|Barked: Sat Feb 23, '13 1:02pm PST |
|Sascha, almost right. While it is not genetic, ie acquired via DNA, it is also not environmental either. ALL dogs have demodex mites present on their bodies, it only becomes an issue when the dogs immune system is not up to par and thus does not keep the demodex population at status quo.
Many French Bulldogs, along with English bulldogs and Boxers, suffer from demodex at some point in their puppyhood. Normally, with just localized lesions no treatment is given as we want to see the pups immune system develop normally and deal with it as nature intended. The only time a Frenchie that had demodex as a pup is not considered for future breeding is IF the demodex does not clear on its own or is generalized and requires treatment... that is likely to indicate a more serious issue with the pups immune system and is not something any breeder wants to have continue in their lines, but a single lesion or two, cured with time and maturity, is not a problem for that dog OR any pups that dog may contribute DNA to thru breeding.
Case in point... Jethro is a 3 months old Frenchie pup I am currently raising. He was born via C-section and never was with his mother due to her subsequent serious illness, he was bottle fed only. He is an orphan pup so was always by himself, and at only ounces, his environment was virtually sterile as he was kept on freshly laundered people towels and since he was not able to defecate/urinate on his own, the towels were never soiled. He developed demodex on his head during his first few days and it is just now clearing at 4 months of age. Obviously, being bottle fed and a singleton, he most likely DID have some immune system issues, but there is no way, no how his demodex resulted from a less than spotless environment NOR from exposure to his mother while passing thru the birth canal or while nursing since he did neither.
Sadly, sarcoptic mange IS terribly contagious, and when people hear the word mange, they always assume all mange is alike since it all stems from mites invading the skin cells. Sarcoptic mange is most often associated with a not so great environment, over crowding and not cleaned often or enough. Usually a group of dogs kept crowded and not cleaned properly will all be suffering from it, we see it often in cases of hoarding or mills and since it is so contagious, it does spread rapidly thru a group of dogs.
Demodex, on the other hand, has it own set of rules and can pop up in the most sterile places. One wonders sometimes if the environment is TOO sterile and doesn't allow proper exposures to develop the pups immune system.
Edited by author Sat Feb 23, '13 1:21pm PST
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