“He had bite wounds all over his head and neck, most likely from coyotes. Instead of fur, his frail body was covered in sores and scabs..”
In late June, Banzai (a 1.5-year-old black pug) was found abandoned on the border of a ranch outside the city. The kind person who found him delivered him straight to Noe’s Ark Animal Hospital so that APARN could get him seen ASAP. He had bite wounds all over his head and neck, most likely from coyotes. Instead of fur, his frail body was covered in sores and scabs from untreated bacterial and yeast infections, and his ribs were clearly visible.
A quick skin scrape revealed he was suffering from demodex mange mites. Demodex mites live on most dogs, but it is when the immune system is compromised that they are able to flourish. They cause the dog to itch, and hair loss follows, due to excessive scratching, licking, or disruption of the growth of hair follicles. Poor Banzai was so infested with demodex, there were actually mites in his poop, a result of him licking his skin and ingesting the mites.
Banzai was started on a treatment plan that included antibiotics and daily medicated baths to kill the mites and give his immune system a boost by getting rid of the infections. He was also started on ointment for dry eye, as he had extremely low tear production in both eyes.
Progress was slow, just because his condition was so severe. Thankfully, he started feeling much better long before he started looking much better.
Several months later, he had grown a lot of fur back, and a skin biopsy confirmed the mange was gone. However, it also confirmed some “follicular atrophy” had taken place, meaning he was unlikely to ever grow in a lush, full coat of fur.
Banzai is still in foster care, and attends adoption events, hoping to meet the right family to continue his care. His coat is sparse, and there’s a good size bald spot on the back of his head. He still gets medicated baths twice a week, as well as his daily eye ointment. He will likely require the eye ointment the rest of his life.
I think because he felt so bad for so long, it made him a little more mellow than other pugs his age. While he enjoys spending time with other pugs, he absolutely does not like bigger dogs, and sometimes has hesitation around smaller non-pugs.
With or without a lush coat of fur, Banzai is a survivor and a very sweet pug. His beautiful dark brown eyes seem to plead, “Won’t someone love me?”
Ways you can help rescue pugs like Banzai.
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