Taco is a sweet 5 year old Pug who has been visiting the veterinary team at Vetwest Armadale-Byford since 2016. Taco’s Mum rescued him when he was about two years old, with skin issues in tow. Taco’s skin increasingly got much worse and he became very uncomfortable with his condition. Taco lost all the hair on his face, chest, legs and belly and took on a leathery appearance in some areas.

His condition was concerning for vet Dr Andrew, so he performed tests to try and identify the underlying issue. Skin scrapes were taken to identify any micro-organisms living within the skin. The test revealed Taco had demodectic mange which is a form of mites. These nasty mites cause a lot of inflammation, redness and itchiness to the skin, all signs that Taco was showing. The demodex mites make their home in the hair follicles of dogs (giving the alternative name of ‘follicle mange’). Taco’s problem started when the rapid reproduction of mites caused the follicles to become inflamed and causing the hair to fall out. This is why Taco’s most obvious symptom was a drastic loss of fur. However, hair loss and inflamed skin are not the only things that demodex mites can cause. The mites are also capable of disrupting the immune system. If that were to happen to Taco, he would be vulnerable to a host of other diseases unrelated to mange, which can complicate things a lot more.

Dr Andrew decided the best way to treat Taco’s mange would be to give Taco weekly injections of a macrolide anti-parasitic and antibiotic oral medication. This treatment would require Taco to get one injection once a week for ten weeks, along with medicated baths and oral medications to help beat the mites and soothe Taco’s inflamed and itchy skin.

Throughout his treatment, Taco was the most courageous dog. His skin began to improve significantly and his fur started to grow back. Follow-up care included skin scrapings to continually test for the presence of mites and to check the treatment’s progress. We continued Taco’s treatment for several weeks even after the mites were no long present. To continue protection, Taco was recommended a year-round anti-parasitic which is effective against mites and preventing mange. Taco has since joined the Vetwest Total Wellness Plan and he now receives all of his anti-parasitic treatments in the mail as they’re due. The unlimited consultations included in the plan also are a great benefit for Taco and his mum with his ongoing treatment.

We’re so happy to report that Taco is well on his way to having his full coat back! However, due to the severity of his condition there is still a long road ahead for his recovery.

Taco is a great reminder of how important it is to see your vet if you notice any changes in your pet’s skin or overall health. Regular vet checks and early diagnosis can help reduce discomfort and suffering for your pet.

Thank you Taco for being an outstanding patient. We look forward to seeing your continual improvement! From all the team at Vetwest Armadale-Byford.

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