Yesterday I took Carmella to the vet to find out why she was losing hair in patches on her neck. She had also developed some little pustules near her crotch and on her stomach that looked as though she had diaper rash.
The vet did a skin scraping test and found out she has Demodectic Mange, although some sources say that Demodectic and Sarcoptic Mange are impossible to tell apart. Apparently Demodectic Mange is not supposed to itch, but Carmella does itch somewhat.
According to this website; http://www.mange-in-dogs.com/demodectic-mange-in-dogs.php if a dog has to have mange this type is less severe than Sarcoptic Mange.
Puppies 3-9 months of age are the most likely to get it, even the transition from puppy to adulthood can trigger the disease, and it aften attacks dogs with weakened immune systems. It's very likely that Carmella's recent recovery from Distemper left her wide open for other opportunistic diseases such as mange.
Most dogs have mange mites living in their skin at all times on some level but it may never be a high enough level to cause a breakout.
Dr. Norwood prescribed an ointment twice a day to put on her neck where the red spots are, and then prescribed antibiotic pills twice a day for the rash she has on her stomache and crotch, which he said is a secondary staff infection most likely connected to the Mange.
After 14 days of that, if she's not cured or it continues to spread then he'll dip her.
My very first dog, Bingo, when I was 5 had Sarcoptic Mange. Interestingly she was reddish brown like Carmella. My father and I gave that dog baths every day with the most horrible smelling prescription dip that looked like milk. The baths had no effect and the dog was eventually put to sleep because after a few months was reduced to a naked, red ball of sores, and as I remember became systemically ill as well. I'm sure back then the medications were not as effective as they are today.
I talked to Dr. Norwood about Carmella's snorting also. He looked down her throat with the equipment he did have and couldn't see any obstruction with that, but said that she might have one further down and would need a specialist to stick a scope down the airway to check the area where he couldn't. Letting it go too long could compromise her heart, but he was being somewhat conservative about referring her to a specialist now, preferring to wait and see if it gets worse or happens in her sleep. He said if she passes out or really gasps for air then we'd have to but wasn't sure whether it was severe enough yet to warrant surgery. I will keep an eye on it but don't want to wait until she reaches that point before taking care of the problem.
Her very small snout in proportion to her size makes her prone to this sort of thing, and if she's part Shar Pei that could definitely be a predisposing factor.
Dr. Norwood can now do a DNA test to determine what breeds she's mixed with. He recently heard about the two companies I'd mentioned in my earlier blog post and has started using the blood test. I am going to put that off until I get more of the bill paid off before I get him to do that, but hopefully will have it done pretty soon. I'm going to do a blog giveaway to the person who has the closest guess and will probably run it in the weeks after the blood sample is drawn while waiting for the results.
Notice all the wrinkles underneath Carmella's chin. She is likely to have a very unusual mix of breeds in her.
I plan on doing a series of watercolor paintings on Carmella as soon as I get some Arches Cold-pressed block watercolor paper, and may select one of those paintings as the prize to be given away to the top guesser. (The paintings below are from my Greyhound Series).
Gwen, Dr. Norwood's office manager asked if I was selling my paintings and that got me to thinking about starting another Etsy shop for my other artwork. I've been mostly focused on jewelry but I could probably sell my paintings when the jewelry business is slow. There seem to be a fair amount of people who buy flat artwork on Etsy, both full-sized and ACEOs.
After the holidays are over I will be gearing up for Valentine's Day and will pick up where I left off in my new line of PMC using the rubber stamps made from my photos, and the two seed pods.
I also have an idea of how to bring jewelry and watercolors together that I want to test-market, and some new ideas for unique products to sell in my supply shop.
Also on the agenda is looking for more wholesale accounts. I've got to put some new variables into the equation in order to increase my earnings!
Be sure to watch Carmella on the Carmella-cam, and if you'd like to contribute to her vet bill we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks to all of you who have donated so far. Our goal is to raise at least $1,000 and we've raised about $100.00 so far in donations and blog ads, and $120.00 from the recent custom order (which you can see a picture of here (It was overcast that day).
Carmella is one fixer-upper that is worth every penny spent on her!