This week, I had a very low moment. Not only was it a low moment, but it turned out to be a very sobering life-learning experience that has caused me to step back and re-think procedures as we move toward our permanent LoveyLoaves home at the SC Sanctuary.
We had committed to taking Casper, a beautiful one year old Pit with Demodex. This gorgeous pup knows commands, is crate trained, good with kids and pets, and had been raised in a family setting prior to being surrendered to the shelter. She couldn’t be adopted from the shelter due to the Demodex, which is why we were asked to take her.
We spend most of our time doing rehabilitation for back injuries so we are new to Demodex, although through formal education I know it's not contagious to humans or pets. In researching treatment protocols the evening before we picked up Casper, I ran across some information that boggled my mind. Demodex is not contagious except under one condition. It is contagious to humans with compromised immune systems. I have lupus.
I was diagnosed five years ago, and my immune system is suppressed meaning I'm susceptible to pretty much anything and everything. So I contacted our lead veterinarian to ask her opinion about taking Casper, and as I feared, she felt that it was too risky for me personally to be around Casper unprotected because there is no way to know how contagious she could be to me. She even recommended that someone else transport Casper until she was well on her way to healing.
I just knew, knowing my extreme lack of luck, that I would be the one person in the universe to contract Demodex from a dog. My heart sunk. Everyday I deal with my physical limitations, and for the most part I have learned to deal with the reality that I can’t and never will be able to do everything I want to do. Usually I can listen to my body and get through whatever it is that I need to do. This however seemed too great a risk. I was frustrated, sad, and ANGRY. I went through several hours of rationalizing how I could make it work, but as the primary person that transports for LoveyLoaves, we just didn’t have any options and knew that I couldn't put my health at risk.
Luckily for Casper, another rescue stepped up to take her. Wonderful, but it didn’t change the despair that I was feeling. As the day wore on, I began to clear my head and move forward to look at the bigger picture for LoveyLoaves Rescue as a whole given this revelation about dealing with dogs with skin conditions. We will take this as the learning experience it is and make sure to include procedures for the sanctuary.
Right now, LoveyLoaves needs volunteers that are willing to help us with dogs suffering from skin conditions including Demodex. They will need to be able to transport to and from the vets office and provide the daily care needed. So if you are in the central Florida area and willing to foster or help out with a dog with skin conditions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.