8.9.11

1. It all began...

My story began a day in June 2011 when I went to feed my animals one morning and noticed that my dog, a male Miniature Pincher named "Sarge", had 2 small circular patches of missing hair on his back. I didn't think much of it at the time as I also have a female cat in the household that sometimes slaps the s#!t out of my dog for eating out of her bowl. My dog and cat have a love/hate relationship that my dog dominates, but there has been very rare occasions where my cat has been pushed to the limit and had decided to strike back. I thought this was an incident where my cat had lashed my dog and caused some minor bruising and thought little of it.

Days later, while getting my dog ready for a walk in the park I had noticed that one of the bald spots had grown almost double in size, while the other had stayed the same. I could now clearly see Sarge's white flesh from a spot on his back about an inch south of his shoulder blades. At this point I knew something was up. And being perfectly honest, this was exactly the point where I knew that I was not going to take my dog to the vet.

The reason I made the decision to rule out a vet visit was the fact that earlier in the year, my sister's tiny teacup yorkie named "Mocha" had gotten sick, and we rushed her to the vet. The first thing they asked for was money - even before they asked what was wrong with the dog. About 15 minutes later they came with the bill to show us the cost we'd have to pay to help them fight the dog's infection. Which amounted to $800 to keep the dog overnight, and $1200.00 to be billed later. We paid the $800 and the next morning we got a call saying that Mocha died in the animal hospital. In that same phone call, they asked for money, and the next day we get a bill for $1200.00 in the mail.

So my mind was made up on NO vet, and that I was going to ID the problem and cure it myself.

2. The first thing I did - Research

Even though my dog had this small patch on his back, and the smaller one on this upper ribcage area. I still didn't think much of it, I thought it was a simple rash, inflammation, or fungus that I could knock out with something from the pharmacy. But due to some work issues I had to leave my home for a week. When I came back, my dog's back looked HORRIBLE. The bald patch was now taking up about 1/4th of his back, the one on his rib cage had doubled in sized and he had 3 or 4 more smaller ones scattered around his body, specifically his legs and chest. The sight of all this turned my stomach. This is where I immediately took action, hit the web and started doing research on the symptoms. I sat for hours reading and looking at pictures and determined that Sarge either had a case of RINGWORM or he was suffering from MANGE as both carry just about the same physical symptoms. Further research told me that both conditions take different treatments. I decided to treat Sarge for ringworm because I had years ago contracted that disease from hanging around in my backyard where Sarge hangs. So, I checked to see if over-the-counter ringworm medication would be safe for a small dog, and I went and bought Lotrimin and applied it to the affected areas of my dog.

After two days of this, the bald spots spread out dramatically in size even more as if the medication had made it worse. But after a few more days I noticed that they had stopped spreading and that hair was growing back over most of these spots, so I felt releived and thought this was the beginning of the end of Sarge's condotion...

... I couldnt be more wrong.

Shortly after, the effects that I thought the medication was having had ceased. A few more bald spots appeared I started to see a yellowish wax-like crusting at the edges of the spots. And most telling, is that the spots no longer took on the circular shape that identifies ringworm, they were just spreading wildly. I went back to google and discovered that my dog did not have the ringworm, even though I had been treating him for it for 2 weeks. It was more clear to me that his symptoms resembled that of MANGE. But to make matters more confusing, I learned that there were THREE types of mange -- each needing different treatments.



*Sigh*

3. What is Dog Mange?

OK, so I hit the web, I'm pissed off because I've been putting this Lotridimine or whatever they call it on my dog's back for 2 weeks only to find that he doesn't have ringworm, he's suffering from some s#!t they call mange. So again I do heavy research into "mange" and find out that it is a condition where these little parasite bugs called MITES roam ON or IN your dogs skin and proliferate. They generally cause a level of discomfort that can include itching, pain, and severe health problems. These effects are whats known as MANGE. The three mites themselves that cause mange are known as The Demodectic Mite and The Sarcoptic Mite. The 3rd one, I forgot the name, but they call it "walking dandruff" and would kill itself after a short while. It's not even serious, so I'll focus on the heavy hitters. Both of them cause a different type of Mange.


DEMODECTIC MITES (Demodex canis)
These mites cause Demodectic Mange, also known as Red Mange. Demodectic/Red Mange is not contagious to Humans. I've learned that Demodectic Mites live on all dogs, but their numbers are generally kept in check by a healthy dog's immune system. Therefore, as long as your dog is pretty healthy, he's completely immune to demodectic mange. If that immune system is weakened or compromised, the dogs body cannot stop these ugly things from invading and overpopulating the skin.

The are two types of Demodectic Mange: Localized and Generalized. Localized meaning that there are only 4 spots or less in your dog, and generally in the same area, while generalized means that spots are appearing anywhere your dogs body and not necessarily together.


SARCOPTIC MITES (Sarcoptes scabiei canis)
Sarcoptic Mites cause what is known as Sarcoptic Mange or Canine Scabies.

According to Wikipedia:
Also known as canine scabies, sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious infestation of Sarcoptes scabiei canis, a burrowing mite. The canine sarcoptic mite can also infest humans (scabies), cats, pigs, horses, sheep and various other species.

These mites are in the family Sarcoptidae. They dig into and through the skin, causing intense itching and crusting that can quickly become infected. Hair loss and crusting frequently appear first on elbows and ears. Skin damage can occur from the dog's intense scratching and biting. Secondary skin infection is also common. Dogs with chronic sarcoptic mange are often in poor condition.

4. The WAR against DOG MANGE Began with Neem Oil


"Sarge", frail and weakened by dog mange.
 So now I've learned what mange is, but didn't know what type of mange my dog Sarge is suffering with. I quickly rule out localized demodectic mange because his mange is widespread. There's nothing local about it, and the fact that me some of my family member have been in close contact with our dog and not come down with any sort of ailment have led me to rule out Sarcoptic mites as the culprit, but I didn't know for sure. All I knew was that we were gonna cure this bulls#it and cure it now. By now, my dog was checkered with spots of various sizes withthe initial two being HUGE. He had a large balk patch on his back and one on his ribs and it looked like they would soon connect to form a large bald spot. He also had 80% of the hair on is legs and toes. My dog also started to look weak and depressed. It was clear that his health was being affected by the mange. Some people told me that he looked like he was going to die soon. I knew he wouldn't die, I'm a fighter and so is my dog. So I had confidence that we would see it through. I looked at my dog and actually told him that I was gonna bring him back to glory.

The first thing I did was go out and get 100% pure Neem Oil (it STINKS). I had learned that the neem oil has some extreme effects on critters, as it kills some, deters others, and make some insects instantly lose their sanity. I wanted to try this myself, so I used cotton balls to apply the oil to Sarge. The whole room stunk but instantly I started to see fleas coming out from between his remaiing hairs with the intent to flee the area. The fleas were actually trying to get away from my dog! Just to see what would happen, I dabbed some neem oil directly on a flea and it froze.. paralyzed on contact.

The next morning what I saw was shocking, the condition of my dogs feet and legs looked noticably better, as a lot of the crusting had come off and a lot of hair had seem to grow over night. Over the course of the next 2 or 3 days, light hair became visible on his sores. After some more research I learned that I was using too much oil and that I could mix it with a "carrier oil" to help carry the neem oil under the skin where the mites dwell.

I had learned that neem has a lot of benefits when used against mange. The neem oil kills the eggs of both demodectic and sarcoptic mites. It also kills and/or changes the behavor of the adult mites on the body. Once they come in contact with neem, even in trace amounts - they will either die or forget they are mites and do things that mites just dont do. Neem has this effect on quite a few insects, causing them to forget to do what they naturally do.... such as lay eggs.

I also learned that these mites burrow holes in the surface of the skin where they dwell. Every few days, the females come to the surface to lay eggs. The eggs then hatch and those new mites then began to dig into your poor dogs skin and recreates the cycle. Keep in mind that these mite ARE parasites and they are biting and sucking your dog's blood to survive!

So I put one and one together and figured that rubbing neem oil into my dog's skin would inhibit the mites when they come to the surface, it was now time to get some to get inside the skin to catch the mites that have burrowed in there.  I decided to use some 100% african Shea Butter at first because It is non-greasy and absorbs quickly into the skin, But you can use can carrier oil, specifically grapeseed oil. I melted the shea butter and poured in a few drops of the neem oil and massaged it  into Sarge's torso, back and forehead. It's important to not to use too much of the oil because one, only a trace amount is needed to DAMAGE critters, two and  it too much would work against the carrier being absorbed.easily into the skin. So you should always have much more carrier than neem oil in the solution.

The shea butter worked well, but I noticed it left a whitish film on my dog's skin that was visible hours after applicaiton. I switched to sesame oil, which went smoothly. NEEM OIL AND SESAME SEED OIL to BEGIN THE WAR.

5. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, FISH OIL, ECHINACEA, AND BREWER'S YEAST - The Other Artillery


Keeping in mind that mange is brought on by a weakness or breakdown of the immune system that allows these mites to proliferate in the first damn place, I decided that my dog needed building up from the inside out.  Since he was looking sickly and frail, it easy to come to this conclusion.  The first thing I did was add a small spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar to his drinking water. I used the Heinz brand that you use everywhere.  I did this to make his body a lil more toxic to critters externally as well as internally, being that Apple Cider Vinegar is highly acidic. It also boosts a dog's appetite, and Sarge needed to eat. I added ACV to his water bowl every day and there were no problems, his willingness to eat did seem to increase a bit, then I took the next step.

Every day, I gave dog 1/4 of a  FISH OIL softgel. This is mainly to support his immune system but it also helps with skin ailements and reducing itching. It's also generally beneficial to dogs by fighting allergies and arthritis.I Just popped a hole in one end of the softgel and squeezed out a bit, you can squeeze this into his food, on his bown or directly into his mouth. My dog loved the taste of this.

I decided to give my dog the herb ECHINACEA and also BREWER'S YEAST (with garlic).

-The echinacea was to boost and reinforce his weakened immune system. After research, I found that it was safe for dogs and works for dogs the same way it works for humans. Echinacea can be found in just about any drugstore, as I went and bought the tablets from my local pharamacy.

-Brewer's Yeast something that's full of B-vitamins and promotes excellent skin and coat health for your dog or cat. It's also beneficial to their brains supposedly. I had prior experience with this, using it to maintain my dog's coat a few years back.  The one I bought this time had the aded benefit of garlic which is also beneficial to the dog's immune system, being anti-bacterial and anti parasitic.

Every morning, I would take one Brewer's Yeast caplet and toss it to my dog, who would eat it without a hitch, my cat would even come for one. F&%k it, Princesss has to live too. After that, I'd take the echinacea tablet, crush it, and put a fraction of it in his food. One crushed tablet can be used  for about four days. The dog definately will not eat the whole pill of that, so don't even try. Just crush it and mix it.

Now we have all the weapons we need...

NEEM OIL ($5.00)
A CARRIER OIL (I used sesame seed oil)  ($2.00)
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR ($2.00)
FISH OIL 1000mg Softgels
ECHINACEA 125mg Tablets
BREWER'S YEAST ($7.00)

But you need the nuclear bomb... read on

6. The NUCLEAR BOMB - Ted's Homemade Mange Cure / Remedy

I had all my ingredients, but there's still the question of bathing your dog.  What I did was bathe Sarge once a week.  But this was no regular ass bath!  What you need to do is do Ted's Mange Bath (Which I now call Mange Armageddon Bath).  This was something I had come across online and decided to try... it worked as advertised. What is does is gets deep down into the skin and delivers a mild insecticide to any damn creature who plays like they want to hide on the surface of my dog. Now the insectide is VERY VERY mild compared to say, roach spray.. but to a creature as small as a mite, this insectide is the equivalent of nuclear armageddon.   This is how I did it..

(I had to buy an e-collar for dog's neck after this, because my dog tends to want to lick off the substance. You don't want yours doing that. This isnt harmful to your dogs skin, but is probably harmful to the belly.)

What you want to do is buy a bottle of HYDROGEN PEROXIDE.  The bottle avalable at your local drugstore is perfect.  These bottles are usually 16oz and  3% hydrogen peroxide.

Borax: The Dog Mange BOMB
You also want to buy some detergent-like substance called BORAX. I found this at my local supermarket. The brand was "20 Mule Team"  For $5.00, I got a big ass box which was the only size they were selling anyway. You won't need to use too much of this, you can use the rest to clean your house and laundry, supposedly it is some sort of miracle product for these uses.

Now you want to find a large empty bottle because that Hydrogren Peroxide needs to be diluted from 3% to 1%. 

1) Fill the bottle with 32 oz of water. 
2) Pour the whole 16 oz bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide into the bottle of water.
3) Add about 1 CUP of BORAX (you've added enough borax when you see that the borax is no longer being absorbed by the water and just floats and/or settles. In other words, KEEP ADDING BORAX UNTIL IT WILL NOT MIX ANYMORE, somewhere around 1 cup should suffice.)

Throw your dog in the bath. Shampoo and wash as usual. When done with the bath, keep dog in tub and  dry it lightly leaving dog still damp but not soaking wet.  It is now that you want to pour the 48 ounces of solution on your dog. Pour it over neck and back area. Pour a little, then massage it in well. Pour more and do the same. Make sure to cover your dog's whole body. Do this until the entire bottle is done. Don't worry, it is painless to your dog and will not burn or irritate any open sores. Try not to get this into dog's eyes. (I advise you to use your hand to apply solition to the head area and not pour the mixture directly onto your dogs head.)

NEXT STEP; DO NOT DRY YOUR DOG.
Don't touch your dog with any towel or anything like that.  The solution has to naturally dry on your dog. The Peroxide will help it dry quick.

This will dry out the skin of your dog, I've seen some people say they've put some sort of lubricant on their dog after this -- I didn't. The point of this IS to dry the dog's skin, so don't cry for feel sorry for Fido when you do this, he's not in any discomfort and will thank you later wth a big lick on your face, trust me.

Whats happening is:
borax = mild insectide
peroxide = drying agent/penetrant


The 32oz of water diluted the peroxide to safe levels and now the solution will seep DEEPLY into the skin carrying the borax with it.  The mites that are burrowed into the skin will get a rude f&%king awakening and all the active eggs on the surface off the skin will be dried out.

You want to give your dog this bath once a week, you will only need to do this 2-3 times, and you should start to see improvement after the 2nd time.
---
Now I have what I need to rebuild Sarge (my dog) INTERNALLY and the Neem oil and Ted's mange bath to wreck mites EXTERNALLY. We should be set.

7. HOW TO PROCEED IN BATTLE

The weekly procedure is simple.

Every Morning:
1 Drop from a Fish Oil Capsule popped and mixed with food
1/4 Echinacea Tablet crushed and mixed with same food
1 Brewers Yeast tablet fed whole
1/2 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to full bowl of drinking water

Once A Week: Mange Armaggedon Bath aka Ted's Mange Cure/Bath

The Day After Every Bath:
Neem Oil mixed with (Grapeseed Oil, Almond Oil, Tea Tree Oil or Sesame Oil)
Massaged into entire body at a 5:1 ratio  (five parts carrier to 1 part neem oil)

Make sure that you wash your dog's bedding and keep area that your dog frequents CLEAN.  MITES CAN AND DO HANG OUT IN THESE AREAS AND WILL ATTEMPT TO HOP BACK ON YOUR DOG. Last thing you want is to give your dog an armageddon bath to have him go lay down in a mite infestation. KEEP THINGS CLEAN.  MOP and VACUUM.

8. MY DOG CURED from MANGE...THE RESULTS


Sarge, cured of mange, with hair nicely growing back.
There is nothing else to be said.  My dog is mite free and has been for the past two weeks. His hair has growing back nicely and should be and should the proper length within 2 weeks. The lil bumps you see in his fur and due to the little crusts from his healed lesions peeling from the skin, they wash off in every bath. I credit his speedy recovery to the simultaneous internal and external care.  All information describing how we cured and DESTROYED dog mange in 3 weeks is here on this blog in detail. But feel free to contact me with any questions.

With that said, here's a disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and I'm not qualified to give any medical advice. It is said that if you feel your dog is sick, you should take it to some sort of qualified professional. On this blog, I am merely documenting my own experience on how my dog and I fought against mange and mites on our own and are enjoying a throughly lopsided victory.