Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dealing with Pests – and Gypsy Mutts*

Aside from my little adventure with the hijacking of my blog and email accounts, I’ve been dealing with the two gypsy mutts* having a case of demodectic mange. This is the mange that affects puppies that have been weaned and whose immune system becomes deficient. When I’d first gone on the road fulltime, I tried to foresee as much as possible of potential problems. So I took with me a couple of books written by veterinarians, one of which I found a real treasure, “The Nature of Animal Healing”, by Dr. Martin Goldstein. He advocates boosting the immune system rather than administering a highly toxic remedy to the puppy.

So for the past month, the girls got a couple of heaping teaspoons of ground linseeds a day. I couldn’t find the linseed oil at the natural food store in Tequis, just the seeds. Once a day, they ate a sardine or two mixed with their puppy dry food. I also added real meat and vegetables to their dry food. When out of sardines, caps of cod liver oil went down the hatch of each. To be on the safe side, Queenie got the same treatment. I had bought a systemic treatment that had been recommended but chickened out at the last minute. It was so toxic that to administer it you have to wear gloves. AND… it kills fleas, intestinal parasites, demodex mites, and any and all living things that the puppy might harbour! I wonder what it would have done to their already weakened immune system! In the morning and at night, I put a mild disinfectant on each patch and covered it with Vaseline. More on Vaseline further on.

Anyway. . . I’m delighted to report that the scaly patches have now gone. Hair is growing where it ought to grow and in the right colours! What itching they had is now a thing of the past. Wow!

Now as to Vaseline. I once had a couple of foster children, two sisters aged 6 and 3, who arrived at my house totally infested with LICE. The nits were so numerous that their black hair appeared salted with dandruff. It wasn’t though. Those nits hung on tenaciously. After a few weeks of trying all remedies on the market, the pests kept re-appearing. I was both desperate and angry so I decided I’d choke the life out of those pests PERMANENTLY. I copiously spread Vaseline on each girl’s hair, neck and ear areas at night and covered it with a shower cap overnight. The next morning, I sprayed Pam on their hair and worked it through real well to soften the goo. It took two or three shampoos to get rid of it all. The result? Their black hair looked sooo luxuriant and was finally and totally FREE of lice and nits. The problem never returned.

As to the gypsy mutts*, if the diet had failed to work, I would have resorted to Vaseline before trying the highly toxic remedy. I probably would have had a hard time catching them and holding onto them long enough to give them a shampoo or two but it would have been worth a try.

* This would be Gypsy Mutts as in Wandering Puppies.

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