It's time to come clean and tell you about the battle I have been facing. You see life has not been all fun and games at my house. I have been fighting a nasty war and I told Mom that although we think we are winning the fight, maybe we need to call out the big guns and ask for a little support from our friends.
Let me back up. About the time I turned 6 months old, Mom started noticing some of my skin darkening. It started on my forehead, then she noticed some spots on my legs. She changed my food, bought some moisturizing spray, skin oil for my food, but it slowly got worse and I was starting to have hair loss too.
To the dogtor we went. My mom was totally aghast to hear the dogtor say I had Demodetic Mites, sometimes called mange.
"how can that be?" she said." I take good care of my pugs !!!"
The dogtor explained to Mom that it has nothing to do with quality of care, but everything to do with a dogs immune system. All dogs may have some of these mites but a normal healthy immune system can handle them. Sometimes if a dogs immune system is weak these mites can take over. This can happen to puppies because their immune system is immature, or to older dogs who for some reason have compromised immune systems. And let me tell you, once they take hold, they can be nasty little buggers to get rid of.
So the last few months have been a series of medications and baths and holistic soaks and skin scrapes and more baths and soaks and more medicine and food supplements to help build my immune system. I got worse before I started to get better.
Three weeks ago the skin scrape showed NO mites! Yay! The dogtor was pretty sure we had it whipped. She even teased mom for worrying so much. Mom was not as sure and did not like being teased. then a week ago mom noticed a red spot on my left eye. We saw a different dogtor this time and Mom asked her to do a skin scrape and she found one mite. Only one - but that is one too many. So more medicine. And I have ointment for my eye.
*update on eye at end of post*
I am really tired of baths and I really don't like the skin soaks. But other than being kinda funny looking and sometimes getting itchy, I have been doing well. I have continued to grow (I am taller than Hazel now) and gain weight.
I am a very happy girl. It doesn't bother me how I look, Mom & Dad love me just the same.
I know that my friends still love me too. Mom is kinda self-concious about my condition - and she does not know some people might react. So I have not been going to training class so we can concentrate on getting me better.
I am OK but it has been really stressful on Mom. She brushes me everyday and looks me over for signs of improvement. It goes very slow. The dogtor says it could be months for my skin and hair to return to normal. It worries Mom - how can she tell if I am really all better if I don't look better. She is such a worry wart, that Mom of mine.
Originally I thought we would get past this and no one would ever have to know the battle we have been facing. But this has not been a fast or easy fix. And I must admit it has had me on an emotional roller coaster. I cry, I worry, I want Mabel to get well and stay well. Mabel is right - I am a worry wart. I am thankful that this does not pass dog to dog so Bailey & Hazel are fine. Mabel has handled all the treatments like a little trooper. It is me that has struggled. I drive myself crazy looking for signs of improvement and that is going excruciatingly slow for me. She is a wonderful, sweet, smart little girl. I feel she is getting the short end of the blog - for lack of "fun posts" to share. Not fair to her. I guess we all know life isn't always fun or fair.
But now I have laid our problem out there for all to see. Now you will know why she may look odd in some of the pictures that I hope to take more of and I won't be wondering if anybody notices. We do hope to start training class again in a few weeks and we have bought a new "ride" for Bailey & Hazel so we can go for walks that we all need. We will show it off when we get it put together.
If any of you have had experience with this and can offer any advice or insight that might help us - please feel free to contact us at pugranch2 AT msn DOT com
love from the PugRanch momma
UPDATE - Yesterday we had a recheck on Mabel's eye. The injury has not healed much and the vet does not want it to lift her cornea. I also had her look at a small bump that had appeared on Mabel's leg, she said it looked like a benign hemangioma. So today she is at the vet. Under anesthesia the vet will laser off the bump, remove?? the damaged tissue on her eye, stitches if necessary. She will do another skin scrape and give Mabel a special shot to help boost her immune system. Please keep Mabel in your thoughts today and I could use a few hugs too -
We are the PugRanch Kids
Bailey, Hazel & Mabel