Saturday, March 16, 2013

No Show

See his bald spot? That's NOT sand.
Jedi's first dog show will not be the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida specialty show next month. I'm disappointed. There are several reasons: I haven't been practicing like I should, the Greater Orange Park Dog Club cancelled the fun match that was scheduled for today, and worst of all, Jedi has demodex. It's not bad, but the egg-sized bald spot is on his left side -- the side that will face the judge in the ring!

I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject. I can give you a dozen different links to medical blogs -- but I won't! What I gather is that demodex, sometimes called demodectic mange or "puppy mange," is not uncommon and is not contagious. We're treating it with ivermectin (the heart worm medicine) though many sources recommend doing nothing because most times demodex clears up on it's own. The demodectic mite is ever present in the environment and all dogs have the microscopic buggers crawling on them -- eeewww. Normally the dog's immune system keeps the mites in check and nobody's the wiser. When bald patches appear it means there's an autoimmune or antibody deficiency. Young dogs, old dogs and sick dogs are most susceptible to demodex. What's frustrating me the most is the question: does/should demodex keep me from breeding Jedi? I can't find a clear answer. Some say that the autoimmune/antibody deficiency is hereditary and I should not breed, period. Others say that demodex is common in puppies and I shouldn't worry about it unless it continues into adulthood. I don't plan on breeding Jedi soon -- if ever -- but I would like to get a definitive answer. Any thoughts? -- K