermint, then a rinse with Borax and hydrogen peroxide. By then she was about 5 months old, and it looked like it was finally gone.

However, a couple of weeks later, we noticed she was walking funny, she was crying at night, and had a hard time finding a comfortable position to sleep, she could no longer jump on the couch, and was rarely playing with our other dog. The reddish spots and the scratching came back. We took her to a different vet, who had just open a practice nearby, and she confirmed our fears : Yulia had dysplasia, and the pain and stress associated with it was likely to have brought back the mange.

All summer, I took her swimming to restore muscle in her atrophied rear end, and gave her supplements for her dysplasia. I am happy to report that she is now walking normally (or almost), she is no longer in pain and acts like a normal, happy puppy. However, her mange is still a problem. Sometimes it gets better, it never totally disappears, then comes back. I've tried various topical options, like neem oil, tea tree oil, rosemary oil, and a few others supposed to cure mange, but she must have a reaction to it, cause she will be very agitated for about 1/2 after this, moving from one spot to another, and looking quite bothered.

A holistic vet recommended I dabbed the affected areas with either green tea or camomilla, every day, and a weekly bath, but same thing, it seems to bother her quite a bit. Is it a normal reaction? Does it mean it's working and the mites are fighting back? Not a clue. I am yet to meet somebody who has gone through a similar experience, as everybody I talked to suggest chemical remedies. Even a supposedly holitic vet online, suggested something that is far from being holistic.

We don't have such vets on our island, I don't even think there is one in the country. I am at a lost here, and I need help. Right now, Yulia has a big spot on her lower back, she'd lost most of her hair there, but it seems to be growing back a bit. I added Pau d'Arco to her diet, 3 weeks ago, and I don't know if that's it, but she has been scratching a whole lot more. Is it a negative reaction to Pau d'Arco, or is it that's it's working and bothering the mites? Should I continue Pau d'Arco or not?

Heeeeeeeelp !!!
 

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I'm no expert. I had a minpin years ago who got demodex around his face. We used Dr. Goodwinall ointment that the vet said was gentler than ivermectin. That said, you have to weigh the benefits/side effects. Ivermectin will get the mange under control much faster and help her out to stop the maddening itching. I can't imagine how that must feel :( But in the end, you know your dog and what's best for her.

The raw diet will help, do you have access to fish oil as well? That is a natural anti inflammatory. I feel you on the hip dysplasia. I have a dog with it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm no expert. I had a minpin years ago who got demodex around his face. We used Dr. Goodwinall ointment that the vet said was gentler than ivermectin. That said, you have to weigh the benefits/side effects. Ivermectin will get the mange under control much faster and help her out to stop the maddening itching. I can't imagine how that must feel :( But in the end, you know your dog and what's best for her.

The raw diet will help, do you have access to fish oil as well? That is a natural anti inflammatory. I feel you on the hip dysplasia. I have a dog with it as well.

Yes, our dogs get a variety of oil, including salmon oil, I rotate. They also do get sardines on a regular basis, although little princess doesn't like them too much and won't eat much of them, as opposed to my big boy who gobbles them up. I wish we could resolve this mange thing as successfully as we've handled her dysplasia.

So, 2 days ago, I stopped giving Yulia the Pau d'Arco, and hold and behold, today, she is barely scratching.
 

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I believe dipping the dog with apple cider vinegar will help with demodex. My pup had it, and it went away. I had a lot of experience with it from previously working at a vet. I always dip them in ACV after baths. It will burn though, if the skin is broken. You make need to spritz with a bottle instead
Mites will act up when dying, a bit like fleas. So, agitation could be due to that.

I have two dogs with hip dysplasia, not an easy thing to watch them go through.

Good luck with your pup!
 

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Hi Chrysilla
I can totally relate to your situation. I have tried many of the topical remedies you are mentioning. My puppy (now 8 months old) had a turn for the worse after vaccination. The itch was not extreme, but she lost a lot of fur, the immune system is poor and she gets frequent pyoderma (controlled somewhat by special shampoo). She also has HD. She seems to be getting better now and there are two things I believe have made a difference.
1) I bought a mite killer device. It's a small, inexpensive gadget to put in the electric socet. It sends out a high pitch sound which is supposed to kill mites. Neither my dogs nor my rabbits can hear it. I wasn't sure about whether to believe in it, but it seems to have made a difference.
2) Colostrum (cow's first milk). This has maybe been the most important supplement for us in order to to obtain the change towards recovery. I am ambivalent to feeding milk products to dogs. Especially an allergy prone dog, but the immune substances seems to have strengthened her immune system. Now I have switched to Transfer Factor, which (simply put) is colostrum without the milk.
I also take her for acupuncture. Fish oil for dogs is also helpful. Just remember, a little goes a long way. It is so tempting to overdose when your dog is in distress.
 

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I don't have any advice to give, but I just want to thank you for going above and beyond for a rescue dog. It really does my heart good to see that some people don't give up and are prepared to go above and beyond instead of just taking the easy way out and giving her back. Yulia is one lucky dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello, happy new year, and thanks to all of you for your input.

I am happy to report that Yulia has now been free of mange, for the past 2 months. ON the advice of another rescuer, I put her on daily doses of Pau d'Arco, and hold and behold, within 2 weeks, I could already see fur growing back. At one point, there was an 8" bald spot on her lower back and after 2 weeks, I could already see it covering with new hair.

She was chewing herself a lot, especially in the first morning hours, so like somebody said above : probably the mites dying.

I will have the vet do a scrapping, next time we go in. She is still scratching a little, in the morning, so not sure if it's related or not, but my friends are all commenting on how shiny and soft like Pashmina, her hair is
 
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