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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me give you a little background. I'll make it short and sweet.

July 2006, found 1 year old female, unspayed pit abandoned in park. Large open wounds on body, severe infections, all-over hair loss, thin, very friendly.

Took her to low-cost spay/neuter clinic roomie worked at and did skin scrape (demodex), deworm, medicinal bath, vaccinate, heartworm test (she is positive).

Next day took her to regular clinic to get antibiotics and meds for mange (spay/neuter clinic doesn't treat mange so got meds from another vet).

Vet prescribed antibiotics for skin infection and 1/2 cc ivermec every Mon/Wed/Fri. I kept up the ivermec regimen for 4 months and during that time we had various scares (she developed a cough and was put on a steroid to treat that. It's gone now) but she saw no relief. She would claw herself to the point of opening new wounds on her body and splattering blood all over my walls. She would also get nasty pustules that I kept having to express. One was so bad that just a small amount of pressure caused it to rupture and the pus actually hit the ceiling. I kept her skin clean with a chlorhexadine scrub I was given at our spay/neuter clinic. I did bath after bath after bath (several times a week, usually to remove dried blood and to keep her wounds clean).

I have since started a part-time job with a vet I worked with at the low-cost clinic and have switched this dog to her practice (she is getting better care plus I get a price break). A second scrape showed living demodex mites. The doc went to 1/2 cc ivermec everyday, she got more antibiotics, we do 75 mg benadryl twice/day, a topical antihistamine lotion and we had a month's supply of a sedatives b/c she has bad separation anxiety and b/c we bumped up the ivermec on a heartworm positive dog, we couldn't risk her getting over-excited and having complications.

I have to keep her upper body completely wrapped with ace bandages when I'm not home so as to protect her new, healthy skin from when she starts to scratch. It seems to work. I remove them when I get home from work.

We have done 2 regimens of a mitaban dip (2 weeks apart) and she had no complications. She is otherwise healthy, happy, playful and has worked herself well into the family (including with the other dogs and cats). She is very affectionate and has bonded well. However, she still has general hair loss and is still itchy. She has no open sores right now but still scratches and irritates her skin.

My concern is that how much is too much? I have never dealt with mange before so I don't know what kind of timeline to look at. She has been on the new regimen for about 5 weeks now, the itching seems to not be so bad but she does lick and chew (feet, rump, flanks). The hair looks like it might be returning. But, I have heard that some cases can be untreatable, incurable and am so scared that I will be forced to decide whether to continue treatment or euthanize her to relieve her suffering. She is not to that point now; like I said, she is otherwise happy, healthy. I just need some hope or maybe some advice. Is there something else I could try? I have been so consumed with getting her well and every little set back she has is enough to defeat me. Sorry for posting so much but I just wanted to get it all out there. I may have forgotten somethings so ask questions. I will be away from my computer for awhile so there will be awhile before I can respond. All help will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I'll try to post pictures later.
 

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Have you tried Revolution? It is helpful in eliminating some sort of mites. It is a topical, like Frontline or Advantage.
 

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Does she still have mites?

I recently adopted Baby from a dog rescue. She had been an outdoor dog for the first five years of her life - totally neglected. The family moved and the realtor took her to the rescue. She had been there for three years. The poor girl started out with flea dermititis which affected her immune system. She's on benedryl and a few other meds to try to control her condition. She has about 70% hair on her - the rest of her is just skin. She itches all the time. Her teeth are whittled down because she bites herself to relieve the scratching. She has to get a medicated bath twice a week. I've taken her to a holistic doctor who found her thyroid level is a bit low so she is now on solaxine (sp?).

And she has a terrible odor. You smell it as soon as you come into my house. Even two baths don't take care of it. I adopted her and soon decided not to invite anyone over!

I don't think Baby is ever going to get better. This is as good as it gets. I think she's happy though - itching and scratching are really all she's ever known.

In any case, I was wondering if perhaps you've explored other causes for your dogs problems and if it were more than mites. Could it be allergies, thyroid?

There's also an incredible 'miracle' drug that's supposed to work on hair loss like this . . Alegen or something? It's expensive - about $300/month. Didn't work on Baby though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info!

As far as still having mites, the answer is yes. She still has signs (sweaty-like, damp skin, random skin pustules, red, bumpy skin). I am going to have doc do another scrape in a week (after 2 mitaban dips) and see what we have.

She doesn't have an odor now (boy did she before) and there are some spots showing new hair growth.

I'll talk to doc about Revolution and see what she says.

I heard about that on-line stuff but too pricey for me.

Here are some shots of her. One is pretty gruesome so weak stomachs beware.
LL
LL
 

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Kind of a random additional though... when hair grows back in, it's itchy. If she's still itching the bald patches that are growing fur in, the simple fact alone that fur is growing in could be making it itchy.

Has she had a skin scraping recently to check for more mites?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's a good point. Her last scrape was about 4 weeks ago which showed living mites. We have since done 2 mitaban dips (2 weeks apart) and will do another scrape next week to check again. She is also on her ivermec regimen (1/2 cc by mouth daily) and gets 75 mg benadryl twice daily. I also have a lotion with antihistamines the doc gave her (Don't remember the name. It's prescription only and is pink and kind of watery. I rub it in good on her more troublesome spots).
 

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Poor little girl. Can I just say that you are absolutely amazing for all the time you have spent on giving her a chance.

I'd be curious to see what happens to her skin once the mites are gone. I don't know too much about mites, but are they contagious for your other dogs, and how long do they generally take to go away?

The signs for mites that you said: She still has signs (sweaty-like, damp skin, random skin pustules, red, bumpy skin) are all things that Baby has. I think she had a scrape last year and was negative. But can a dog really live with mites for years and years?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Alphiedog, your kind words help. My family keeps asking when I'll get tired of it all. They don't undedstand that I don't see this as work if it means she'll get well. I love her.

The type of mite she has is considered non-contagious. She has what is called demodex mange. Lots of healthy dogs are hosts (transmitted from Mom to babies) and they live peacefully together with no ill effects. However illness, stress, starvation, pretty much anything that taxes their bodies can cause the demodex mites to flare up. My dog was a stray, was starving and had been previously shot (found a pellet under the skin on inside of back leg)

It is no suprise that she is in this shape.

Let me say one thing. When doc did her lastbskin scrape and cameback positive for live demodex mites she said she was suprised to find them from just one small scrape on a dog who has such a large area affected. I am wondering if Baby does in fact be suffering from demodex. Apparently just scraping one small area on a dog so largely effected can be hit or miss with a positive reading. It might be worth mentioning to your vet about it.

There is another type of mange called sarcoptic. This one is highly contagious to other dogs and even people (we know it as scabies) and thank God she didn't have it.

Her new skin is very pink and soft and the scratchy in some parts where the new hair grows in. But then she goes on a scratching frenzy and reopens previously healed wounds, hence the excessive bandaging while unattended.
 

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Sometimes friends can be more supportive than family! But the only thing you can do is prove them wrong and show them that your dedication is a life long commitment and one that is taken seriously.

At the rescue, Baby had a regular vet and a dermatologist so I'd be shocked if they hadn't checked it out. However, for my peace of mind, the next time I take her the doctor, I'm going to have them check it out. Since the symptoms are so similar, it would be silly not to!
 
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