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My dogs genetic condition.. venting

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
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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Sascha

Sascha - rather chase,- than eat
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 8:02am PST 
Toto, evidently trying to avoid this type of mange is similar to trying to
avoid MRSA (methcilling resistant Staph aureus). Some bacteriologists have
considered that the use of bactiocidal products such as the omnipresent hand
washing lotions, lead to the reduction of normal environmental flora and
ultimately results in these "super bugs". A total sterile environment is
virtually unattainable and probably counter productive in "real life" for
most pups. Hopefully, this pup will quickly develop the needed and required
immunity needed to suppress this scourge.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 8:56am PST 
I'm with you there, Sascha... I won't have those antibacterial things in my house and refuse to use them. Interestingly enough, I am almost NEVER sick (last cold about 4 years ago!), but some of the "germaphobic" girls that work for me are ALWAYS sick!!!
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Tuck

CHIC CH. Tuck- CDX TDX RN VNEX- TDI SAR-W3
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 9:02am PST 
This whole thing is so sad. Sad for the owner, Sad for the dog.

I'm on a group of responsible breeders, and pet/backyard breeders all the time, want to post their litters for sale, litter announcements, etc.... and they get deleted, because a requirement to post is health testing stats on the parents.

The byb hopefuls, say that stuff is for BREEDERS, we just want PETS!.. As if pet owners do not have rights to healthy dogs....

And pet owners say... well that's for SHOW people (because show people care about the health of their dogs and are trying to imrpove the breed, and breed OUT genetic defects. Health testing only seems to be done in SHOW bred dogs) Since pet people dont want show dogs, they tend to opt out of the benefits of health testing and the work done by show breeders to breed healthier dogs.

Then .... Stuff like this happens.... And the owner realizes the huge cost of fixing something that may have been prevented by selectively opting for a puppy from parents of health tested dogs... It would have been cheaper to go for a show bred puppy.....

Let's face it.. Show bred or pet. All puppies born deserve to be healthy.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 9:19am PST 
But, Tuck, demodex is something that CAN NOT be tested for in the parents and can happen to any puppy from the most responsible breeder in the world, show or not!
The difference is that hopefully, a more responsible breeder would have a:, noticed the issue prior to selling the pup since they would have kept it with its littermates until it was physically and mentally ready to leave on its own, MINIMUM 10 weeks for a Chihuahua, and/or b:, they would be standing behind that new puppy owner 100% and at the very least, covering any additional vet costs resulting from the condition.
OP's breeder has done neither.
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Tuck

CHIC CH. Tuck- CDX TDX RN VNEX- TDI SAR-W3
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 10:07am PST 
Toto, so the buyer bought the puppy knowing it had the condition, and is now complaining because it's there? Isn't that like holding a car dealer accountable for not liking the color of the car you bought?

Furthermore, Ive had dogs for 60+ years, and never had a case of demodex. I know some breeds are more prone to it than others. But in a breed like Sharpei, which is widely known that skin conditions are likely to be there.... If you don't want the problems that go with the breed.. why choose the breed if you don't want to deal with the problems? Not that this issue isnt terrible, and I do feel sorry for the owner. and especially sorry for the dog.

I'm not criticizing. Just trying to understand.

Let's see .. in a breed like Corgi, 50% of them are carriers of degenerative mylopathy. If I were going to buy a corgi, I would buy from a breeder who tested both parents for the carrier gene.

If I were to buy a sharpei ... well.. I guess I just wouldn't Every Sharpei experience I have ever seen has become one huge vet bill with skin issues. If I wanted to avoid that heartbreak, I'd avoid the breed. A little research here might be prudent.

I LOVE
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 11:35am PST 
First of all, this was a Chihuahua, NOT a Shar Pei, and not a breed normally noted for skin problems, and second of all, a person buying a new puppy normally is completely trusting of the breeder they are buying the pup from and would have no reason to question them, IF they even noticed a patch or two of missing hair, IF it was even showing at that point, which it apparently was not.
Demodex first presents as a patch of normal skin, just missing some hair. There is no irritation, itching, broken skin or other indication that there is a problem. IF the pups immune system is normal, it will manage the demodex, end of problem. If, like the OP's pup, that immune system is compromised for ANY reason (could be as simple as leaving the litter too early, or getting vaccines at the wrong time, or changing the food or water, or any other "normal" puppy thing), then the problem becomes more severe and can become generalized and affect the lymph glands as well. IF this happens (something which NO breeder can predict), then treatment is required and can be quite involved and long term.
There is NO testing to predict which puppy may or may not be affected with Demodex... some breeds are more prone to it but no breed is exempt and it doesn't matter if the parents did OR did not have the problem, the pup can still get it.
Soo, this has NOTHING to do with the OP buying a dog and then complaining about something that was obvious... most likely it WAS NOT obvious. It DOES have something to do with an irresponsible breeder not standing behind the sale of her puppy WHEN it developed the condition.
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