a peek inside the fishbowl

05 Nov, 2014

Mitey dog

Posted by andrea tomkins in: dog stuff

Piper didn't have a good day

Piper’s had some health issues lately, poor thing, but she’s on the mend.

It’s a long story, so I will share the short version. Piper has a ragweed allergy. For the past three years she’s been on medication called Vanectyl-P that we give to her during summer/fall season. A few weeks ago we started winding her down, lowering the dose until she was off of it completely. Last week we noticed she had these little scabby pimply things on her back. They didn’t seem itchy, but they didn’t look great, so we brought her to the vet’s.

He wasn’t sure what it was at first. He suggested a round of antibiotics and a skin scratch test just in case she had mites. The test came back, and guess what, she had mites! (As an added bonus I got to see what they look like under the microscope and I can say with certainty that it is truly a repulsive parasite. Do yourself a favour and do not do a google image search.)

Some mites are a normal kind of thing, but Piper was hosting her own Demodex population explosion. We think that the Vanectyl-P was the cause of this, but the vet can’t confirm this. Anyway, all this to say, she is on two different medications, a special shampoo, and will be going back for another scratch test in the month. And then another one the month after that.

You can only imagine how much money we’ve had to shell out so far, but if there’s a silver lining, it’s this: the mites are not contagious, nor can they be transferred to people, and Piper doesn’t seem to be overly bothered.

I wonder if she’s been enjoying the extra attention lately?

Want your dog to take a pill? Wrap it in cheese.

Piper snoozes

2 Responses to "Mitey dog"

1 | Brenda A

November 6th, 2014 at 3:53 pm


You have the absolute cutest dog. She exudes personality and her wiry hair is adorable. Reminds me of my youngest daughter. ;)

Hope Piper is better soon!

2 | peter goold

November 6th, 2014 at 4:24 pm


Our Sydney is also on Vanectyl-P and has ongoing skin problems similar to what you are describing! Strangely his problems arise as we wean him from the medication. There must be a connection. We have been told that the medication is diminishes the dogs immune system. Glad Piper is doing better!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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