Look into those beautiful eyes! This is Goose. He is a nine month old Basset Hound mix, and he was truly the sweetest dog I photographed today. Even with that adorable face, he doesn't look so handsome right now, does he? Goose has what is called demodetic mange, also called demodicosis, or just plain demodex. It's caused by the microscopic demodex mite.
Goose is a prime example of a dog that could really benefit from fostering. According to Wendy Brooks, DVM, "Most dogs live in harmony with their mites, never suffering any consequences from being parasitized. However, if conditions change to upset the natural equilibrium, such as some kind of suppression of the dog's immune system, the demomex mites may gain the upper hand." It's also not contagious to other dogs, humans or cats in normal circumstances. Lord knows, I loved all over this boy today! From my research, there seems to be no singular cause of a demodex outbreak, but research shows it flares up when stress is placed on a dog's immune system. Think a dog's immune system can be stressed in a shelter environment? You betcha. Wouldn't you be a tad stressed out if you were a dog or cat in a shelter with hundreds of other animals, waiting for your forever home?
Do you know one of the easiest ways to help a stressed shelter dog de-stress? Adoption or foster! Getting a dog like Goose out of the shelter environment will decrease his stress and, therefore, increase his immune system, giving him what he needs to fight the disease and get back to being his beautiful, adorable self. Can you imagine how handsome he will be when he's recovered from demodex, and his beautiful shiny coat returns?
You can foster or adopt Goose by visiting Animal Care and Protective Services at 2020 Forest Street, Jacksonville, in the Riverside area. Goose's ID is A891892. Visit ACPS on Facebook here and on the City of Jacksonville website here. Goose and many other wonderful dogs and cats are waiting for you! (Thanks to ACPS Shelter Manager Jen Walter for sharing this article with me to learn more about demodex.)