Max, a one year old French Bulldog was discovered by Jamie’s Rescue at Miami Dade Animal Shelter after being abandoned. A regular client of Dr. Shapiro, Jamie brought Max to the clinic for a full evaluation. As his photos indicate, Little Max was a bit worse for wear when he came to our door. In addition to other ‘expected’ challenges that we anticipate with abandoned animals, little Max had many other things going on. After his exam (and a some extra love from Dr. Shapiro’s technician, Dalila) Max was diagnosed with demodex (mange), a deep ulcer in his Left eye and viral papillomas.
Demodex is a collection of tiny parasitic mites that live in or near the hair follicles of mammals. It is a common infestation for dogs and diagnosed by analyzing a small skin sample under a microscope. A dip, which includes a highly concentrated insecticide, is most often used to treat demodex however in some cases drugs like Ivermectins can be used. In each case, supervision by a veterinarian is highly recommended because of the potential for side effects.
For Max’s demodex, Dr. Shapiro prescribed oral medication which, while treatment would span several weeks, started the healing process immediately. However the ulcer in Max’s right eye would prove to be more challenging. The viral papillomas growing on his face were too close to his eyes and were obstructing the ulcer and causing additional irritation. With no room for medication to access the area, no healing was possible. Max was in need of some intensive care. But, before that could begin, the papillomas had to be addressed.
One treatment for papillomas, is to remove the growths and begin antibiotic treatment; such as azithromycin which has been shown to hasten resolution of papillomas. Since the ulcer in Max’s eye was covered by the papillomas removing them was the necessary next step. Additionally, Max was an intact male so a routine neuter was on the list. Since the demodex was localized primarily to his head and upper body surgery was possible sooner rather than later.
Dr. Shapiro and Jamie decided to hospitalize Max to begin treatment. After a day of medical treatment, surgery was scheduled. Dr. Shapiro performed a simple neuter and then went to the task of removing all of the papilloma masses from his eye, his mouth and his face. His recovery from surgery was smooth and for the next 2 weeks Max was our guest, undergoing intensive isolated care which included hourly medications for his eye, intense antibiotic therapy and pain medications.
After 14 days of treatment by our dedicated day and night crew, Max looked like a new dog. While his spirit stayed high throughout his stay his skin and eyes were now on the mend. His outside were now more reflective of his puppy like attitude.
Today, Max is nearly fully healed. He has continued treatment for the demodex and continues to stay away from other dogs while the papillomas resolve but he is by all other accounts: back to normal and looking for his fur-ever home.
It is always a pleasure to be able to see the recovery of a pet that just needs some TLC. Time, love and compassion paired with great medical know how works wonders. We are so pleased with his progress and so happy to highlight him as our June Patient of the Month!
* images on blog may be graphic
* images on blog may be graphic