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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!
My name is Lisa and I'm new here. My fiancee are the beloved owner of a 6 1/2 month old boxer boy, Debo and almost 3 month old bullmastiff girl, Jass. We also have a 8 year old son.

I wanted to give the board a little background as well as ask the board some questions about the concerns I've had regarding Debo. I'm a very protective mama, and he's been through alot at his young age! I have alot of questions :)

We've had Debo since he was 8 weeks. At almost 6 months, he was diagnosed with demodemic mange, of which we were treating with the liquid antibiotic and tablet pills for about 5 days until he disappeared from our back yard and went missing for 10 days :( We were frantic searching for our little guy, only to find him in the shelter, looking horrible as ever :( He had lost 4 pounds (very ribby looking), mange was much worse, and seemed very depressed. They wouldn't release him unless he was nuetered, so after that was done, we were able to take him home. They told us not to feed him that entire day, even though he hadn't ate since the prior day (and when we went to visit, they had fed him and he just kicked the bowl - wouldn't eat).

We took him to the vet and got him back on his meds. It's been 2 weeks and he's looking much better. The first few days, he seemed so "zoned out", but now he is back in true form, eating better (although he's a picky eater at times) and mange is looking so much better.

My first question is about the mange:
Will the demodemic mange come back? Is it hard to treat?

Secondly his weight,
Has his absence and stay in the shelter (not eating, losing weight) stunted his growth? At the time of him missing, he was 40lbs (just 6 months), we found him 10 days later at 36lbs. He's now at 42 or 43lbs and 6 1/2 months. It seems a bit underweight compared to the weights I've seen for puppies his age. You can see his ribs. His mom was mid 60's and his dad was 75lbs.

On another note, panting:
We've noticed that he pants quite easily. It's like he can't catch his breath. We mostly keep him inside, but keep it very cool (74), as well as give him alot of water, and this will be just after going up and down stairs, playing with our other puppy, going on a walk, getting excited. It's like he's overweight man that is out of shape! He does this for an extended period of time. It just seems excessive.

One last note, eating:
I'm currently feeding him Hill's Science Diet. I've recently heard this is not so good? We also feed him pedigree canned puppy food (chicken). Any recommendations for foods? I feed him canned food in the morning, dry food at lunch and canned food in evening. Also, when should we switch to adult dog food?

Thanks so much!
Lisa
 

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Sorry for all your issues with your young dog.

I will first start on the nutrition list since that is my thing.
Yep, not a good diet, and if you switch to a human grade kibble you will see an improvement in his coat, even with the mange.

See the whole journal dog food thing I think is stickied in the nutrition section.  http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/

Also at 6 months I would transition him into two meals a day.  Most of the human grade kibble is all life stages so you will not have to worry about when to switch from puppy to adult.

As for the pedigree canned, I would switch that too.  Me personally am not a fan of canned but if need be there are others out there that are better.  I prefer to use add in when I fed kibble such as cottage cheese, frest fruits and veggies and lean proteins.

My dog pants a lot she is in top shape, and I think its just related to elevated heat conditions.  So not too sure on that one.  Just monitor closely and make sure you do not see a lathargic dog and pale gums.   Make sure the water consumption and the food is regular as well as the bowels.   To me I am not worries unless I get something in connection with the panting.  However, next time you are at the vet, i would mention it, just to have them listen to his heart:)
 

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Welcome Lisa and you will definitely find lots of great information here under the different forum topics, just take your time and browse through.  However, there are some really informed people on this site so don't be afraid to ask.
 

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Hello and welcome.  :)   So sorry you are experiencing all of these things with your baby. To answer some of your questions, Demodex can come back, but I've never come across a dog that got it again after being thoroughly treated for the demodex. But it can happen.
Losing 4 pounds while he was on his little journey should not stunt his growth at all.
On the panting issue, boxers are considered a Brachycephalic breed, which means their mouth and nose areas are significantly smaller than longer nosed breeds. You probably notice that your boxer will pant more than a longer nosed breed. It is very easy for a boxer to become overly heated and suffer heat exhaustion. That is why boxers do not do well as outside dogs. They just can't tolerate the heat or the severe cold. At your next visit just have the vet listen to his heart and see if they hear anything. You are in Texas, so no doubt it is quite hot there this time of the year.
Check out the thread in the diet and food tips section on the recommended foods to feed your boxer. That will give you some tips on what you can feed. Good luck with all of these issues, and welcome again!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You guys are VERY helpful. Thanks so much. I'm going to make the diet changes for him ASAP. Also, will the constant change of foods make his stomach upset? I've heard that they don't deal well with change, or is that only for the younger pups? You guys are great :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
what multi-vitamin do you recommend? any good ones at petsmart? i'll probably stop there tonight.
 

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When you switch to a human grade kibble there really is no need to supplement with a vitamin. They should be getting all the nutrients they need from the food.
 

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Welcome! :) Your kids are adorable - please do share more pics of them as you are able to get them!

Demodex (AKA "red mange") is tricky. It is hereditary in the sense that the weakened immune system is passed down from the parents, but that's about where it stops. The old way of thinking was that the dam passed mange to her puppies. . . Well, that's partially true - the dam does pass the mite, as do other dogs, however, she does not pass the actual condition of the outbreak to the puppies in any sense other than she passes on the weakened immune system and the propensity toward outbreak (oh, and so does the sire - it's a recessive trait that comes from BOTH parents ;) ). Anyway, all dogs carry the demodex mite, however, the individual animals who have weakened immune systems are prone to outbreaks. This is why we commonly see mange cases in shelter dogs and rescues - stress lowers the immune system, which causes mange to become generalized.

There are two "types" of demodex mange. One is called "localized", which is characterized by small spots about the size of a dime, usually appearing on the anterior (front) part of the dog. Generalized mange is the much more severe form that spreads to other parts of the body and causes the more uniform hairloss. Localized mange can become generalized mange 1) if the immune system is unable to respond and fight it off itself or 2) if left untreated.

Dogs with localized mange that goes away can grow into their adult years and never see a recurrence, however, puppies that have experienced generalized mange are likely to battle it throughout life.

Many vets used to recommend treating mange by "dipping" the dog (bathing in a chemical solution called "Mitaban"), however, many strongly recommend against this form of treatment, as it is thought that the chemicals further depress the immune system, making the dog more prone to the cycle of constant outbreaks. Instead, many choose to treat via oral Ivermectin for Generalized cases and some have had success using topical Goodwinol for Localized cases.

On weight, it isn't uncommon for boxer puppies to be ribby, however, given that he's had a stint in the shelter, I'd work on trying to increase his weight *slowly*. This can be done by starting with smaller food amounts and slowly working him up to the recommended feeding amounts. It is best not to stress the system further by bombarding it with the full amount to start. Just go slow and work him up to it.

Excessive panting can be caused by a number of things. Boxers normally pant more than other breeds because of their Brachycephalic (shortened) muzzles, however, if you notice that he's panting while at rest in cooler environments, you'll want to have him seen by a vet. Boxers are also prone to a few heart conditions - Ahrrythomogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy, Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Sub Aortic Stenosis being a few. When the heart isn't functioning properly, the rest of the body isn't being adequately supplied with oxygen, so the respiratory system over compensates by working harder (hence the panting).

Science Diet isn't a very good food, however, I'd get some of the other issues taken care of prior to switching his diet. If he were my dog, I'd probably maintain his diet at present in attempts to get his weight up while get the mange under control, figure out the cause of the shortness of breath second, and then consider switching his food last. To change his diet now may stress his immune system further and cause a recurrence of the mange. After he's better, you can switch him to adult food at any time. Many, including myself, don't feed "puppy diets" under the assumption that wild canid pup don't eat differently than do wild canid adults.

On the aside, shame on the shelter for neutering a demodex puppy. I'd NEVER put a mange puppy under anesthetic - this clearly was not in the individual dog's best interest - but what's done is done.

Hope this helps!
 

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Welcome.  Sorry  to hear of your troubles.  My rescue boxer, Isabella, suffers from Demodex.  she was owner surrendered because of this issue.  She underwent a 2 month treatment @ the rescue with liquid Ivermectin. Had 2 negative skin scrapes & then we received her.  During treatment she was fixed.  About 1 1/2 wks after we picked her up, she broke out again.  just a small patch on her face.  My vet is treating it pretty aggressively, Ivermectin diluted with something every 4 days, bath & mitiban dip once a week.  I'll never do the dip again...seems way too harsh.  There is a product at www.PetsBestRx.com that I will try if another outbreak occurs.  
Highly recommend a good quality dog food, probiotics & digestive enzymes.
Keep us posted
Sorry for rattling on :)
 

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Your kids are adorable and welcome to the forum.  As for the food stuff, I highly recommend Authority's Harvest baked brand.  Awesome food and a lot of dogs love the taste of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you. Alot of GREAT advice! :) We go back to the vet in a week and a half to do a skin scrape for the mange, hopefully it's all gone. His skin has really cleared up using the Ivermectin. We're keeping our fingers crossed. When we go, I also plan to ask about the panting. I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Aw thank you :) Kiah is precious as well :)
 
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