I saw Mrs. S from Flower Hill with her dog Taylor last month. He was brought in because he was scratching his belly and ear tips. Having seen so many skin lesions in 30 years as a veterinarian, I knew immediately that these areas of hair loss looked a lot like scabies. Scabies is caused by a microscopic parasite called a mite. Any skin disease caused by mites is termed mange, but the question was how did Taylor get mange?
It’s common in puppies from pet stores, breeders or shelters, but Taylor has been living the good life in Flower Hill for five years. Scabies was a type of mange we saw more often ten years ago. It can be passed from foxes as well. We definitely saw more foxes back then, but recently they have made a little bit of come back in our area. After further questioning, Mrs. S said she saw a fox in her yard a few weeks back.
BINGO! It all fit. Skin lesions, scratching, a fox sighting and scabies. Another case of being Sherlock Holmes. The treatment is simple, an injection of ivermectin. A month later at his recheck, Taylor was back to normal with a full coat of hair.
As always if you have any questions, call us at 729-1130.