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When it comes to dogs, Jim sure knows how to pick ’em!
He “found” a puppy under a dumpster near his work, took him to the vet to get checked out, and brought him home for us to nurse him back to good health (and keep).
We named him Destin. This photo shows how well our rescue dog cleaned up and grew into a happy and healthy Black Lab / Golden Retriever mix.
When we found him, the vet diagnosed Destin with 2 health issues:
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a blood disease obtained from a tick bite, similar to Lyme Disease. For the most part, its effects simply linger in the dog’s system — as is similar with Lyme Disease. So we may never know how it eventually presents itself in Destin’s health, aches, pains, or behaviors.
By the way, I have Lyme Disease. We later had Destin checked for Lyme Disease (yes, dogs can get it too), and he tested negative. Whew! We were so happy that we didn’t have to add yet another issue to this poor dog’s health history.
We’ve had so much fun with Destin since the day Jim brought him home, that we find it hard to believe this cutie was just a “dumpster dog”!
We All Got Scabies!
Fast forward a couple weeks after we brought Destin home and started him on treatment, and I too was diagnosed by our family doctor as having Scabies!
It’s not all that surprising that I got the same rash from the mites as our mange-infested, itchy new puppy — especially since I spent every day and every night holding him and bathing him and caring for his itches and ailments from the day we brought him home. Jim was a little more hands-off during this time. (Smart!)
Scabies mites can affect humans, as well. A swift diagnosis of sarcoptic mites is vital to the pet’s health and the well being of the pet’s owner. Generally, in healthy humans who are not immune suppressed, the Scabies Mites do not reproduce very readily and may simply “go away” without medical treatment. If you are in doubt about human cases of Scabies, consult your physician. Source
Unfortunately, Destin passed this dreaded itch onto our other dog, Jersey, as well.
So at one point, all 3 of us were each receiving different phases of the treatment — over the course of 2 long months. Ugh!
Some interesting facts:
- The mite known as SCABIES, SARCOPTIC MITES or SARCOPTIC MANGE are highly communicable little bugs that actually dig tiny tunnels into the skin where they cause intense itching, inflammation and hair loss.
- The microscopic mite that causes scabies can barely be seen by the human eye. A tiny, 8-legged creature with a round body, the mite burrows within the skin. Within several weeks the patient develops an allergic reaction. This results in severe itching, often intense enough to keep sufferers awake all night.
- The rash and itch are much more widespread than the location of the mites.
- The rash is extremely itchy (and often called “the itch ” or “the seven-year itch”) and can be difficult to diagnose. It can affect both humans and animals.
Scabies Treatment Summary
Destin battled the dreaded itch mites from the day we brought him home (May 21st) until a week after his last of 3 shots to rid his body of the tiny mites on June 13th. Throughout the process, he lost a lot of hair and was forever scratching.
Then, I caught Scabies from him and had to go to the doctor on June 12th to begin treatment. (There’s a body cream that makes it better almost overnight.)
Finally, only 2 weeks later, Jersey came down with Scabies on July 1st.
And then, believe it or not, Jersey passed the itch mites back to Destin again! So that meant yet another round of treatment was in order for the poor little guy.
It was a miserably itchy summer…
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Update
There are still no symptoms showing up in Destin from the blood disease (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever), so he might just be a carrier rather than being inflicted with the painful disease.
Check out this video from Animal Planet: Monsters Inside Me – Scabies Mites And The Itch.
I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about "outside the box" Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner — currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I've always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians — whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what's 'normal' and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog — how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I'm not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've written over 500 articles for dog owners on this site!