Thursday, August 21, 2008
This photo (last one above) is the first picture we ever saw of her in the email.
Remember ~ Don't be sad! She's feeling better today!
She's got a long way to go, but she's a trooper!! The best way to describe her is she looks
like a tiny baby
dinosaur that just wants you to hold her. One of the characteristics of this mange is a temperature. This
poor baby is burning up and when you touch her skin, it just feels like it will rip. Poor thing! Wait till you see how much better she looks after only
One of her favorite places is her soft "bucket" with her blanket. She also sleeps in a clothes basket with other favorite blankets right next to Annie. I found one place on her little head that feels a little soft and oh my GOSH she loves me to rub that with my finger. See the brown fur above her right eye? That's the spot. In fact, I feel an overwhelming need to go pick her up. I'll post more soon.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Even with our home renovation going on, she walks right past the workers and she already knows "let's go outside" and "Okay, ready to go in the house?"
She's eating canned dogfood (tiny bits at a time), fresh sliced turkey from her Aunt Kat, and she loves drinking water!
Her first night here she woke us up at 11 p.m., but then slept through the night! Scroll down to see the latest progress.
Come back and visit as I eat and grow! We go back to see Dr. Hall at East Hill Animal Hospital in one week! Thank you Dr. Hall!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
As I'm typing this update, I wish my arms were about 9 inches longer...I have a 10-lb Papillon sprawled on my lap toward my knees and a 4.7-lb mini dachshund snuggled between her rear and my belly! Getting kind of warm but I'm just loving seeing the two pups more comfortable with each other and so close together. The first day Annie kept a safe distance.
Here's a photo from last night of Annie, our Papillon, laying on a pile of pillows while Maria slept soundly with her soft blanket and orange bear baby. I don't know how Annie thought she could hide with ears like that...!
Maria is really doing well today. She has many places where she has a soft place
to stop (you know, one by
the water bowl, one in my office, one in the bathroom, one on our
daughter's lap). She is still in SURVIVOR
Sunday, August 24, 2008
We had another really good night with Maria and today she was doing funny things like chewing on my fingers
and chasing a little ball (one of our favorite "Merlin" balls from Hawaii). She is definitely developing a
personality and it is all puppy!
When we pick her up it's like she hardly weighs anything...picture a scant 5-lb bag of sugar.
Here are some fun pictures from our day...she was really being silly while we were playing on the chair! She was barking, growling, flipping around and Annie thought it was very unlady-like.
It's hard to tell but it looks like her fur is starting to come in a little somewhat. I think her daily brushing with a soft baby brush is helping to remove the dead flaky skin so there's more focus on the fur! There is still quite a bit of the dry stuff on her face (the light stuff around her mouth). My sister says it's almost like she was in the woods so long moss started growing on her. It really does feel similar to that.
Here are some shots of Maria when we went outside after her first tropical storm, Fay. I think the rain
reminds her of bad memories of time alone in the woods...so she stayed right near our feet today. She's
doing great! Thanks for stopping by to check up on how she's doing. I'll post more photos in the next
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Oh boy! Maria got her bath yesterday and I swear, it was like putting a cat in a toilet. She may be tiny but when she saw that water, her four legs went straight out sideways and she was not about to get moist. Thank goodness I had that water all nice and warm and the towel was nearby. I know I was able to keep the suds on her the required 5 minutes but it wasn't near the 10 minute maximum. Boy, she was not happy with me!
I do want to point out--this was not a DIP for mange--but a special shampoo that is
Today she is happy, happy, happy! I made my lunch and came to my office to update her page and I heard a
noise. When I came around the corner she was hanging onto the edge of the t.v. tray with her middle
fingernail and she had cream cheese all over her nose. And there was nothing on half of my bagel. When I
her what she was doing she looked behind her and back at me like, "I'm sorry, were you talking to me?"
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
We are in the middle of a renovation and Maria does not want to miss a single thing going on! I wondered if she'd be afraid of thunder or loud noises but she seems to handle the nail gun and sawing noises just fine.
Here's a picture of Maria on her favorite vantage point (safely on the back of the couch looking over the blocked doorway).
Most of the rescues we have loved for the past twenty years never really played with toys. Or if they did,
they'd never bring them to us or "fetch" a ball. Maria just loves to play with toys! She chews, runs after
stuffed toys, finds sticks in the yard, and just loves to play. Here's a picture of Maria with her friend Ricky
the soft raccoon.
I'm feeling really good everybody! Thanks for watching me grow and get better! I get to see Dr. Hall again tomorrow. I hope she remembers me! I don't look the same as I did last week (mom says that's because I've been very brave and strong). I just might bring Ricky along with me.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Today was Maria's second vet appointment with Dr. Hall and the good doctor said she is doing well. She has really grown, too! She went from 4.7 pounds to a whopping 5.11 pounds!! She got a shot today and she has another appointment in three weeks.
GREAT BIG THANK YOU!!! GREAT BIG THANK YOU!!!
I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to some very special friends ~ one I've never even met
in person! Thank you Nora and Mary Jane for the surprise gift package for Maria. Boy! Were we ever surprised!
Here she is with her cow! Thank you for the "headbonks" from Molly in Pensacola and Penny and Mac all the way from Laurel, New York!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Maria has continued to get better and better! It's been a few days since we updated this page because we've been dealing with some weather (Gustav especially). Now that the storm has passed, we can take some new pictures. We're noticing more "brown" when we see Maria's fur continuing to come in and the rough skin disappear. Here are some pictures of Annie and Maria together (with Ricky of course) on the recliner. You'll notice Annie starts out by watching from the corner of her eye--because Maria has a tendency to POUNCE when she least expects it!
Then they settle down and do very well. Annie used to have the priviledge of getting on our king size bed so she could be "up and away" from puppy teeth, as well as being high on our loveseat. Not anymore! Miss Mossy Head can jump up on anything now. She steals toys, she gnaws on ears, she pounces on Papillon heads and is quite the character!
For the first time we've had Annie, she actually played on the bed the other day. Annie started doing "zoomies" jumping on pillows, flipping toys in the air, wagging her tail, and having a good time.
Maria LOVED it and we've seen them playing together more--when they thought we weren't looking. This is quite something for Annie because she is very timid and usually FREAKS when another dog initiates play.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Maria's fur is really coming in. I'm hoping these pictures show all the brown! It's mostly coming in on her
head, so we call her our little Cocoa Puff!
Here's kisses for Papa Dog! This is Maria with Annie, our Papillon. She is four years old.
It's hard to tell how big she is, but she's not too big to hold in one hand!
Silly Maria ~ always moving and running and playing with sticks and having fun!
Saturday, September 12, 2008
She had her third medicated bath today. She did a little better than last time. It went much faster because she actually put all four feet in the sink this time. Boy, she does NOT like water! She doesn't know it's the same wet stuff that comes out of a garden hose, though, because she thinks that is funny! Here she is doing one of her favorite things--playing with a stick in the courtyard. Look at all that FURRRRR!
I love it when she really gets into it. She loves playing fetch and brings the ball back to us! The sticks are HERS though, so she never brings those back.
You can tell in this picture that her nose is smoothing out. It was so rough with dry skin and yucky stuff but gentle scrubbing with a facecloth slowly took the last bit off today. Isn't she a pretty girl?
One last funny STICK picture. She was still damp from her bath, so she had to find the only place in the yard with dry sand and a little warm rock to rest her head on while she chewed. Those baths can really tire a puppy out!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Speaking of tired...
I think morning time is probably our most favorite time! Maria still sleeps very well but she has been waking me up about 2 a.m. to go play outside. Because she's still in the training mode to go potty outside, it's not worth telling her to go back to sleep. When she wakes up in the morning about 6 a.m. she is all warm and cuddly, then it's like a SWITCH is flipped and she remembers there are humans close by that will tickle her and make her feel loved. Here are some cute morning pictures.
Can you see when the switch gets flipped and she starts to get spun up? In the fourth picture she started
to grab a tiny piece of the sheet and looked at me like, "Mom, can I eat this?" I told her, "No" so she
started growling at me and flipping all around. Makes you want to be a pet photographer, doesn't it? :-)
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Forty-one days ago...hard to believe that we've had Maria that long! I took a picture of her today from above
because there was one picture I never posted when I started this blog because it just made me feel so SAD
to see it! It just broke my heart. Remember, she
I thought if I showed everyone the second picture, people would wonder what we were
I wanted you to see how much she has recovered and how far she has come, so I'm posting this photo here today. This first one is what she looked like this afternoon (with her new pretty red collar!)
OKAY! Enough of THAT mushy stuff!!! Here's a funny picture of Maria tugging on a single piece of grass. You might have thought it was made of steel! She was NOT going inside the house until she got that thing out of the ground. Her favorite thing to do now (since we haven't had much rain) is grab the very tip of a piece of St. Augustine grass and rip it out of the ground by the roots. She had one today that was about 2 feet long!
I'm starting to see her little "expression" lines on her forehead and they look so cute!
Right now her coat is so smooth and as beautiful as
caramel in the sun. I don't think
I was very happy to see that Maria lets me put her on her back in my arms and she will stay like that until I put her down. She sure loves her belly rubbed, but she's quite content with just laying there close to her mama. She has chewed the cape off of her pig, chewed the ear off of her orange bear, and just figured out what a tennis ball is for!
I have never seen a dog crack open an acorn and eat the "good stuff" so fast! She can also peel the bark off an oak tree and eat the tender bark beneath the top layer in a flash! I have no doubt that's how she survived in the woods for so long. I draw the line at bringing worms into the house though!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Here are some cute pictures I took of Maria playing with her bone on our bed. She and Annie are really beginning to play a lot together. Tonight they both came screeching around the corner into the kitchen while I was cooking dinner and they both skidded to a stop and stole each other's bones and took off running in opposite directions! They both thought they had outsmarted the other.
Maria looking pretty smiling for the camera.
I had to take a moment to put some "before" and "after" photos of Maria. These photos were taken on August 21 and October 2, 2008 - Only six weeks apart! She has made a beautiful transformation already!
Read more about her recovery and her first year.
August 21, 2008 October 2, 2008
Little Maria Secrets You Might Not Know...
She sleeps in my armpit at night.
I kept having to get after Maria for eating little black berries that grow on the
Sometimes I can't find Maria in the backyard at night because she is so quiet
Instead of saying "hurry up" or "finish up" in a sing-song voice like most people
We have to put a doggy gate up to our bedroom during the day now because
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
It's not easy to get a picture of Annie & Maria playing, but I managed to get this shot while they were playing in the hall--they were running into walls, ears were flying, and legs were off the ground! I asked them, "Isn't it great to be a dog?"
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Many of you know that along with doing photography and art, I am also a voiceover artist and do much of my recordings in my home. I have taken a break over the past six months but have begun a project for a Navy College. I wasn't sure how it would work with a new PUPPY in the house but I think Maria has finally figured out what to do now! Yay!
The first time she saw me in the middle of my office standing still in front of a microphone--it didn't go very well. Mom is standing still, obviously waiting for me to come play with her!
(Add the sound of a puppy running into the mic stand and voice artist gently begging puppy to stop)
(Add fun sound of puppy chewing on friend Ricky the Raccoon for full 30 seconds--SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK!)
(Add lots and lots of squeaking raccoons and playful puppy romping along with firmer word for puppy to stop)
(Add background noise of puppy waking up a quiet dog with growling, gnashing teeth, playful nipping and toys hitting the ceiling)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I had to add more adorable photos of morning time! This is her one-eared friend, Orange Bear.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Watching Maria grow and heal after her tough start in life, has been so rewarding for all of us! She is so happy to see our daughter, Elizabeth, when she comes home from work and school. She is the most playful dog we've ever had and it is fun to watch her do everything. She makes EATING funny. She is SO good on so many levels and can be SO trying on others.
I shared Maria' page with
a couple of Dachshund rescue groups because I know it's neat to read about
your favorite breed recovering
and healing in the midst of sad stories about mistreated animals.
Karen B. from Dixie Dachshund Rescue in
Alabama and the Southeastern U.S. described Maria exactly!
2) She digs everything including the leather sofa in the livingroom, the tiny delicate cactus plants in my garden and the back of our LEGS when she's happy to see us and wants to be picked up.
3) She loves to chase things. I swear she can almost climb a tree chasing a squirrel. Thank goodness there are no low branches or she'd try to fly!
4) And last but not least...she's so lovable!
For about the past month or so, we wondered if she might be "part something else besides Dachshund..." and we believe we are right! She's a jumper and extremely smart--so she could possibly be part Jack Russell or something like that. Well, I think we found the PART that isn't Dachshund!
At least this makes it easier to find her in the DARK--because that white spot is always WAGGING! I thought she got too close to the drywall mud and I wondered why I couldn't get the stuff off!
Isn't she CUTE???
Friday, October 24, 2008
Annie and Maria both seem to like the new blue pillow we got for the couch. They stretch out together just like old pals. When I see this picture, I want to go find the little Cocoa Puff because that tummy is SOOOOOOO soft! I just want to go catch her and rub it! :-)
Maria finally finished her last drop of medicine. Whoohoo!!! She was so funny about that every morning! I had to measure it to the little ".07" on this tiny syringe that took a MAGNIFYING glass to see...but Maria looked forward to that little drop every morning. I'd let her lick every little sticky bit of it, then go fill the syringe with clean water and watch her suck on it like a kitten. Hahaha! I'll miss that little interaction with her. Sort of like when the baby stops drinking out of a bottle! I think I'll surprise her next week and take out the syringe and give her some water.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I'd like to introduce our "young lady" Maria. Miss Maria is no longer a puppy and will be given some
puppy Pamprin if she doesn't settle her little furry butt down. We had an interesting morning today!
She came into her first
heat this morning and mommy freaked out--thinking (and saying outloud as
I jumped out of bed)--
"Oh my God, please don't
let anything happen to this poor dog after everything
she's been through!!!!"
My husband was out of
town so my heart was racing trying to remember how to
get to my refrigerator
that held the magnet with the
number to our emergency VET! Obviously something
was WRONG because there was BLOOD!!!
After I calmed down a bit and was just about to call my mother, Maria snapped at Annie while the poor dog was sleeping soundly next to me. That was my first clue. All of the dogs we ever had were either males or were older when we adopted them, so they had been spayed already. Duh, clueless.
Here's a cute photo of Maria eating grass to settle her tummy. I only took this one photo because she looked like she could GO OFF at any moment.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Maria is so easily distracted when she is outside! Sometimes we have to hurry up and go out before I go take our daughter to school and I swear, a bird can burp three houses away and she will stop and try to figure out where the noise came from! She's hilarious!
Some of you know that after that huge dogfood scare, I started making my dogs' food. Annie never used to eat store bought kibble very well, and when I started mixing her own food she gobbled it down.
I ask Maria almost every night what she thinks the "poor Dachshunds" are doing as she ever so gently takes a bite of her dinner from the fork. Yes, she's spoiled rotten! Ken says I do everything but chew up their food for them, but you know what, WHO CARES! They deserve it! They are precious, precious, precious!
Here's a darling photo of Maria lying on the grass. We were walking around and all of a sudden she just stopped, laid down and went to sleep. It got me choked up because she was so cute! I just had to share the picture with you all. The sun was so warm and I guess she was so relaxed & happy...
Friday, November 14, 2008
I will be calling the vet soon to make an appointment to have Maria spayed. They are so pitiful when you go pick them up at the hospital, aren't they? Our friend "Raisin" just had her surgery, so we'll have to call and see how she's feeling now. Look how pretty this happy girl is now! She loves the new carpet, too. I know--what were you thinking, Karen? New Carpet--one week after a new puppy?
I know, I need to trim her nails again, too. Those things grow so fast!!! I'm so nervous about trimming, it's almost worth paying the vet to do it for me!
Friday, November 14, 2008
I know this photo isn't very clear, but we have a very shady backyard with a fence between our yard and the neighbor's yard. They have two really big dogs that come over to say hello every day and Maria just TEARS THEM UP through the fence! She must think she was a pitbull in a prior life or something. Her little guard hairs go up and she charges that fence like she's going to eat both of them at once!
Meet Dillon & Princess! The are both very good dogs that love to run and play together.
Maria is really doing well! I'll bet she has nearly doubled in weight since we got her. Can you believe it has been less than 3 months since we got her! August 21st...wow. What an amazing transformation!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
There hasn't been many posts in the past month because we've been out of town and busy with getting ready for Christmas and everything but I wanted to pass on the latest news about Maria.
We've had a little rough setback because after Maria came into her first heat, she started exhibiting signs of her mange coming back. The type of skin disorder she has can come back if her immune system is compromised or if she has experienced something stressful like surgery or coming into heat.
She's doing alright but not great--she is back on her daily medicine and baths every few days. Although her vet examined her and started her medicine only 3 days after the first signs of a little "spot" of thin fur--I was surprised to see how much hair she has lost already. She's sleeping a lot and is already getting her little "dinosaur" skin with the bumps and wrinkles. All she wants to do is sleep and make it go away.
So! We're watching her, taking care to keep her warm and dry, and trying to make her comfortable. Dr. Hall says we're going to have to wait to have her spayed until she gets better from this setback. She also said that more than likely the skin will break out again because of the trauma of the surgery. So! We will post more pictures when we can. I don't want to poke the camera in her face when she's not feeling good.
Until then, here are a couple of photos we took when we went camping in Destin a couple of weekends ago. Annie and Maria just loved laying up on the back of the sofa watching out the window while we were taking a break from walks. This was Maria's first camping trip and she did great on the car ride to camp and back home again. I'm so glad I work from my home! ...so I can be here with them during the day. They sure are great company for me, too.
Merry Christmas everyone and I'll post more when I can.
~ Karen ~
(Photos from our camping trip on Saturday, December 6th)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Here is the latest news on Maria. She seems to be doing better today than yesterday. After seeing
the thinning hair on her head and back, I got her to the vet within 2 days and even though she
started her medicine five days ago, her condition continued to deteriorate. I guess I thought if she
started on her medicine and baths, she would move forward and begin to heal but her skin continued
to scale and bleed and wrinkle like it was when we first got her home. I brought her back to see Dr.
Hall and she did another skin scrape and found many, many dead mites (that's what this skin condition
is caused by--mites at the hair follicles) and the ones that were alive were dying. So we started on
Everything seemed to be going just fine until I put a flea/tick collar on her about noon from the vet. Then I noticed she started to get depressed-looking and she wasn't acting her normal cheerful self. I watched her the rest of the day. She wouldn't even walk to our bedroom. I knew she was a sick little girl, and realized she usually acts a little down when she gets her medicine.
So, I figured she would get her rest and begin to feel better. But, during the night I became
concerned about her lack of spirit
and the fact that although she is usually warm, her skin was
cool to the touch! I kept waking up during the night trying to get her to move around or go outside, but
she just wouldn't open her eyes. About 3:00 a.m.
I began to wonder if the flea collar might be causing
her to act this way.
I took (almost ripped!) the collar off and almost within an hour,
Today she ate, went outside several times and was trotting up and down the stairs and hesitantly jumping on the couch or chair. I can see a HUGE improvement in her condition from yesterday. So much that I didn't feel so bad taking a couple of photos to show you how she looks today. It's NOT as bad as she was before...but definitely a step backwards from camping on December 6th.
Her skin breaks out in these huge welts and bumps, then begins to crack and wrinkle. You
Here Ken is holding her back right foot because she wants to scratch with her nails and if she scratches more than about 2-3 times, her neck will start bleeding again. See how her little legs are all wrinkly? And her chest is sagging? Poor baby.
Her nose is beginning to wrinkle, but it hasn't lost the hair yet. When we first met her
Merry Christmas from Maria!
Here are some pictures of Maria on her first Christmas!!! Although she was not feeling
very well this week...we woke up Christmas Eve and she made a definite
turn for the BETTER!
Here are some other pictures from Christmas morning... with her friends Annie and Elizabeth. Santa Daddy is holding one of their presents. Annie is a pro at tearing off the wrapping, but Maria was taking notes for next year.
I don't have any new photos today but wanted to say Maria is doing SO MUCH BETTER!!! She is eating and running around, playing with toys, and giving enthusiastic kisses. These are all wonderful signs and although she has lost a lot of fur on her front, belly, and a lot more off her back, we think she will continue to get better from here. Gosh, almost hate to have her spayed, but we have to! Hopefully we can keep her from having another outbreak after the surgery.
Thank you all for your emails and calls. She is doing much better! I'll keep you posted. Happy New Year!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Happy New Year everybody from Maria! Here are more photos taken the past couple of days. Once her fur stopped falling out, the bald areas started drying out and turning darker. Although she lost a little more fur after this first photo, her skin isn't NEARLY as dry and cracked as when we first got her. She has continued to be happy and eating well. In fact, I don't know if this medicine is making her hungry or what--but this little girl is eating, eating, EATING and always hungry! You can't drop anything around her or she'll gobble it up!
Here is a funny picture I got when I was trying to get a good shot of her chest. You can see where the skin gets darker after the fur falls out. See the top of her head? Still soft and kissable! In fact, I think I'll go kiss it right now.
Friday, January 16 , 2009
Maria is still doing very well! You can tell in this photo below that when she feels better, her eyes are open more and she just looks healthier now. She had another visit to her vet, Dr. Hall, and she was put on another round antibiotics and her daily meds (never did look at the name of the stuff in the bottle!). I just know it works and Maria loves that little dropper full every morning. Here she is wearing her little green jacket all snapped up. She sure hates cold weather and here in the panhandle of Florida it was 28 degrees this morning. Burrrrr!
Here is a picture of Maria watching out the window (from the top of the back of the recliner) to see her Dad drive up in his big truck. You can see where her skin has stopped "bubbling up" and has now turned a dark color of charcoal. The closer ones show where she's lost some more of her fur. Look at how her skin is hanging over her back end. She has lost most of the fur on her back but it's still fairly soft to the touch.
Maria's Aunt Penney from Cheyenne Wyoming sent her a box of soft plush toys for Christmas and she plays with them all the time. She has chewed the eyes and butt off most of them, but she loves her lion the most. Thank you, Penney! Poor Ricky (her stuffed Raccoon friend) has lost every appendage but she still drags him around. I wish he didn't smell like an old shoe. I'm afraid if I wash him, he'll disappear!
This morning Maria was laying on one of her warm blankets and started chewing Mr. Lion's limbs off while
poor Annie was sleeping peacefully under the blanket. I don't think Maria even noticed she was there!
When the lion fell off the couch, Maria looked at me like, "Uh, do you really think I'm getting off this
warm blanket to pick up that lion?" She's teaching Annie some really bad habits! And Annie loves her.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Here is the latest update on our little Maria. I tried to take some photos of her this morning but she was running and playing so much in the house that most of them were blurry! Why is it that when you try to take pictures of your own pet--they run RIGHT AT THE CAMERA? I think it's funny that I'm a pet photographer and struggle to catch her in my viewfinder! I guess that's a good thing because that means she's running and playing and having a good time.
Here are some pictures I took this morning to show you how she's doing. Read the stuff below to see what we're doing with her now. She was getting ready to BOLT in this picture but it was the only one that came out that showed her fur closeup. It's certainly coming back in! And the black skin beneath her fur has definitely lightened a lot in the past two weeks.
I'm hoping there is something on this page that might help other people who have pets suffering from this skin problem. I know it can be frustrating and I know at times I feel so helpless to make it go away! If you've read this far...keep reading to see what we think might be working!
We went to the vet last week and it was pretty much determined that Maria just might be one of those dogs that struggles with this skin condition into her adult life. There are times when she might be better and other times of stress that might cause her to have a flare up. The most important thing at this point (and I totally agree)--we don't want to keep her on ivermectin indefinitely--and as long as she doesn't have any open wounds, she shouldn't be on antibiotics any more than she has to be...So far she's not getting any worse since that vet visit...but it might be because of this:
Plan B! I am working hard to boost Maria's immune system by totally changing her diet. I had her on a store-bought dry kibble along with all the store-bought treats I could afford. I've always fed my dogs "normal" stuff but with her compromised immune system, she's not very normal.
I remember early on when we got Maria, she was eating what Annie was eating--a homemade raw diet of
beef (ground) with veggies and she was on a forward track to healing!
Then I changed her diet
(Why? Um, I guess I felt the public pet food supply was now safe for them to eat?) Now I'm back to
feeding them both a healthier
with extra fatty acids and omega oil and other good things.
So...that's the plan and I'm just happy she's not going backwards since we took her off all the meds. She is definitely lively and eating well. Every once in a while she gets a little bump or sore, but so far they have all healed. Hmmmmmmm...this new grain-free healthier diet just might be making a difference. So far so good.
And the coolest tip I learned this week?
If you have a dog that totally gobbles up his or her food and just won't stop eating like a vacuum...try this.
When you fix the bowl of food, try putting it on a plate instead and (get this) put a big ROCK or BRICK in the middle of the plate and put the food around it. This way the dog has to eat in circles around the rock and can't suck all the food up at once.
That's better than having to be inches away--letting them inhale 1/4 of the food, taking the plate away, letting them eat another 1/4, taking the plate away, etc.
Of course Maria just sits there and looks at the rock until I moved it so she can eat.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Although Plan B didn't work out exactly as we planned, we are very encouraged by the way Maria is looking today! I am continuing to feed her a grain-free diet of healthy dry dog food (thankfully at the cost--it is lasting a very long time!) along with homemade food of beef, chicken, veggies, and all good things. She is eating very well and as you can see by the photos here she is doing quite well!
Here is a picture of Maria in her favorite place out inthe courtyard chewing on a stick. Check out that gorgeous brown fur!!! Although we took her off all meds in January, she started getting somewhat better and all of a sudden (when Ken went out of town!) she broke out in bumps all over, and was heading for a downhill slide very quickly. I decided to bring her to our other vet that treats Annie because I knew he was able to help my mom with her german shepherd's continual skin problems.
NOTE added February 2012...Although you will read that we increased Maria's ivermectin dose thinking it would finally kill the mites--this was BEFORE we knew that a regular routine of the topical treatment Advantage Multi would have saved us
It is February, 2012 and Maria hasn't had one single bit of
We decided to do a couple of different things--adding an anti-fungal pill and increase the dose of ivermectin. Because she was in such bad shape--her dose of ivermectin was so small in the beginning. It was very important not to give her too much. It was like she never got enough to knock out the mites and although the skin scrapes showed some improvement and less mites at times--she couldn't stay on the medicine indefinitely. During the first few months we were so busy fighting all of her infections and deep cracks and wounds from August 2008, it was tough to figure out what she could handle at times.
I believe what finally got her on the road to healing so well this time was the fact that she had the chance to build her immune system with all that good food, take a much needed break from medicine for a while and now going FULL FORCE with a larger dose of ivermectin (still only 0.1 ml and within the safe limits for her size), then after one week increasing the dose to 0.2 ml). She is doing quite well--and improving DAILY!
We will keep her on this 0.2 ml dose of ivermectin till the 10th of March (30 days) when we will return for another skin scrape to see if she has any mites. If YES, we will continue and do a scrape in 2 weeks. If NO, then we will continue the medicine for 1-2 more weeks AFTER a clear scrape. It was like we were getting her to the point where the mites were beginning to disappear--but then the few that were left multipled and infested her again. So! Here are a couple of other pictures of her today.
Annie is watching her chew the heck out of a stick she found in the yard. Annie isn't a stick-chewer so she just doesn't get it!
Chewing with her eyes closed....loving life once again.
Mom? How long are you going to make me sit here and watch her eat wood?
We are SO PLEASED with Maria's progress during this past month!!! If you are reading this and have a dog with demodectic mange, and have decided to have your dog treated with ivermectin--consider talking to your vet about safely increasing the dose. It is working for us!
St. Patrick's Day ~ March 17, 2009
Today was Maria's latest vet appointment since increasing the ivermectin dose to .2 ml. She finished her anti-fungal pills and her antibiotics and we are so encouraged by her progress!
Our vet had to do another skin scrape where they scrape her skin deep enough (like the size smaller than a dime) to get down to the follicles to see if she has any live mites. The goal is NO evidence of mites!
The last scrape showed several live mites multiplying at an alarming rate. At best we've gotten a scrape with several dead mites and several dying mites but plenty of those little suckers still reproducing and having a party on this poor baby.
Today the scrape showed (can you believe this???) Several dead mites and one SINGLE live mite!!! This means we will continue the .2 ml of ivermectin for two more weeks and do another scrape. If the scrape shows NO evidence of mites next time--we'll give her the meds for 2 more weeks and hope for another negative scrape. Then she's done with the medicine!
We're just hoping this one mite is a male and isn't a pregnant female with octuplets.
Here are some new pictures I took of Maria today. She still has some little dark places under her fur but she is soft and no bumps! She even smells pretty! :-)
You know I had to include a photo of her chewing on a stick!
April 2, 2009
In her last four scrapes she had dying or dead mites. One time (two scrapes ago) she actually had NO live mites--but unfortunately there was one still hanging on by evidence on the next scrape.
Here is a picture of her from April! She's all curled up on her Daddy's lap snuggled in a little green sweater and a Merlin ball. How cute is that??? Here is another cute picture of her "holding on" to her food bowl with her little fingernails. These are the same fingernails she uses to grab my face and squeeze my lips together so she can KISS me. What a dog! :-)
May 20 , 2009
Look how pretty her FUR looks in this picture below. The warm sun makes her ssss...l.l...e...eeeee... eeeeeeeepy. Can you tell?
And you think this BONE will keep me awake? You're absolutely right!
Thanks for checking up on Maria!
June 12 , 2009
• No living ones
Next step? We wait between 3 weeks and a month and go have (what we hope to be) the last skin scrape. If that scrape is negative, we celebrate!
July 14 , 2009
Maria woke up this morning to NO medicine (except her Pet tab vitamin) and no bath. Wow...this is great!
Here are some pictures of one sweet, precious healthy dog.
Miss Maria with her no-eyed penguin from our beloved friend Mary Jane...
Chewing on one of her favorite bones...
Thank-you kisses for Annie...
Thank you for...snuggling with me the past year...even though I didn't smell that great.
Thank you for understanding why mom and dad had to pay SO much attention to me.
Thank you for not getting mad when I got to ride in the car and you had to stay home (I really was at the vet and not the doggy park).
And thank you for being my best friend.
Hey, is that a mite I see on your nose?
And thanks to all of you for following Maria's progress!
We are so lucky to have her and it means a
lot to see so many
people watching her recovery. We
didn't know how all of this would turn out, but we
knew we had to
do everything possible to save her.
And I'd like to thank the Academy...
Thank you to Dr. Hall at East Hill Veterinary Clinic for your help with Maria. I know with your early care and intervention she probably would not have survived at all. She had so many infections and was so very weak...thank you for suggesting we work on her immune system and try radical changes in her diet.
Thank you Dr. Zettler at Westside Animal Hospital for the personal time you spent doing research on persistent mite problems. It happened just the way you said it would--with persistence, building her immune system, and discovering that Advantage Multi was all she needed to cure her of this mange. I know you were just as excited as we were with the first clean scrape!
Thank you for taking the time to discuss our options, watching Maria so closely for improvement, and always giving us hope. This is the day we have been waiting for...