I remember learning from my dad as a child that mange was a contagious and painful skin affliction in dogs that usually required they be put down.
So when I heard people at the shelter talking about dogs that had come in with Demodex, and then learned that Demodex was also called “red mange,” I was surprised these dogs weren’t automatically euthanized. It turns out that Demodex, a skin condition that occurs from an overgrowth of microscopic mites that are present on most of our healthy dogs’ skin, is quite treatable. It’s also rarely contagious to healthy dogs, as it occurs due to a compromised immune system from poor nutrition and perhaps a life on the streets. Nonetheless, Demodex is painful and ugly. We get many, many Demodex dogs at the shelter. I have noticed many of them are Boxers or Boxer mixes, though one of my vet friends says there is no correlation. And many of them have been brindle, like my dog, Crespo.
This is Halle Bear, who came into the shelter a few months ago with a bad case. Please don’t stop reading when you see this picture because there are beautiful “after” pictures of her and her story has a very happy ending.
My friend, Mindy, took Halle in and fostered her and after a few months of daily oral ivermectin drops (the active ingredient in Heartguard heart worm treatment), this is what she looked like last weekend.
You can read more about Demodex here.
As Halle had a little too much playful energy for Mindy’s ancient Dachshund, I asked my friend, Tania if she could foster Halle and Tania said yes. (You know that saying, “Don’t ask, don’t get”? I live by it lately. I hear plenty of “No, sorry’s” but I am always so delightfully shocked by the “yes’s” that I just can’t stop. And the “no’s” don’t bother me, so please don’t run when you see me coming. Everyone helps in their own way. I just offer matchmaking opportunities for finding the way in which you might help).
Anyway, I told Tania I thought Halley would find a home quickly as she is so beautiful and really affectionate — the kind of dog who always has to have some part of her body touching some part of whoever is in charge of her. I guesstimated it would take less than a month.
One day short of three weeks was the magic number though.
Here is Halle with the nice couple who adopted her a few hours ago. Their 16 year old Lab recently passed away and they couldn’t live without doggy love. How anyone can, I’ll never know. Halle’s new mom is a runner and Halle will get to go running with her to get her youthful ya ya’s out. Have a great life, Halle! And take good care of that beautiful coat now :}
p.s. Sometimes foster moms and dads are able to pay for medication and treatment like Halle’s. A bottle of the ivermectin that returned Halle to good health costs about $40. However, most doggy foster parents aren’t wealthy and they help so many dogs and have so many animals of their own that they would always welcome help.
If you would like to make a donation to our shelter’s sick and injured animal fund, visit Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge and click the appropriate link. Alternately, you can donate to Friends of the Animals in honor or in memory of your own dog, or to assist with treatment for one of the foster dogs they have pulled from Companion Animal Alliance. Thank you for reading, for caring and for all that you do.