Maddie2, January, 2001
Little Maddie was just a pup, but demodex had taken over her life. Demodex is a species specific microscopic mite that lives on hair follicles. Even humans have demodex mites living in their eyebrows! We can't pass them to our dogs and they can't pass them to us. Human demodex live only on humans, canine demodex on canines. Usually we never know they are there, our (and our dog's) immune system keeps them in check. Occasionally, in young pups (3-6 months) or in old or sick animals, the demodex population explodes.
We see this when the hair starts falling out in patches. Although this is generally not an itchy, uncomfortable condition for the dog, occasionally the bare skin becomes irritated and bacteria such as staph invade.
When Maddie started loosing her hair, her owners did not want to deal with the condition or the associated medical costs. They surrendered her to a shelter in South Carolina. Members of the Low Country Labrador Rescue were contacted and took Maddie in.
She was treated with Ivomec, to kill the excess growth of mites . She seemed to be on her way to recovery and was spayed. However, a staph infection set in at the spay site. She was then treated with Cephalaxin, an antibiotic.
LABMED was contacted to help the rescue organization with Maddie's medical expenses. She is well on her way to recovery and is looking for a forever home. If you are interested in finding out more about Maddie, contact Low Country Labrador Rescue.
To find out more about Demodex go to www.cvm.uiuc.edu/ceps/petcolumns/mites.html.
Update: August 2001
Maddie's latest vet check showed her to be mite free! The little puppy has turned into a lovely one year old who LOVES to retrieve and to swim. Maddie is spayed, up to date on vaccinations, housetrained, crate trained, knows some obedience and gets along great with other dogs and children.
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