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Owner Kevin noticed that Mr. Dibbs a male pit bull puppy had some small patches of hair loss around the eyes and face. His skin was also a little red and he had a few pustules on his skin. Kevin stated ,. “Overnight the hairloss and pustules on his skin seemed to spread and get worse.”
Kevin was very concerned and decided to bring Mr. Dibbs into the clinic for an exam. We performed a skin scrape, a procedure in which skin cells are removed and examined under the microscope. Mr. Dibbs’s skin scrape was positive for demodectic mange, a mange that is not contagous to other pets or people. Mr. Dibbs also had a secondary skin infection associated with the mite infestation.
Demodectic mites are a parasite that lives in the hair follicle. Almost all dogs have demodectic mites, and it is aquired from the mother during nursing. In most cases the pets immune system keeps the mite in check. Usually the infestation occurs because the pet has a weakened immune system and the mites are able to become active. We see this commonly in puppies because their immune systems are still developing. We also see this commonly in certain breeds and family lines which suggests a strong genetic component to the disease.
The treatment for demodectic mange is a series of medicated baths and dips, the pet comes in once a week for at least 4 weeks. At the pets second treatment they are started on an oral medication to aid in the killing of the mites. On Mr. Dibbs second bath his hair had already begun to grow back. During the appointment for the 4th treatment, we perform another skin scrape to make sure the mites are gone. If we discover there are still mites present the treatments continue until the mite infestation has resolved. Mr. Dibbs had to have 6 dips before he was clear.
It has now been 2 months since Mr Dibbs last treatment and he is healthy, mite free, and has a beautiful shiny full hair coat. It’s a small miracle, but a miracle none the less. So its off to the show ring for MR Dibbs, to strut his stuff!!!!