The OFFICIALunOFFICIAL English Bulldog Mascot

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

In Animals and Pets, bulldogs, Television, Thats' Life on May 1, 2011 at 8:00 AM

#bullDogNATION’s Sunday BULLY Pulpit

Hello! And to #bullDogNATION’s Sunday BULLY Pulpit! This week:

Hadn’t you ought’a maybe leave a dog at home?

If your dog has mange, please do not bring him or her to a public dog park or a public specialized breed dog meet up or any public function for That matter. Mange is highly contagious. It’s an unsightly and painful condition caused by burrowing mange mites.

A couple years ago, She and I eagerly attended a bulldog meetup. All went well until a woman showed up with her female English bulldog who was not spayed, in heat and who had the worst case of mange I had ever seen in all my years. Pets should not be permitted to mingle with mangy animals or contact premises occupied by them since individual contact is the most important method of transmitting mange.

Stunned, She turned to an attendee standing next to Her and asked “Does that dog have mange?” She then confronted the dog owner who admitted the dog did indeed have mange but with the caveat that hers was of the non-contagious variety.

The dog owner seemed uncertain about which type of mange her dog actually had, however, and when pressed, volunteered she thought her dog had Sarcoptic mange. She, however, could tell the mangy dog owner had no idea on earth what type of mange the dog had. She was not even confident this dog had even seen a vet. But it doesn’t matter: Mange is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS. PERIOD!

Another attendee with her husband and bulld0g, Pork Chop, overhearing this exchange, immediately spun on their heels and high tailed it outta there and we were hot on their heels. She was livid and frightened and concerned for me. This dog’s mange was not localized and appeared on her face, head and all over her upper body. To add insult to injury, the dog was not spayed and was in heat. This was the second meetup we attended where someone brought their dog out with mange.

As soon as we got home, She ran to Her computer to find out all She could about Sarcoptic mange. She discovered there isn’t just one but three types of mange: Demodectic, Cheyletiella and Sarcoptic. These are caused by different species of mites, tiny eight-legged critters related to spiders. Let’s take a look at each type:

Demodectic Mange

Demodectic mange is caused by Demodex canis, a tiny mite that cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope. This mange strikes puppies from three to 12 months old.

The demodex mite is commonly present in the pores of puppy skin and usually does not cause symptoms. Your vet may not be able to tell you what causes them to activate. These opportunistic mites produce a chemical substance that lowers your dog’s resistance to them making it easy fur them to multiply on their host, your dog!

It’s also possible that some purebred dogs may have a lower resistance to the mites and that stress can trigger an active infestation. In any case, demodectic mange symptoms include thinning of the hair around the eyes and mouth and on the front legs that evolves into patches of hair loss approximately one inch in diameter. This mange may correct itself within three months or may require treatment.

However, demodectic mange can also begin as a localized infestation and develop into a generalized case with multiple hair-loss sites on the dog’s head, legs, and body. This is a far more serious condition and requires veterinary attention. The dog’s skin is sore, crusty, and oozing; the hair follicles are clogged with mites and debris. Treatment is extended and requires bathing in medicated shampoo and application of an insecticide to kill the mites.

Cheyletiella mange

Cheyletiella mange, also known as walking dandruff, affects puppies and is caused by a large reddish mite that can be seen under a magnifying glass. This mange is identified by the dandruff dusting that occurs over the dog’s head, neck, and back.

Walking dandruff is highly contagious but short-lived. It causes mild itching. The mite that causes the mange dies a short time after leaving the host. Bathing or showering with dandruff shampoo is said to help.

Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies, is caused by a microscopic mite. The female mite causes the characteristic intense itching as they burrow under the skin to lay their eggs. The eggs hatch in a few days, develop into adults, and begin laying their own eggs in less than three weeks.

Dogs with scabies dig and bite at themselves with great ferocity. Their skin reacts with oozing sores, and secondary infection may set in, requiring treatment with an antibiotic in addition to treatment for the mites. Unfortunately, the sarcoptic mange mite can be difficult to find in skin scrapings so unless the veterinarian parts the hair and carefully examines the bare skin for the characteristic pin-point bite marks, diagnosis is difficult. Furthermore, the presence of a secondary skin infection can hamper the search for the mite bite marks.

Telltale signs of sarcoptic mange are crusty ear tips, fierce itching, and hair loss, particularly on the ears, elbows, legs, and face in the early stages. Later on, the hair loss spreads throughout the body.

Sarcoptic mange is contagious to canines and humans. If the dogs share sleeping places or if the infected dog sleeps on beds or furniture, everyone will begin scratching. Fortunately scabies in humans is self-limiting because the mite can only burrow under the skin and cause itching. It cannot complete its life cycle on humans and so dies within a few weeks.

Veterinarians now use Ivermectin in two doses, two weeks apart, to kill the mites. They may also prescribe steroids for short-term use to relieve the itching until the mites begin to die off and give the dog some relief. Itching usually begins to subside within a few days of the first dose of Ivermectin.

Canine skin damaged by sarcoptic mange and secondary skin infections can take weeks or months to recover, depending on the scope of the problems. Frequent medicated baths may be necessary to soothe irritated skin.

Mange damage can mimic that caused by other skin conditions, including autoimmune diseases, bacterial infections secondary to flea allergies, and contact dermatitis, making it impossible for the pet owner to diagnose with any success. If your dog suffers from irritated, itchy skin, make an appointment with the veterinarian. Early diagnosis of any of these problems will give you a head start on a cure and will be less of a pain fur your dog and your wallet.

Like Her, you, too, may be unemployed. Alone. Seeking companionship or some occasional association for your bulldog. You may love your bulldog just as much as She does. But in spite of all that, you may not, YOU MAY NOT bring your unhealthy dog to a public dog park and expose it to healthy dogs. YOU MAY NOT do that! YOU MAY NOT do that!

She and I have all the fellow feeling and empathy in the world but She is also a responsible pet owner who expects– no, demands the same from all pet owners.

Please, Please, Please don’t bring your unhealthy, un-spayed, un-neutered, unvaccinated adult dog around healthy, spayed and neutered dogs whose owners have taken their responsibilities seriously and can, upon demand, produce current immunization records.

It’s thoughtless, unloving, inconsiderate and especially unkind for those of us who are really suffering in these unforgiving economic times.

You love your bulldog. We all love our dogs. But in the immortal words of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock:

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

Goodwill energies I direct
Toward each and every one of you
Each and every day
 
“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning..”
 
Ciao!That’s life today!
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