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demodex mites


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#1 meganpatricia

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 04:07 PM

I had noticed some redness/bumpiness and hair loss around Toby's right eye a few weeks ago, and after a first trip to the vet with no conclusive diagnosis I took him back today, as the condition was getting worse. A different vet looked at him and diagnosed it as demodex mites, and presribed internal ivemectrin, as the eye area can't have topical medicine applied to it. Its a long course of treatment- a couple months- and I am a little concerned about the toxicity of the medicine and its effect on his young (14 months) immune system.

Has anyone else had experience with mites and their treatment?

Many thanks...

#2 ShihtzuBeauty

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 04:27 PM

No I haven't just wanted to send "healing" Hugs. :)

#3 Seastar

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 05:22 PM

I have. My old dog Betsy had it and it was awful--pouring the horrible poison all over her, I think it was every 2 weeks for maybe 5 or 6 times. It's nasty stuff, but taking the ivermectin by mouth I have no experience with. Demodetic mange is bad, bad stuff, so it's good you got in quick. Apparently all dogs get it from their moms, but a normal immune system nearly always keeps it from taking over.

#4 meganpatricia

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 05:42 PM

Seastar, that is what I have read, what upsets me is this whole 'normal immune system' part. I feed Toby Innova, with plain yoghurt and salmon oil supplements, and all his treats are high-quality and organic. I feel like he has everything he needs externally to be healthy, but apparently its not enough :)

#5 Seastar

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 06:48 PM

Don't worry. Ask your vet why he thinks it happened. My dog was old and on her final year of life. But things like this can happen for no apparent reason. You've done the best for your dog, and that's all you can do. If he weren't so well cared for, this might have been worse. Keep us updated. <3

#6 mel

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 07:23 PM

I had noticed some redness/bumpiness and hair loss around Toby's right eye a few weeks ago, and after a first trip to the vet with no conclusive diagnosis I took him back today, as the condition was getting worse. A different vet looked at him and diagnosed it as demodex mites, and presribed internal ivemectrin, as the eye area can't have topical medicine applied to it. Its a long course of treatment- a couple months- and I am a little concerned about the toxicity of the medicine and its effect on his young (14 months) immune system.

Has anyone else had experience with mites and their treatment?

Many thanks...


My Haley is struggling with it now. She is almost 9 years old and has been fighting it off and on for a year or so. She takes meds and also has to be dipped. It improves but seems like it always comes back when I stop the meds. On one side of her leg, her hair fell out! It has grown back now. Right now she is doing okay, but at one time it was just awful! I feed her organic food, she takes vitamins, fish oil and glucosamine. Still is not enough.

#7 tzuhouse

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 08:40 PM

Gosh, never dealt with this nor heard of it, but sure hope the meds help quickly and just wanted to send Toby a few ~~HUGS~~...

#8 meganpatricia

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 08:59 PM

Thanks for the hugs! Toby's very healthy on the whole, and I just want to keep him that way. I have been reading a ton since getting home from the vet, and I guess demodex mites is a fancy way of saying mange! Apparently young dogs can get it in little isolated patches and it often clears up on its own - the more difficult cases are the ones where there are many places on the dogs body that are affected. I come from a natural-medicine family, so I'm having a long hard think about whether it is an option to try leaving this be and see if he gets better on his own, or whether I had just better treat it upfront and aggressively in hopes that it does not come back or get worse. I really would like to let him get better on his own if possible, but its hard to feel ok about doing nothing...

#9 Luna

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 10:51 PM

There are two types of mites that cause mange: demodex and sarcoptes.

ALL dogs carry demodex mites, and unless the dog's immune system is compromised in some way they do not present a problem. As well, they obviously are not what could be called "contagious. Some dogs simply do not have very strong immune systems naturally (genetically) and all you can do about that is give them the best nourishment possible and treat the problem when it crops up. Ivermectin by mouth is probably safer than the dips - many heartworm preventatives are simply oral ivermectin and dosage by weight in considered very safe.

Should your vet tell you your dog has contracted sarcoptic mites, then you not only get to treat the mites, you get to wonder what dog your dog GOT them from and tell any friends who have been around your dog that their dog may have them as well. Anywhere dogs go in numbers (dog parks, pet stores, training class, groomers, daycare, vets etc.) is a likely place to pick these little nasties up. Luckily, you don't hear of many outbreaks and again a strong immune system may keep them from gaining a foothold (perhaps I should say "mouthhold") on individual dogs.

I think that Toby's diet is excellent and you are doing all you can for him that way. It's likely that his immune system is simply weaker than average for some reason (which you will probably never know) so you will just have to keep on top of this.

Hugs for you both!

#10 ruffian

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 01:08 AM

My friends little fawn Pug had it as well, he had to take the same thing because it was on top of his head, but he was only 8 weeks when he started, the vet figures his flare up was caused by being removed from his mother at 4 weeks, then rehomed again at 6 weeks, pretty stressful for the little guy. He is still on the ivemectrin, but he is fine, thus far, its been 2 months.

#11 meganpatricia

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:08 PM

Just wanted to post an update on this situation. After having Toby on the ivemectrin for a couple weeks I took him to the vet again for a check-in. I felt that I saw some hair regrowth, she wasnt totally sure. I talked with her about taking him off the meds and seeing if his system would right itself, and she agreed that we could try it. A month later he is totally perfect, all the hair grew back on his eye. I am so glad I followed my mommy internal guidance and that his immune system was able to self-correct without meds.

yay! :mf_seehearspeak:

#12 emmasmom

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:45 PM

Great news!

#13 ShihtzuBeauty

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:19 PM

:blush: Doin the Happy Dance! :chickendance:

#14 Wicket's mom

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 11:12 PM

That's awesome! And because of that his immune system is probably stronger now too :blush:

#15 loewenthal.anna

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 06:08 AM

Just wanted to add that Ivermectin in indeed VERY safe orally, and as Pam mentioned, the main ingredient in most heartworm preventatives. I worried about it too when I first started using Ivomec on our big dogs and truly, they have to almost drown it the stuff for it to have a negative affect.

Ivomec is also regulated by the USDA because it's approved for use on animals meant for human consumption from cattle, to sheep/goats, to chickens with minimal withdrawal periods. And if you ask any farmer, drugs that are given to meat/milk animals are HIGHLY scrutinized before being deemed safe. Even organic (I noticed you mentioned liking natural remedies) farms are permitted to use Ivermectin, in fact, it is the ONLY internal parasite control allowed in certified organic farming.

Just thought I'd throw in those few perspectives to put your mind at ease. Good luck with Toby's treatments and hopefully it will not be an issue in the future!

#16 Seastar

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 06:34 AM

Good boy, Toby!

#17 meganpatricia

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:30 AM

that's good to know, anna. i am glad at least not to have had to continue chasing him down to take the meds, he always knew when i was sneaking up on him with the dose!!!




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