Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Exciting New Developments in Facebook Distemper Group

Saving Dogs from Canine Distemper (Facebook group) has reached 114 members now. With all the dog-lovers on Facebook many the first few of us invited to join already had alot of dog-related contacts who in turn joined also, and we are off to a great start!

We're gradually finding more and more vets who are willing to treat dogs with Dr. Sears' treatment and adding them to our list.

There is the possibility for some media activities in the future, and the group is working on getting all our members to post links around the internet in various dog-related forums so that we can reach as many dogs as early as possible who have the disease.

The woman I'm helping in Indonesia is in the process of arranging to get NDV and her vet is now reading up on the process for both parts of the treatment. Her dog has been going downhill fast so I hope that the vet is able to treat her fast enough to save her. She has to get the bottle from Thailand through a friend and then get it to her vet to administer. The obstacles in this case have been harrowing.

I hope that one day NDV will be a regularly stocked item in all vet's offices and veterinary supply companies. I can remember when trying to find it here in Georgia and that it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Tonight I gave this woman Dr. Muller's number for her vet to call him if he needed any instructions on how to use guided ultrasound when doing the neuro part.

She is still waiting on the edge of her chair for the price quote her vet will give her. She does not have much money and it sounds as though he is slightly on the fence about doing it. She's known him for awhile now, so hopefully he will help save her dog's life. The puppy is quickly approaching paralysis and just developed diarrhea. It is a relatively rare case seeming to develop most of its neuro symptoms before body symptoms (usually it happens the other way around).

Dr. Sears is back after having had some computer problems, but this case seemed somewhat of a puzzle to him.

It still remains to be seen which manifestations of the disease respond best and how severe it can be and still have the dog be salvageable.

That reminds me; I'll have to ask Dr. Sears again what the level should be when Carmella has her spinal fluid tested again in about a year to prove that it's gone. There is a certain level that shows up if a dog had it in the past but is now immune versus active disease. I think as more and more dogs are fully treated others will want to know the answer to this question as well.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friend Me And Carmella On FaceBook

Just a quick note to let all of Carmella's fans out there know that I've started a FaceBook group Support Carmella; A Former Shelter Dog to help speed up the process of raising money for Carmella's vet bill, and to invite you all to friend me, join, and send over your friends. I've linked that to this blog and to my Etsy shop as well, so it will be interesting to see what the results are over the next few days, and where people enter from one end to the other.

I have had a FaceBook account for awhile now and have just recently started using it once I joined the Saving Dogs from Canine Distemper group there and getting heavily involved in growing it.

I'm finding the atmosphere quite interesting as I look around to see what's going on there. There are many dog groups of one kind or another, not all of them in English. I think I noticed a few more Distemper groups in other countries and wish I could communicate with those.

There seems to be unlimited networking potential on FaceBook, although I'm not familiar with howe to use all the features.

I would like to thank Theresa for purchasing a slot on my blog. Gradually those slots are starting to fill up, and I hope more people will purchase one in the near future.

I've also entered Carmella in a photo contest sponsored by the Humane Society.

Be sure to check out my Facebook profile to learn more about these various activities and how you might get involved;

Carmella's Mange is continuing to get better, and she seems to be more energetic after her second dip. The hardest part about it is not being able to give her a bath until all these are finished because she sort of stinks on some days more than others. I find that wiping her down with lemon seems to help in the meantime in addition to also helping dry up the Mange.

She's been gnawing away at a ham bone much of the day, thoroughly enjoying herself.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Struggle To Save More Dogs From Distemper Continues

For awhile all is quiet and then suddenly the mortal combat between life and death starts anew; in Indonesia a puppy fights for its life, its owner frightened and trying desperately to keep it from fading away.

Then two more emergencies pop up; one in Houston, Texas, and another in California. They all need swift and decisive action in an arena filled with doubt and trepidation, where most vets would sooner see a dog die than to undertake the rare treatment that might save its life. Technical assistance is often too little, too late when there are not enough NDV-knowledgeable vets to go around, and with multiple time-zones, all too often these dogs and their owners fall through the cracks.

In these crucial hours is where the rubber meets the road, courage is tested, and so is faith. It is at such a time when one really finds out what his/her own vet is made of. Will he or she have what it takes to follow written instructions in the absence of the man who wrote them, or will this person who is to administer the treatment buckle under the strain like a chance passer-by, a stranger faced with delivering a newborn baby on a New York subway?

I remember this well. It was just a few short months ago when I was fighting for Carmella's life this way. Now other dogs are embarking upon the same perilous journey and their owners stepping out and hoping their foot comes down on solid ground; following leads, sending e-mails, and making phone calls in hopes that they can patch together enough resources to get across the finish line.

Due to the amount of flash on Dr. Sears' website, people seem to be having difficulty posting there and sometimes accessing it at all. It is still under construction. I have e-mailed him regarding some of these emergencies but have been unable to get a hold of him for the past few days. With Distemper each day and in some instances each hour is crucial while a dog owner tries to mobilize the support and practical help he/she needs. It is quite literally a race against the clock.

Not too long ago we lost one in the fight against Distemper. This is tragic because each one of these is a dog that somebody loved. Often in was because they just couldn't reach the right help soon enough. Some of these owners give up, thinking it's just too difficult, and the odds of finding a vet who can do what is needed just too low.

We need to change that!

Never again should a dog have to die because the cure comes too late!

Part of this outcome can be changed by all the owners out there who get their dog treated and then disappear into anonymity. All of you whose dogs have been treated are resources, and your vet can prevent another dog from becoming a statistic.

A database and a network of survivors who come back to help the ones who come after is badly needed. If your dog has been successfully treated with NDV please let us know your vet's contact information so that we can add it to the list and don't drop out of contact. We need to know your dog's progress as it heals.

Too many people stop trying because there are so many roadblocks. I recently read a post on one of the pet forums where somebody wrote that all they were able to find in the way of success stories were the same few dogs and that this discouraged them because they assumed that this was all there were out there in the entire world.

That is not the case!

The problem, again, is that too many after they get the treatment and their dog is out of the woods go away and never come back to tell their stories. There are many out there but finding them and bringing that data together has been hard. We absolutely must work together to make this treatment accessible to other dogs. Success stories are very important.

I run across blogs every so often in which it is mentioned that a dog was treated with NDV (sometimes even Blogspot blogs) but then that seems to be the end of the documentation. Once the crisis is over people go back to their jobs, their children, playing golf on Sundays, or posting about the latest musical artist on Myspace. Perhaps some of this is to be expected, but those of us whose dogs have beaten this deadly disease owe it to the others to make our experiences count for somebody other than just ourselves and our families.

We must carry the flame and pass on this legacy, paving the way for the next group of warriors against the disease. If we are doing this correctly then the trails we blazed will not have to be re-visited upon the next ones afflicted. As the numbers grow and the proof continues to be documented it will get easier for dogs to be treated sooner and thus suffer little or no permanent damage because of long waits.

It still bothers me that Carmella had to develop brain damage causing this myoclonic jerking before we could get someone to treat her Central Nervous System. She is alive today but bears a constant reminder that her silent screams and mine (not so silent) fell on deaf ears for way too long.

All the time wasted on certain vets' silly academic arguments about whether or not this treatment was legitimate enough because it wasn't written in medical journals while Carmella was left to languish.

All the times I begged for them to help her, saying "She's getting worse. She's getting worse! Do something!" and they refused, standing like so many deer in the headlights with hands behind their backs.

It still remains to be seen as to whether the damage is permanent, but it may well be. Had she gotten the help she needed only weeks before she would not have any remnants at all.

We can't turn back the clock now, but we can prevent it happening to others. If you have animals tell your vets about this treatment, about Dr. Sears and about the dogs who are still suffering and dying from Distemper. Tell them that now there is a cure and all they need to do is use it. There is no time to waste. If a dog comes in with Distemper use it NOW! Not next week, not in a month, not in six months. Every day one waits can result in more lost myelin.

Distemper causes brain damage, disability, it is crippling, and it kills!

NDV works. It is as simple as that. Leave the point/counter point to the university pontifs to argue, and go ahead and treat. Vets who see these animals have a duty to do everything in their power to help them no matter where it comes from, no matter how it was discovered.

Vets, like the owners also need to network and pass on their positive results to their colleagues and they need to partner with us in writing papers and documenting the medical miracles that come into their practice, and start speaking at conferences about it. Don't assume that somebody else will do it.

We would love to have some open-minded vets join who are interested in being part of the solution!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In The Eye of the Storm

The past few days have been like trying to fill an infinite bucket before all the water runs out a gaping hole in the bottom.

I received another bill from CareCredit and just realized that two charges that should have been on a 12-months-no-interest plan; one from when Carmella had her CSF procedure and another from Dr. Norwood's office two weeks ago showed up on my bill as only allowing 3 months to pay.

Yesterday was spent trying to get it set right, to no avail. It seems that they can refuse to allow 12 months to pay a charge under a certain amount, and in some cases even refuse to allow a 6-month account.

The problem is that nobody told me that and it was sprung on me suddenly. Now one of the halves of the charge from the CSF procedure has a promotional expiration date of 1/23/09 (I've already paid the other half off), and with events happening as they have, the charces of my getting that second part paid off before they decide to tack on interest are slim to none.

I've called CareCredit several times and they won't change it and say there's "no appeal process". Who in the hell has "no appeal process?" I thought all businesses were required to have one. Last night I even wrote consumer advocate Bill Liss on channel 11 who is an attorney to find out whether the law provides any recourse to challenge that arbitrary regulation.

I'm already breaking my natural gas bill into thirds out of necessity and more will compound next month when the next current charges are due. Higher expenses such as this have thrown a huge monkey-wrench into the works.

When I took Carmella to Dr. Norwood's office to be dipped the second time for mange I spoke with Gwen, the office manager about the problem with CareCredit making the due date for the latest promotional plan earlier than I'd agreed to, and she told me that for charges less than $200 CareCredit won't do a 12-month, but they'll do a 6-month on charges around $100. Nothing really was corrected after all the legwork of today and yesterday.

The pet insurance will help to some extent, but it won't come in time to pay that charge for the other clinic, and yesterday I found out that the claim for the procedure done at Briarcliff Animal Clinic still hasn't been filed. They've had it for about a week now and the vet won't be in until Saturday and is still working on it. His nurse was on vacation last week and had handed it to him before she left.

The insurance company so far has been pretty good about paying claims promptly although I have only really dealt with them for that one claim for Carmella's expenses related to the Distemper. Gwen was unsure whether to include the ointment and antibiotics in the claim or not and I came away unclear as to whether she included those or not because I'm not sure she understood that the two medications were related to that condition, and my brain could hold no more by the time I was ready to bring Carmella home.

I want to thank the kind soul who donated to Carmella yesterday, and ask any others who can afford it to keep these contributions coming. I am working to pay off this bill on faith right now, putting one foot in front of the other.

My own healthcare is currently under attack. Right now I am appealing the denial of one of my medications by Medicare part D for an off-label protocol that saved my life, and at the same time I'm waiting to hear the outcome of an SSDI review. These are uncertain times.

Carmella came home at 3:00 pm looking cleaner but with red-rimmed eyes after her dip. She has been resting comfortably in the kitchen on the dog bed she eviscerated and has been pulling the stuffing out of bit by bit since last week. She has now torn it to shreds. Each day I pick up and throw away more pieces of it. The design of it was great except that they should have made the cover out of upholstry fabric. I'd written the manufacturer online to give them this suggestion and have heard nothing back from them; not even to say "thanks for letting us know your experience with one of our products".

I touched-base the other day with Ed Bond, another NDV advocate whose dog had the body portion of the treatment. He's a former reporter for the LA Times with over 25 years as a journalist. There are some very good ways for us to collaborate to get Dr. Sears' treatment on the map. Ed Bond has started a FaceBook group. Here is where you can read more about it and/or join;

I am trying to find an influential vet that might help pave the way for Dr. Sears and my vets to publish in a medical journal, so if any of you out there reading know of one who might be open to this please give him the above link and the link to my blog, invite him to join the Facebook group and start a dialogue. We need a friend "on the inside" who is interested in seeing this treatment for Distemper given a fair chance. The sooner we can get an article into a respected journal the more dogs we can save.

Right now the outdated understanding of this disease is allowing dogs to suffer needlessly and die a horrible death because too many vets will still not try NDV when given the information about it. Not having that one piece of paper prevents many from reading about it or hearing it out, and many dog owners feel powerless to get help for their dogs, get tired of their pleadings falling on deaf ears, and give up. This is a tragedy because the solution is sitting right there, but only a vet can administer it. There is a cure, and the dogs who need it are worth saving.

I am hoping that Carmella, being the 1st dog in the US to have this complete two-part cure can become the poster-dog for this cause. She's photogenic and there's something endearing about her that transcends the disease, including the damage it causes. It is no accident that I ended up with a dog just as tenacious as I am.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Distemper Cure-Letter To The Editor of Time Magazine

Last night while searching on Google to see if there had been any more written on Distemper I ran across an article called "Distemper Cure". I clicked on the link and found that it was on Time Magazine's online news version along with articles about Obama, the Blegojovitch scandel, and various other current events and editorial topics.

The article painted a very bleak picture of dogs with the disease, stating that dogs who got it were pretty much hopeless, that they were religated to limping around the yard in various stages of wretchedness until they met an inevitable and pathetic death. The article stated that there is "no cure".

I just could not let that stand if there was hope to offer, and so I decided to write in. I sent the following letter to the editor;

sent by e-mail 1/10/09

Dear Editor,

My dog Carmella has recently had a rare treatment/cure for Distemper. In your article it says a cure does not exist, but Dr. Alson Sears, DVM has discovered one and I can attest that it works. The first two surviving dogs are Dachshunds living in Thailand, and Carmella is the first documented case on US soil (the third dog in the world), then the 4th was recently treated successfully (a Boston Terrier).

This protocol involves the off-label use of Newcastle Disease Virus vaccine (Newcastle Disease virus only infects chickens, so dogs cannot contract it, but because it’s in the same Paramyxovirus category as Distemper it elicits a heightened immune response in the dog, allowing its own immune system to kill the Distemper virus. The first part is given as an IV to treat all symptoms in the body, and then more is injected into the spinal canal at the base of the skull (where spinal taps are done on dogs) to eradicate the virus in the Central Nervous System.

I have carefully documented Carmella’s results in my blog;
http://artlifenewsblog.blogspot.com/ and taken photos which clearly show her healing. This was not a spontaneous remission, as she was progressively getting worse until the time at which she received this treatment, first for the body, and the second part for the Central Nervous system.

Dr. Sears has not been able to get the right research facility interested in his cure because too much emphasis is placed on prevention and that’s what tends to be funded when it comes to clinical trials.

I myself contacted several University Veterinary schools including UGA and The University of Florida and both were very guarded about even looking into the science involved. It seems to be a taboo subject but if dogs’ lives can be saved by this discovery then vets should be using it and research facilities should be willing to invest in clinical trials.

As I see it, merely focusing on prevention does not solve the problem. There are always dogs in shelters who were inadequately vaccinated, puppies born in the woods, and even cases where dogs get the disease from the Distemper vaccine itself! My vet who has spent his life educating pet owners about the importance of vaccinations had to admit when the facts became apparent that this approach alone was simply not preventing the disease. Many erroneously believe that Canine Distemper has been almost eradicated in the Western Hemisphere, but in reality many cases are not represented in the statistics due to dogs being quickly “put down” and many dogs that are not ever diagnosed but instead are assumed to have and are wrongly treated for bacterial infections which never respond to antibiotics.

If you would like to do a follow-up article for either your online or printed magazine I would be willing to be interviewed and have your staff include the evidence that exists that Carmella is in fact recovered.

I would also be willing to put you in touch with the man who owns the two Dachshunds in Thailand, and possibly the owner of the Boston Terrier (if she is willing).

Dr. Sears has his e-mail address as contact person on various documents displayed online regarding the protocol and is open to any fair inquiries about how this works and the science involved. He can be contacted at

The two vets who treated Carmella in this two-part process may be willing to speak about this as well, as they are considering writing a case history on my dog at some point.

Within only 2 days after the first part of the treatment Carmella’s hardening and scaling paw pads began healing, and within only 2 weeks they were completely healed! This part was no less than miraculous. She gained weight, started eating suddenly, became active again, her eyes lost their haziness, and she more than doubled in size within a little over a month.

It took so long to find a vet who was both willing and able to do the CNS part of the treatment that while waiting Carmella developed some brain damage which left her with myoclonic jerking in the right, front leg that is pretty pronounced. Although less dramatic than the body treatment, the jerking/neuro symptoms stopped worsening immediately as soon as the NDV was injected into her spinal canal. It was obvious to me because of the almost daily disease-progression she’d suffered prior to the procedure that the NDV had in fact stopped the disease at that point.

She continued to become more and more robust and developed incredible muscle tone in the months afterwards since October 1, 2008 when this was done.

Please contact me at (e-mail witheld for public re-print) to let me know whether or not you can do a story about this. I believe this is news that will be of interest and a great help to many dog owners, shelters, and vets.


Pippit Carlington

Carmella's Mange continues to heal, slowly but surely, and today I found some Borax at Kroger. Surprisingly they did not carry it at Walmart.
Every day that goes by she is looking a little less red and inflamed.
Last night I tried my best to file down her toenails with that Pedi-paws sanding device and although feeding her pieces of kibble from my other hand allowed me to sand some nails down a little bit, it soon became a wrestling match with her chewing on my hands as though they were steak bones.

Then she began trying to tear apart her nice new bed, first with her claws, and then with her teeth. She looked for all the world like a child throwing a temper tantrum when she didn't get her way. I was horrified and yelled at her that she better stop that right now because I just bought that!

I'm glad she did not cause any damage to it and has not tried to do it again. I lucked out in finding such a high quality dog bed and hope it lasts a long time because I don't know how long Sam's Club carries those.

Be sure to take a look at her on the Carmella-cam now, as you will have a bird's-eye view of her in her bed.

The seedpods have been fired, but I need to re-attach new headpins at the top where they'll connect to the chain.

I hope to start the watercolor series on Carmella soon!
***This just in***10:12 p.m. EST
I heard back from Dr. Sears after sending him Carmella's update. He now has a website for questions and answers regarding the treatment with NDV and about the dog-based serum that he invented using cytokines produced by a healthy donor dog after the introduction of Newcastle Disease Virus Vaccine, spindown and seperation from red blood cells.
If you or someone you know has a dog with Distemper or you think a dog might have it go to Dr. Sears' website here;
The site is still relatively new but it has a blog, still photos, podcasts, description of the protocol, including the most up-to-date understanding of the science behind it, and several short video clips showing dogs with Distemper-induced seizures. These clips are rather disturbing and have somewhat spooky music in the background, but they are effective.
I've written him tonight after looking at the website and asked if he would like to use any of the pictures of Carmella before and after treatment, and a video clip showing her myoclonic jerking. Once the site fills out some more and is made a little easier to navigate I think it will probably climb in Google position, as it's very nicely done.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Carmella DeCesare...NOT!

It's Carmella the first puppy to beat Distemper in the US. Out of curiosity I decided to do a Google search to see how many times my Carmella came up, and to my disappointment found page after page devoted to the same sex industry star. It was as if her promoters bought the entire fist 20 pages on Google! ***Well, psyche!*** Every once in awhile the little guy prevails.

I thought, "No wonder Etsy seems to be the only place through which people are finding my blog!" With such a monopoly I was hard-pressed to find any other Carmellas. There were maybe 2 others that I could find links to (and I had to search for quite a long time).

However, one thing that was encouraging was that when I searched Giftbearer and Etsy other bloggers' features of my shop and my blog came up fairly often because of the 90 Day Challenge I started last year around the holidays. Those blogs that featured me continue to come up on Google with my name or blog referenced long after the original post, so maybe the key to getting the word out is for multiple bloggers to write about Carmella in their blogs as well.

A year ago I had theorized that such an approach would work to boost Google ratings and not only did it turn out that I was right, but the long-term effect was even more positive than I'd anticipated! The one post on each participant they blogged about had residual visibility again and again!

So if you feel like you just can't compete with the paid Google position folks, don't dispair. There is more than one way to skin a cat...(and sometimes it's with a dog, hee, hee). If any of you are interested in trying this experiment blogging about Carmella I would be very interested to see how it turns out and to report in my blog what kind of impact we have. Here's one more way the community can come together to help Carmella. Maybe we'll attract some dog-lovers from a variety of other places in addition to Etsy.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Reviews of Home Remedies for Mange

If you have a dog who you think may have Mange or are planning on adopting one from a shelter (places that are often full of this disease), you may want to read this information and keep it handy.

I want to thank several recent viewers for their recent suggestions on complimenteary medical treatments for Carmella. I took a long look the other night at what's out there in the way of home remedies and found some useful information I'd like to pass along.

One cream to treat the itching I was given a link to mixed both natural herbs and Hydrocortisone together. The natural ingredients would be no problem for Carmella but the Hydrocortisone is steroid-based and my reading suggests that any steroid could weaken her immune system in the long-term. Also this cream did not claim to actually kill the mites. I was particularly interested in remedies that do and in how they work.

There were several remedies out there that looked quite promising, some of which had pages and pages of positive reports. I've included the safest and (as far as I can tell) the most effective in this post, although there are some comparisons mentioned with agents that I would not recommend putting on your dog (such as Pyrethrum or Pine Sol).

One is a combination of Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax called Ted's Mange Cure.

Here is the exact formula below for any of you who might need it for your dogs now or in the future. (Re-printed from this site http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/dog_mange_cure.html with slight correction for grammar and clarity. The originator is from Thailand);

Ted from Bangkok, Thailand writes, "The best cure for dog mange is to mix a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution with water and add borax. Dissolve thoroughly. Wash the dog with it once a week. Do NOT WASH THE solution left on the dog with ANY WATER. Do not wipe the dog dry. The solution will take effect on mange. The treatment period should not be longer than a month or two. The dog will probably not be resistant as the treatment is painless. This has worked well for me."

More Exact Measurements (excerpted from various emails on our Reader Question & Answer Section)

Ted replies, "A definitive recipe is add 1-2 tablespoon of borax per 500 cc of 1% hydrogen peroxide solution. To make a 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1%, roughly get one part of 3% H2O2 plus two parts of water. Then apply them on the dog. Wash with this solution daily, no rinsing. If it doesn't go away, I have found mites, or mange to have a large "beehive" hidden somewhere. In which case, quarantine the dog in a small area that is 100% sterile."

"Approximate measurements are 1 bottle of 500 of 3% H2O2, plus 1000 of the cc of water, plus heaping 3 tablespoons of borax. Stir until most of borax is dissolved. The borax is past the point of saturation here so you will see some borax around. Technically the concentration is around 1.5% H2O2, and this is a bit stronger because by the time we finish with it, the H2O2 gets reacted with other things, and by the time we used it is is usually ends up near a 1% solution anyway."

"You need to get put as much borax until it no longer dissolves in a pail of water and forms a precipitate. This is a saturated solution of borax. Add H2O2 to about 1% concentration to a pail of water. Soak the entire dog, several times. Keep the dog wet for some time. The borax will destroy the eggs from laying under the skin which causes the mange. Get some solution and spray or use this to wipe all floors so the dog will not get re infected. Repeat this every week when bathing.

This is not a perfect cure, but my dog now no longer has mange. My dog was completely cured. You can try other chemicals such as sodium perborate, which is more convenient since you don't need to add the hydrogen peroxide."

"The solution (borax or preferably sodium perborate) is to be applied AFTER the shampooing and rinsing. The sodium perborate should remain on the dog after the bath. You will not rinse this at all. It must remain on the dog throughout the day so that it will act continuously on the bugs."

"However, I do recommend a less toxic form of borax, which is sodium perborate if you can find one. The secret is that borax (plus hydrogen peroxide) will work better then most other remedies I have tried, this includes mineral oil, neem oil (no, neem oil does not kill the mange as effectively as sodium perborate) I have tried it in my "mange colonies", and commercial brands to kill insects don't work. Hydrogen peroxide DOES NOT KILL mange, I USED IT SIMPLY USED IT AS A CATALYST for ordinary borax in case you cannot obtain sodium perborate. Mineral oils simply prevent oxygen from reaching mange, but that didn't stop it. I have tried naphta, bentonite clays, DMSO, potassium permanganate, light fluid, etc. They all worked temporarily, and it just came back. I must make a strong statement that the formula (borax+h2o2 or sodium perborate) works bests and it is broad spectrum. You can use it to control mange, mites, fleas, and lyme disease (initiated by those crawly insects).

I have actually compared side to side with neem oil, mineral oil, apple cider vinegar and others here in Bangkok and this is the most wide spectrum cure I have found. Borax prevents denaturation of DNA/RNA in dogs and I currently use this as life extension for dogs. For example a ribose sugar, deoxyribose sugar, and various sugar that causes accelerated aging in dogs can be slowed down with supplementation of dogs indirectly when you do the borax wash. "

"Prepare peroxide 1% solution, add 2-3 tablespoon of borax to that cup. Stir and wait for a couple of minutes for the borax to dissolve. The formula doesn't require an exact science. The importance is to add enough borax until the solution is no longer soluble and well past saturation."

"...The reason why it is not working is YOU CANNOT RINSE THE DOG OF borax and peroxide solution with any shampoo or water. After bathing the dog, keep the dog that way, no drying no rinsing. This is why the dog has not improved. Also BORAX is added DIRECTLY to the 1% hydrogen peroxide solution and no water is added separately, otherwise the solution is too weak."

TED'S UPDATE7/12/2006: "I have reviewed all the dog's mange treatments both by my own tests and by many contributors. It appears that many people have trouble obtaining materials, such as sodium perborate hydrate, so I revised the remedy to hydrogen peroxide plus borax solution applied only once or so every week. The solution of sodium perborate hydrate is very much similar when borax and hydrogen peroxide is added. Some have either substituted hydrogen peroxide with benzoyl peroxide.

The problem about benzoyl peroxide is the upper limit by which you can use it without effect the dog as it is somewhat more toxic if given beyond a 10% concentration. 5% is usually a safe concentration. Benzoyl peroxide because of its toxicity is somewhat of an insecticide, while hydrogen peroxide is not, what it is in the original formulation is that it is a penetrant allowing the borax to go through the skin. Now some did not like hydrogen peroxide due to its limited supplies, so they make use of apple cider vinegar. For me a regular vinegar will do. Both a vinegar and hydrogen peroxide has two similarities. It is both a penetrant and when added with a safe insecticidal material such as borax, which has an toxicity on LD 50 equivalent to that of salt, this is the preferred method. However, one should not use boric acid since there are reported deaths associated with boric acid but not borax.

Boric acid is not recommended for use as it is much more toxic than borax. Borax's toxicity is about 3000 mg/kg, which is the equivalent toxicity to about that of salt. (check wikipedia). The idea is to make a solution of borax so that the solution can cover the entire body and penetrate through the skin of the dog to kill the demodex mites, for example. To use a spot treatment by pure powder will take an infinitely long time as it does not get to it through the dog's skin.

In some cases, people have tried neem oil, mineral oil. Both of these have similar effectiveness, but in different ways. Neem oil prevents the Demodex fleas from laying eggs by modifying their hormones, while mineral oils are moderately toxic only to the demodex eggs, not necessarily killing them. However, both are very limited based on my tests in really killing the insect. You see, borax will both kill the eggs, modifying the hormones and their eggs by drying them all at once. The weakness of borax is limited solubility and limited penetration of the skin which you need either vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, benzoyl peroxide (toxic), MSM or DMSO solution. Ideally 10% DMSO should be preferred.

Pine Sol has limited insecticidal effectiveness, being a contact insecticidal, and does not provide lasting killing power once it has evaporated and does not kill living fleas, but it does kill their eggs somewhat. Only a fairly concentrated solution works and it does not prevent re-laying of stray eggs by the dog. In other words, the use of neem oil, mineral oil, benzoyl peroxide, and vaseline will not prevent the recurring of mange since eggs are not just on the dog, but can be anywhere in the house. Therefore re-infection is at issue. The one magic that borax has over its neighbors is that the borax powder that the dogs leaves in the house will kill the eggs even after the dogs no longer has mange and re-infection is therefore next to impossible. However, borax has limited effect on killing the larger mites and fleas, but not mange.

I found that adding 1/8 teaspoon per liter of water of borax added to the dog's water will cause the larger fleas to dry up and die at the same time. My dog for some reason likes to eat something like more than 1 gram of the sodium perborate crystals whenever he feels sick and the fleas just die off. The borax modifies the dog's blood and kills the mange inside out. This is why borax, i.e., sodium perborate, is required for mange, but not anything else due to preventive re-infection of the mange by the powder of the borax that destroys the eggs where the dog sleeps and where it walks around throughout the house.

VASELINE: The problem about using vaseline as an insecticide is that it has limited killing of eggs, but its weakness is that it is not a penetrant, and therefore the frequency of applications will take at least once every other day. Additionally, the hair of the dog will prevent proper application.
Some have went so far as to not use a solution of borax with hydrogen peroxide as a rinse then followed likely, perhaps a borax powder after bath. On the argument of being effective only as a spot treatment. Since dogs do not have sweat glands, not using a rinse will prevent the borax from absorbing into the skin to kill the mange under its skin. So this is not going to work. You need both borax as an insecticide, the water as the solution which to spread it to the skin surface, and a reliable penetrant to get it through the skin, such as vinegar, msm, DMSO, or even hydrogen peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is both a penetrant and insecticide, but at higher concentration is somewhat toxic for dogs and as a result you are pretty much limited by the maximum concentration not to exceed beyond 5% being a preferred safety. I would prefer to limit myself at 3%.
I therefore suggest, not to get you lost in the woods, is that whatever formulation you use, always stick with borax and borax derivatives, such as sodium perborate monohydrate being the main insecticidal chemicals for the dog.

Pyrethrum is o.k. but in very low concentration of about 0.1% - 0.2% to prevent skin irritation for the dogs near the skin infection areas. The second mix you need is always the penetrant and the third formulation is appropriate dilutions in water. To provide lasting killing effect, non of these chemicals should generally be non-volatile insecticidal mixtures, which unfortunately most recommended are, with exception of perhaps borax and bentonite. Bentonite causes eggs to dry, so they can be used also, but they have no insecticidal mixture as borax and borax can performs both killing the insect, modifying the hormones to prevent egg laying, becomes a stomach poison for the insect, and at the same time causes their eggs to dry up.

I therefore will remain very flexible about what penetrants you use including hydrogen peroxide, benzoyl peroxide (limited concentration), and vinegar. It must be noted that when formulating any mange it must be noted that they must be non-volatile and the chemicals should cause microscopic residues around the house so that re infection of mange is prevented, including mites and fleas.

I think this wraps up the basic theory and application of mange treatment, and hopefully other people will make a more effective formulations in the future at least equal or better than the original formula I have proposed. Just want to tell you that there are many ways you can treat mange, but the issue is one of toxicity, re infection, toxic levels, which portion kills it and how, and which is the penetrant (which is the key to it all).

Penetrant is important, the chemical must reach the target demodex under the skin. Usually hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, DMSO, and MSM will do that. It must be reminded again that borax, to work most effectively, must be prepared with the penetrant as a solution without washing it off, followed by a small amount of borax powder to be applied if you wish.

Other applications other than this such as using as purely powder form is NOT going to work."

500 cc = 1 pint or 16 ounces.

1000 cc = 1 quart or 32 ounces.


I also found another remedy using lemon. The principle of both these remedies is the same; to dry out the Mange mites so that they could no longer live in her skin.


Topical Lemon Solution

3 Lemons/Qt. of boiling water
(or fresh, organic lemon juice)

Thinly slice 3 lemons and add to 1 quart boiling water
Let steep overnight
Strain and store in refrigerator
Pour or spray on dog’s patchy areas 2 X/day



10-15 drops high quality Lavender essential oil
½ oz. Almond or Jojoba oil

Apply twice/day to affected areas

Diet: Feed 100% grain free raw, whole food diet with addition of a good quality fish-body/wild salmon oil EFA and natural Vitamin E. Give 100 IU Vit E for every 1,000 mg of Salmon Oil.

If the animal is severely disabled/ill, or new to a raw diet, add a high quality digestive enzyme and probiotic supplement. If they are too ill to tolerate a raw diet, then feed a home-prepared cooked diet using fresh foods until they can tolerate raw. As much as possible, feed only pastured, organic, and grass-finished meats.


For maintenence I found that these supplements were recommended to prevent Mange overgrowth once it is treated:

* Zinc, in the form of either raw, ground pumpkin seeds or chelated Zinc tablet, 10 to 30 milligrams/day

* Vitamin C, 250-1000mgs twice/day

* 100 to 400 IU of Vitamin E daily (discontinue use before surgery)

* ½ to 3 teaspoons of Lecithin/day

Carmella's mange actually began drying up 2 days after she'd had the dip at the vet's and some of the scabbiness and dead skin began flaking off. I wondered whether I could give her a bath with her regular shampoo to wash away the excess debris. I called Dr. Norwood's office and spoke with Gwen who was answeing the phone and she told me that I should hold off on giving her any baths in between these treatment as it could water down the effectiveness of the dip.

It occurred to me that I better wait before tring the Borax and Hydrogen Peroxide because they recommend basically bathing the dog in it, so in the meantime I'm trying the lemon, just dabbing it on with a soaked paper towel. That shouldn't water down the effectiveness of the dip and hopefully it will help heal her faster.

Last night I found a really good deal at DickBlick.com for the cold-pressed Arches 140 Lb. watercolor paper block to start my Carmella series on. The pages are 12 X 16", so these paintings are going to be pretty substantial. They'll be a good size to put on a bedroom or livingroom wall. I can hardly wait to get started!


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Return To The Big Dipper

This morning came early. I turned off my alarm clock and stumbled out of bed, got dressed and ready to take Carmella to the vet. My ride was here at exactly 8:00 am and we arrived at 8:05. The male vet tech seemed as if he'd just woken up himself, and blinked under the flourescent lights above the receptionist desk. The office seemed unusually quiet that time of morning and he came in to check Carmella in, then went to the back to tell someone that she was here. After a few more minutes in the waitingroom one of the twins emerged. It was Jocelyn. Vivienne who took me over there (and whose dog and two cats also go to that clinic) always gets the two of them mixed up. They really do look pretty much identical.

Jocelyn made small talk with us and a man came out with a 13 year old Maltese that didn't look a day over 6 or 7. When we commented on how young the dog looked he said, "Yes, it's the special food, and nutrients, and the doctor."

As we were called back I saw a man come out from one of the rooms with a tiny black and white puppy which was not much bigger than a soda can. I asked what kind it was and he told me it was a Bulldog, but its nose was a little longer than you usually see in a purebred bulldog. I commented that its nose was longer than most and that it was very cute, and the guy said, "It will probably tighten up when he gets older."

I thought he better hope it doesn't "tighten up" because he may be talking about hundreds or thousands of dollars in nasal surgery later on. Besides I generally think Bulldogs are ugly creatures that must have been created by man because God would never create such a thing, however the redeeming feature with this little fellow is that he didn't look much like a bulldog. Maybe he looked like a pitbull, but thankfully he did not have the appearance that somebody crammed its poor nose halfway into its head.

As Carmella and I went back into the room, Gail, the female vet tech came in and got her. I told her what had been happening with her mange increasing and the bacterial infection on her stomach not being impacted at all by the week of antibiotics. I also asked her to remind the vet that she would need something for the itching as well. Carmella was getting pretty raw already and I didn't want these areas to turn into wounds as well. That would add another problem on top of the one she already has, and I figured it's better to be safe than sorry.

"We don't normally give anything for itching", Gail said. "The dip should reduce the itching to some extent."

I reiterated that we really should not take any chances and that she shouldn't have to suffer over the course of the next 2 months if she doesn't have to. Gail semed to evade the request and then Vivienne asked her whether she could catch mange from the dog. Gail told her no, that only Sarcoptic Mange was contagious. She tended to go on about it longer than necessary, then produced a hand-out sheet. Vivienne didn't want it, and I already had one.

However, the one piece of information I did not already know but suspected was that dogs with this kind of reddish fur and light pigment are more susceptible to Mange, and so are white dogs with pink pigment. I'm thinking it must be that Melanin has some protective properties against the Mange mite. I'll have to see what studies I can find on that and on why.

We had some time to kill so we went to Borders, then to Marshall's across the same strip mall. I didn't find anything worth buying at either store, but looked through almost all the jewelry-making books and magazines, noticing how the tutorials in each were like songs on a CD; some good ones mixed with others I hated.

It was a foggy, misty day and somewhat cold out. Even after having breakfast and being out for a few hours I felt as though my brain was still asleep. My nose is still getting stuffed every so often and I think I'm still not fully well yet. I guess jewelry-making will have to wait a little longer.

Next on the agenda are the two seed pods waiting to be worked on once I'm back to normal again, with just a few minor things left to do; mainly assembly and putting the patina on them. There's a cool little feature I've added to the design that I think people will love, (but I'll keep that a surprise until I unveil them).

After we returned to the vet's office we spoke to the same vet tech again and she said Carmella was doing well but that they did decide to give her something for her itching because she didn't fully realize how much she was digging at herself until they looked at her closely. Dr. Norwood never came out to talk to us himself, but she told us that Carmella was probably genetically predisposed to mange and that it was autoimmune.

I asked whether there was anything that could help improve her immune system and she said that maybe fish oil possibly, and that whatever was good for the immune system in humans would probably work in dogs although not much research had been done in that area. She said that I was probably more knowledgeable about that than they were. They didn't know what to expect in a dog who'd survived Distemper.

I told her that I did remember from my reading on human immune issues that Magnesium was one thing that would help strengthen one's immune system. Apparently Pet Tabs do contain that, so I added that to the other stuff they were giving me.

Dr. Brantley should also know which things have that effect in dogs. I'll see if I can get him to resopond back now that she's had the procedure and this is something in his area of expertise. If we can manage to improve her immune function maybe that will prevent her from getting any more medical issues which are autoimmune.

Today's visit cost about $160.00, and there is more to come, so keep those donations coming, buy jewelry, or buy an ad on my blog. Carmella is going to need your help for awhile before she's home free. My natural gas bill is ridiculous this month and a possible cut-off looms on the horizon if the gas company is not satisfied with whatever arrangement I can come up with, but I also want to pay off as much on Carmella's vet bill as I can.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Carmella Has A Mean Itch But A Warm Bed

The past week has been one of pestilence for both Carmella and I; me with the flu, and Carmella with the most nasty and aggressive case of Demodectic Mange. If you've never seen it before this is what it looks like up close and personal!
Within just 7 days it seems the little mites are eating her alive.
So far it has not reached the top side of her, but all down her chest, neck, face, stomach, and now one leg, there appears to be an enemy army invading, pushing the borders further each day.
It's as if some unseen force is determined to do her in. Her hair comes out in my hand as I put ointment on her twice a day, and I'm not sure the antibiotics are doing any good at all.

It has even made its way to her eylids. You can see why it's dubbed "Red Mange".
Tomorrow she goes back to the vet to be dipped in the morning. The vet tech the other day told me they had hoped the ointment and the antibiotics would do the trick, but I wish they'd just done it last time she was there because maybe then it would be getting better now instead of worse and she'd be on her second dip. Given Carmella's history they don't need to take any chances. The "wait and see" approach in a dog like this could be disasterous and unless the risk of treating her health problems aggressively is extremely high then I figure why not? At some point we will find out what she's genetically susceptible to and then there will be no need for guesswork.

Once this Mange is out of the way there is the snorting problem and the possible hip dysplasia to look into. I hope that will be all the health problems she has. She has certainly had more than her share of adversity already!

Today I was at Sam's club to do some grocery shopping and found this beautiful dog bed for her!
I brought it home and put it in the kitchen and she jumped right in it.
Before she had to sleep on some tiny black pillows from the bed she had way back in July that she'd chewed the bottom of. I've been looking for a nice durable and comfortable one, and just happened to luck out today.
This one is nicer than all the dog beds at PetSmart and I got it for a much better price too!
It's actually flannel on the outside and the stuffing is so soft and cushiony I actually lay down on it for awhile. It made me wish I had something like that to put on top of my mattress.

You can tell by the photos that Carmella is really enjoying her new bed and doesn't notice her itchiness quite as much. The Pedi-paws I bought to file down her toenails she was not as thrilled about. That will take some getting used to.
Tomorrow she should feel a little better once Dr. Norwood brings out the heavy artillary on the little bastards in her skin.