I've seen a very entertaining phenomenon, and it is a little like sweet and sour sauce.
When we pull dogs from the shelter, as I've mentioned before, they come with a lot of baggage. Usually it is the assorted ticks, fleas, and worms. Even the occasional heartworms. But sometimes we get poor, itchy souls with mange. Most of the time a dip or two, some benzoyl peroxide shampoo, and a little Benadryl does the trick. This time we got two special cases.
For months we have have fostered Phoebe, a very sweet, rather laid back and smallish Siberian Husky, B/W with brown eyes. Very smart girl. She has Demodex mange, which is the non-contagious type. We have done dips, shampoos, antibiotics, special oils, and several special diets - even dosing her with Ivermec. All to no avail, she just is not responding. We took her for a second opinion, and upped her Ivermec and Benadryl, and now she seems to be making a little progress. Aida soaks each of her feet in Epsom salt solution for five minutes twice a day to clean up the nastiness that has grown between her foot pads. Poor girl, but she is showing signs of recovery.
At least Phoebe has most of a coat, as short and thin as it is. Our second girl is Dyani. I drove halfway to the coast to meet her and take her home. She was taken from her owner as a neglect case. Oh my, what a site. And smell. She was eaten up with demodex mange, with open sores scratched raw all over her body. She was actively bleeding from multiple spots! I could see that she is a woolly husky, the type that is really fluffy - just like my first Husky, Kiko.
Dyani is a sweet girl, but she was very afraid of new people, especially men. She did well enough in the car ride, but did not want to have anything to do with me. A few trips to the vet and the bathtub later she was doing better, but you could tell she was just not comfortable.
Our favorite groomer, Susan (http://home.earthlink.net/~housecallgrooming/) came out and shaved Dyani down so just the fur on her head is left. Really silly looking. But it got the air onto her wounds. By the next day, she looked 100% better, and her wounds all closed up in no time at all.
Unlike Phoebe, Dyani is responding to her treatment VERY well. You know you feel good when...
Which leads me to the phenomenon I've seen. When we bring in an ill, scratchy, unhappy dog, they tend to be sullen and low-energy. Then, after some treament and socialization, they "wake up" - life is GOOD! They don't just feel better, they smile, they dance, they run, they jump, they play like they never have before. It is such a joy to see them loving life.
You know they're feeling good when they jump onto the bed at 2:00 AM to play. I AM NOT FEELING GOOD - but she is. What's a little sleep among friends? Aye, that's the sweet and sour of it.
Dyani is feeling GOOD. Jumpy silly playing spinny howly good. At 2:00 AM. Two nights in a row. Time to set her biological clock back to doggy standard time. And grow that wooly coat back out!