Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mangy Mutts are Manageable!

Hats off to yet another volunteer/foster parent with Mostly Mutts! Amanda Smitherman, a Kennesaw resident, takes dogs that come into our system that sometimes aren't the most pretty dogs.  Mandy fosters some those who have bad cases of mange and she has a special place in her heart for these specific babies.

Mandy relates that there are two kinds of mange that any pet lover needs to be aware of.  The first is non contagious and is referred to as demodectic mange.  This type of mange is caused by a sensitivity to the Demodex mite; the pet's immune system is unable, for whatever reason, to keep the mites under control.  Healthy dogs will rarely exhibit symptoms but dogs who are stressed, malnourished,  or immuno-comprised will show the signs of such mange with inflamed skin and hair loss.  Obviously, any dog that is a stray will be stressed and most likely malnourished so this is why a lot of Mostly Mutts dogs are often treated for mange.  Dogs with the non contagious mange do not have to be isolated, can be around other pets and humans and are often treated with Ivermectin, a liquid that is usually squirted into their morning meal.  It takes several months for their hair to fill back in, sometimes longer than those with the contagious form of mange.

The other form of mange, know as Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious to animals and humans.  This is caused by a burrowing mite that digs into and through the skin causing intense itching and crusting that can quickly become infected.  Hair loss and skin damage occur from the dog's constant scratching and biting.  Any dog with sarcoptic mange needs to be isolated and handled with gloves.  They are treated with the same medication and after about three weeks can be around other pets and touched.  Hair from this kind of mange fills in quickly.

Mandy has fostered dogs with both types of mange and says that they are not a lot of trouble.  The medicine is administered in the morning and occasionally she will need to give the dog a medicated bath, depending upon their condition.  When she has kept a sarcoptic dog, she used old bedding that could be thrown away and cleaned the kennel with a 10% beach solution.  She also recommends that you take them out to a different area than your other pet for at least three weeks. 

Mandy has fostered Hugo, Ebert and Dusty, all with mange although Dusty had the more severe form.  Mandy says the best thing is how much they appreciate being loved on after being isolated and miserable.  Thanks Mandy for your special love for these needy dogs!

What about you?  Are you interested in being a Mostly Mutts foster?  For more info visit our'll be glad you're making a difference! 


  1. Mostly mutts rescues the dogs other rescue organizations won't touch! There is a lot of love in Mostly Mutts!

  2. I love the before and after pictures!