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Identify the Vector or Parasite in My Dog's Hair

by Tina W.
(Santa Clarita, CA USA)

Three years ago after a hike my dog and I started itching all over and felt like we had been getting bites. I could see the bite marks and had a severe reaction in my skin but its hard to see my dog Kiki’s skin as his hair is so short.


It's important to note the friend I was hiking with took his dog who died a week later and she was in good health up until this point. He was circling the backyard every minute of every day. My friend has had no symptoms whatsoever.

The itching is awful. Kiki itches all over but more so around his ears. Behind them and on his face. He loves me to scratch him there.

More points:

- His fur coat looks dull and greasy to some extent with dark spots in it that were not there before

- His fur has white specs in it

- His fur has sticky white residue that is dried or crusty and painful to him if I touch it

- 6 months ago I noticed a little tiny tumor behind his ear that is white looking. The Vet didn’t really have any ideas and just sent us away with no answers. I’ve paid a fortune just trying to resolve this and I get no where.

- The Vet mentioned he had bumps all over his body and I said I KNOW this is what I am trying to get to the bottom of. They looked at sample under microscope and found nothing.

- He is now losing a significant amount of hair and has patches of almost bald spots over his body. I notice it most though when I look at this face.

- He sleeps constantly

- He is depressed

- He makes painful type noises when he sleeps like he is hurting.

I have taken Kiki to numerous Vets and for the first year, they found nothing.

One finally found a mite (which I found first) and the vet prescribed Ivermectin which did nothing.

When that didn't work we started him on Revolution and continued that for almost a year but it did nothing to help him.

Another vet (not his normal doctor) said she found a Stick-tight flea and wondered if we lived in a rural area. We don’t but we are at the base of the mountains and several neighbors have dirt yards. They gave no further instructions.

6 months after the hike, frustrated and feeling nuts, I purchased a camera microscope and still can’t determine what this is. Fleas? Mites? My photos are getting better and from the ones I am submitting I think you will most likely be able to tell what they are.

I recently (1 month ago) sent some samples in to a Entomologist who said he saw Demodex in one of the samples.

By the way, I have over 15,000 photos and research this every day. My home had a moisture problem and when 5 Exterminators couldn’t find the problem, I bought the microscope and identified the following:

- Casemaking clothes moths
- Springtails
- Mites
- Powderpost Beetle
- Carpet Beetle
- Earwigs

I thought I would try one last exterminator “Orkin” whom I should have tried first….but without telling them of my findings and they came back with the exact identification I did.

So its not like I haven’t learned a LOT about bugs and parasites. Because I have learned more than many professionals in the business. I had the house fumigated, and it was better for about a day or so, but they came back after that.

When the Entomologist came back with Demodex, I thought well…
At least THAT made sense because we are both suffering.

My MD thought it was scabies, sent me to a dermatologist who without examining me declared I was delusional. I went to another dermatologist who again, without examining me, entered the room yelling at me telling me he read the other Dr’s notes and totally agreed with his diagnosis. He was awful, I left in tears.

They put me on some psycho drugs that made me sleep for three days straight and it was at that point I declared them delusional or just simply not educated enough or up on classes on vectors and parasites. My psychiatrist who was out of town at this time told me upon his return when I asked “Do you think I am delusional?” He said, "Tina, In my 40 years of practice, I've yet to see a delusional who carries around a laptop with photos of bugs. No, I don’t think you are delusional."

There is so much more to this story but in the interest of brevity, I will let you ask the questions.

General Background Information on Kiki:
- An 8 year old male mini or small size apple head Chihuahua
- Weighs about 6-7 lbs

Medical Conditions:
- Hydrocephalus since birth.
- Doctors wanted me to put him down, I refused.
- They didn’t expect him to live much longer.
- He has lived 8 years since then.

Symptoms from Hydrocephalus
- Occasional headaches
- Occasional circling (which he hasn’t displayed in years)
- Vomiting from time to time yellow foam or the food he ate.
- He vomits at least one to four times per month.
- Only more if he really isn’t feeling well like the other day he threw up for a few days.
- Licking constantly, everything from sofa to floor to bedding to cleaning his body.
- He appears confused at times
- Appears not to see too well

Other Medical Conditions:
- He has had ear problems in the past, mites, just general cleaning etc.
- One of his ears hurt to touch as he will almost nip me if I touch it.
- He also has a small tumor behind one of his ears (I noticed is six months ago) Vet wasn’t too concerned.

Tina

Comments for Identify the Vector or Parasite in My Dog's Hair

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Feb 09, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Identify the Vector or Parasite in My Dog's Hair
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

February 8, 2015

Hi Tina,
Thank you for sending all of the 'magnified' images, but they all came up rather blurry on my computer. Would it be possible to send a 'regular' photo of Kiki?

Please take a photo so I can see his whole body. One from the right side, and one from the left side. And a photo from the front.

The mites that cause disease, Demodex and Sarcoptes, are visible under a microscope that is 100X-400X power. Our page on 'Mange' shows a magnified view of a mite.
http://www.organic-pet-digest.com/how-to-treat-dog-mange.html

The photos you took are not that magnified.

Demodex mites are not contagious, and do not cause itching. Sarcoptes mites ARE contagious and cause severe itching, but he would have to be in contact with a dog or cat or human that also has Sarcoptic mange.

You listed the insects and mites found in your house:
- Casemaking clothes moths
- Springtails
- Mites
- Powderpost Beetle
- Carpet Beetle
- Earwigs
None of these are 'pathogenic'. They would not cause the severe itching that you describe in Kiki.

Please see if you can send some photos of KiKi, and I can perhaps give you some more specific suggestions. Or seek the help of a holistic veterinarian that can examine Kiki in 'person'.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.







Feb 10, 2015
Additional Photographs
by: Anonymous

Hello Dr. Tillman,

Here are the best photos I could take of Kiki. He won't sit still and hates his photo taken, besides that, I am a disabled single woman. My friend helped me hold him. I hope these help you. I also will send under separate cover very clear bug photos. Maybe you will recognize one. I am sending them to your wonderful assistant Jeff.

Thanks again I hope we get to the bottom of this. What a great idea for a website. I hope you make a fortune with this as it is well thought out and easy to use.

Tina Williams

Feb 12, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Identify the Vector or Parasite in My Dog's Hair
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

February 11, 2015

Hi Tina,
Your follow-up photos of Kiki came out much better! I can see the thinning of the hair on his temple area. I do not see any hair loss anywhere else. I am not sure if his itching and scratching is limited to his head or if he scratches elsewhere on his body, but does not cause any hair to fall out.

The photos of the actual 'bug' do not look like any mite that I am familiar with that would cause such intense itching as you describe. In fact, the photo of the 'bug' looks more like an 'insect' than a mite, because mites have 8 legs, and I think this one only has 6. Which would make it an insect.

You wrote,
"Here are a few photos of the bugs I see (In my bed everyday) but they are so tiny its like a period at the end of this sentence....From my research most of these look like mites. they are black, white, and red when they have had a blood meal. The same goes for my hair and body."

Mites that cause disease in dogs are actually invisible to the naked eye. They would not be as large as the period at the end of this sentence.

It would be impossible for you to tell what color they were.

My suggestion for Kiki:
1. Bath-- Use a baby shampoo or oatmeal shampoo, one time per week, to 'calm' his skin and remove any dead skin, or irritants.

2. Diet--NO DRY dog food. Feed him either canned or a raw diet. See our page on 10 Best dog food options, http://www.organic-pet-digest.com/10-best-dog-food-options.html. His skin needs the extra moisture found in a canned and/or raw diet.

3. Immune supplements--
1. Missing Link Canine Formula
2. Immuplex from Standard Process
3. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder

And also check out Canine Whole Body Support by Standard Process. It comes in a powder form and is added to the food.

4. Vaccinations-NO Vaccinations! If he is due, please seek the help of a holistic veterinarian to write an exemption form.

A holistic veterinarian may also examine Kiki in 'person' and find something that I am unable to see from a photo. I am just concerned that Kiki may have a depressed immune system, having hydrocephalus and not being completely healthy, so he may be more susceptible to an 'allergic' dermatitis from insects than another dog would be.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Feb 12, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Identify the Vector or Parasite in My Dog's Hair
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

February 12, 2015

Hi Tina,
You might also consider using EVOLV by wondercide.com, which is a natural flea/tick prevention. It is made from cedar oil and would help to kill whatever this insect might be.

http://www.wondercide.com/natural-flea-tick-mosquito-control-for-dogs-evolv/

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



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