Quarry Hill Park Animal Hospital – Rochester Minnesota

Dog and Cat Health Care by Quarry Hill Park Animal Hospital | Rochester MN

MANGE!

April 10th, 2013 · Comments Off

Since Quarry Hill Park Animal Hospital has seen a flurry of Scabies mange cases in the last few months, I thought it time to write down some thoughts on the matter.  Please give us a call if your dog has suddenly started itching and scratching lately–it may not be just allergies!

 

SCABIES

 

The word “MANGE” is enough to make most people shudder.  When a dog has “mange”, it means they are infected with microscopic creatures known as mites.  There is more than one type of mange, but this discussion focuses solely on scabies mange (fancy name:  Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis), a highly contagious, intensely itchy skin disease.

 

What does scabies mange look like?

No dog is immune.  Any age or breed dog can be infected.  Cats, on the other hand, are thought to be resistant, although a few rare cases have existed.  A dog can be infected any time of year.  In a multi-dog household, multiple pets are usually affected.  One can start before the others, or be more affected than the others.    

 

Hairloss, crusting, and irritation often begins on the elbows, ear tips, “ankles”, chest, and belly.  With disease progression, the entire body will get affected.  A common finding is heavily crusted ear tips, with healthy ear canals.  A history of sudden onset, intense itching not responsive to steroids is classic for scabies mange. Affected pets scratch, lick, and bite themselves like crazy. 

 

How did my dog get mange?  I’m not a dirty person.

You don’t have to have a filthy house or yard for your dog to contract mange.  Sarcoptic mange is extremely contagious, and is easily contracted from direct contact with an infected dog, or indirect contact with fox feces, mite infested fur, or crusts in the environment.  A variety of canine species are affected:  fox, wolves, and coyotes.  If wildlife crosses through your yard (think “urban expansion”), or you take your dog to the dog park or any other location where lots of other dogs visit, any of these places could be potential sources of contamination.

 

How is Scabies Mange diagnosed?

Here lies the problem.  A superficial skin scraping is the “official” test used.  A surgical bladed is scraped back and forth to collect the superficial layer of skin (and hopefully some scabies mites or eggs) and examined under the microscope.  If big fat scabies mites (I think they look like sumo wrestlers) show up, then—great!—you’ve got your diagnosis.  If the slide is “negative” (no mites seen), scabies is still quite possible because skin scrapings are positive in only 20% of cases of scabies disease.

 

Therefore, patients are often treated for mange if they present with a history and lesions highly suspicious of scabies mange.  A history of sudden onset, intense itching nonresponsive to steroids is classic for scabies mange.   Often the diagnosis of scabies disease comes later—after a favorable response to treatment.

 

How is scabies mange treated?

Treatment of scabies mange has improved greatly since the days of amitraz or lime sulfur dips, which were prone to unpleasant side effects and treatment failure.  Today, scabies mange is typically treated with injections of ivermectin (the same drug used to prevent heartworm disease, but at a much higher dose), every two weeks for 3 total treatments.  Except when a case has been chronic, then more injections may be necessary.

 

Treatment becomes less straight forward when herding dogs are involved—such as Collies, Shetland sheepdogs, old English sheepdogs, Australian shepherds, or any crossbreeds.  Herding breeds can carry a genetic mutation which makes them intolerant of numerous drugs, including ivermectin.  A blood test can determine if an individual carries this mutation.

 

Interceptor (milbemycin) was safely used in collies with scabies mange until the company stopped making it.  As of April 2013, Sentinel (milbemycin + lufeneron) is supposedly making a come-back. For the sake of scabies treatment and heartworm prevention, let’s hope the rumors are true. 

 

If the skin lesions have become infected or heavily crusted, oral antibiotics and medicated shampoos may be necessary to treat secondary bacterial infections.

 

Usually, improvements in comfort and skin coat are seen within 1-3 weeks after starting the ivermectin injections, but it can take longer for full resolution.  Reinfection is possible if the patient is repeatedly exposed to scabies mites.  In these cases, preventative treatment with topical Revolution (selamectin) is recommended.  This is yet another drug that can’t be used in many Collie-type herding breeds.

 

All in-contact dogs need to be treated.  Again, cats are thought to be resistant.  Dermatologists typically recommend to only treat cats who are showing signs of scratching, hairloss, and skin irritation.

 

Scabies mange is zoonotic, meaning that people can get it.  Since we are poor hosts for these mites, they usually die off quickly, but some people can be severely affected, either due to hypersensitization or immunosuppression.

 

Opinions on whether or not the environment needs to be cleaned vary between dermatologists.  In my opinion, since scabies mites can live up to 3 weeks off the hosts in crusts, and people can be affected (although they often aren’t), I recommend thoroughly cleaning the environment to remove any possible contamination.  It just makes sense to me to do a good job mopping and vacuuming to avoid prolonging the discomfort of the pets and to potentially avoid the discomfort of the humans in the household. 

 

-Dr. Ann M. Anderson

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RECALLS GALORE…

April 2nd, 2013 · Comments Off

Just a note.  I try to repost any recalls immediately onto our Facebook page, so that is a much better site to look at for recalls.  But for right now, I’ll list a few below:

 

natura:

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm345971.htm

jones:

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/2013/03/jones-natural-chews-product-recall/

iams:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=196265&p=factset40

 

the FDA website is also a good place to check on any particular item for recall information- Dr. Ann M. Anderson

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PUPPY MILL BILL – from the Post Bulletin

March 18th, 2013 · Comments Off

Here is an article I wrote regarding the “puppy mill bill” that is being considered in the MN legislature this year.  To further explain exactly WHO would be affected, the term “commercial breeder” is an individual who owns ten or more sexually intact breeding stock and produces more than five litters a year for profit (cats and/or dogs).  Since this bill only addresses “commercial breeders”, it truly is intended to affect larger breeders.  Smaller breeders would not need to be licensed or inspected.  Right now, the present laws only involve animal control officers AFTER there has been a complaint.  Due to the presence of “brokers” (middle men), most people never see the actual breeding facility, so are unaware of the living conditions endured by the parents/breeding stock.  Therefore, this avoids any possible complaints that may be then investigated by the officials.

I stand by my opinion that this bill is worthy of consideration, and that it should not adversely affect responsible breeders.  Puppy mills are the target.  My hope is that this legislation is acted upon in a responsible manner, and those truly at fault (the puppy mill owners) will be prosecuted.  I fully understand that even responsible breeders may worry where this legislation is leading.  Let’s do this fairly and reasonably.  There is no need to go after breeders who do a fine job, respecting the animals under their care, and providing the public with healthy, happy dogs of a specific breed.  They are doing nothing wrong.

In my years as a veterinarian, and even before vet school, I have worked with shelters and the pound.  I have treated seriously ill puppies from puppy mills and petrified, unsocialized adult “cast-offs” of shut-down puppy mills after the law stepped in.  This cycle needs to end.

 

http://www.postbulletin.com/life/lifestyles/pet-vet-buyers-choices-can-collar-puppy-mills/article_92c01dad-2bdd-523c-99e2-9526e6eed450.html

Some people don’t even know what a puppy mill is.  I’d like to change that.

- Dr. Ann M. Anderson

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“ASK THE VET” THE HIDDEN DANGERS IN YOUR PURSE

February 17th, 2013 · Comments Off

This video does a great job of warning pet owners about potential toxic substances hidden in their purses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifvsyIM5NnE&feature=share&list=PL8EE4860055FDBCA4

please call with any questions- Dr. Ann M. Anderson

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WATCH OUT FOR WEIGHT LOSS IN CATS

February 2nd, 2013 · Comments Off

Here’s my latest article in the Post Bulletin:

http://www.postbulletin.com/life/lifestyles/pet-vet-don-t-wait-to-consult-expert-if-cat/article_c8f6b01d-2b20-5ad0-8434-15d7c0ec452d.html

- please call with any questions or concerns- Dr. Ann M. Anderson

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FINALLY, A JERKY TREAT RECALL

January 9th, 2013 · Comments Off

After all this time (and all this hype), there is FINALLY, FINALLY a jerky treat recall…but not for the reason you expect.

http://purina.com/meet-purina/about-us/important-notice

- please call with any questions- Dr. Ann M. Anderson

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PET POISON HELPLINE–GOOD INFO ON ANTIFREEZE

January 7th, 2013 · Comments Off

It’s a good time of year to repeat the warnings about antifreeze.  Here’s a link discussing regular (contains ethylene glycol) antifreeze poisoning:

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/antifreeze/

Here’s a link discussing the “safer” type of antifreeze (contains propylene glycol), which can also cause signs of illness, although less severe:

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/propylene-glycol/

-please call with any questions- Dr. Ann M. Anderson

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PET VET HELP PETS ENJOY SAFE HOLIDAYS…

December 22nd, 2012 · Comments Off

http://www.postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1518620

A seasonal safety newspaper article written by Dr. Anderson.

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THE TIME HAS COME…ANTIFREEZE WON’T BE SWEET ANYMORE

December 18th, 2012 · Comments Off

Finally, finally it’s happening.  From now on antifreeze will contain an agent to make it taste bitter instead of sweet.  Wouldn’t it be great if we never had to worry about antifreeze poisoning in pets or kids again?  That would be truly wonderful.

http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/Veterinary+news/Antifreeze-manufacturers-agree-to-add-bittering-ag/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/800041?contextCategoryId=378

- Dr. Ann M. Anderson

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NOVEMBER IS DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH

November 24th, 2012 · Comments Off

To celebrate this event, I wrote an article on diabetes in pets for the Post Bulletin:

http://www.postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1515716

- please call with any questions- Dr. Ann M. Anderson

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