Our vets are seeing more and more dogs suffering from Mange at our Mobile Clinics. Mange is a parasitic skin disease, caused by mites burrowing into the skin. Whilst not life threatening Mange is a very unpleasant condition, causing dogs to itch intensely. The scratching results in hair loss, open sores and scabs. In addition to the obvious discomfort and pain, the existence of Mange is likely to result in a significant lowering of the dog’s immunity and resistance to other disease and illness and so the chances of contracting a bacterial infection are vastly increased.
Mange is also highly contagious and is rife in the Philippines, where there are still so many stray dogs living together on the streets, mixing with domestic dogs.
The good news is that Mange can be very easily cured with the right treatment, given at regular intervals. It therefore felt like a natural extension of the IWCT Mobile Clinics for us to set up a series of Mange Clinics and we held our first clinic in the barangay of San Rafael in Tarlac City.
The event was a great success with IWCT Vet Dr Arris and his assistant Manny, treating all the dogs with their first dose of Mange treatment, Ivermectin. They also arranged a second free appointment for one month’s time, to administer the next dose, essential to the successful treatment of the Mange. The aim of these clinics is not only to treat the individual dogs suffering, but also to prevent further spread of the disease.
All of this treatment is provided absolutely free of charge, vital for so many who simply can’t afford to treat their dogs, and it’s only made possible thanks to the generosity of our loyal supporters.
Skinless is one such dog who has suffered terribly with Mange. We met this little chap when Suzanne, IWCT Philippines Director, stopped to talk to his owner, having noticed that his skin looked very sore and his fur was quite bald in patches. Like many Filipino dogs, he was sleeping outside and in contact with lots of other dogs. His owner clearly adores him, feeding and caring for him as best as he can, but he simply cannot afford the expensive veterinary treatment that Skinless needed to help cure the Mange. It was clear that he had been suffering for some time and it was starting to affect his general health, so Suzanne decided to take Skinless to the IWCT temporary rehab unit, where Vet Assistant, Manny could treat the Mange and ensure that he received all the right nutrients and care that he needed.
Skinless now (we did discuss renaming him but he’s used to it now), hardly recognisable with a lovely furry coat and not a scab in sight! We’re delighted to report that Dr Arris has given him a clean bill of health, suggesting that he’s ready to return home to his owner, who can’t wait to have him back. We’re sending him home with a cage and bedding, ensuring that he his own place to sleep, rather than outside, which should prevent the Mange from returning – don’t worry we’ll be visiting him regularly to ensure he stays well. The team are going to miss him enormously, he’s quite a little character!