Lilo and her momma avatar image

Questions ...


I've been coming to this site for almost a year, since my husband and I brought our baby girl, Lilo, home. Now I'm looking for some help - you all seem so knowledgeable.

Lilo turned 1 just before Christmas. We've been dealing with demodex mange/mites all winter. She had a series of five Ivermectin injections due to all the constant itching. She ended up scratching her face raw in places, and then got a secondary infection. That resulted in a round of Keflex. She then seemed to do fine for about a month, and the itching started all over again. Back to the vet we went - another skin scraping and test - round two of the demodex mange/mites. The vet recommended another series of Ivermectin injections. She has so far had 2 of the recommended 3 injections - but is still scratching her face and her ears raw.

I'm concerned about the amount of these injections she has had - as I know that this is a very strong medication. Especially as it doesn't seem to be helping. The vet says the mites are due to the abundance of rabbits around the area, and the fact that Lilo is young and her immune system isn't strong enough to fight them off. She says that Lilo will eventually outgrow this. Do any of you have recommendations regarding demodex mange/mites or treatment? I have seen various posts about supplementing the diet with Ester C and other things to boost the immune system - but I'm not sure what all I should supplement with, what doseages, and if I would give her human supplements or if there are special canine supplements?

Next question - apparently she does NOT have the ear mites - yet she seems to scratch her ears constantly. We clean her ears every few days to every day. About 3 weeks ago we started to wean her from Fromm Puppy Gold to Fromm 4-Star Surf and Turf (mixing a little at at time so she can get used to it - it's grain-free, with the recommended lower protein percentage). Around that same time her ears (especially one of them) started to get extra gunky - brown gunky and was not yeasty smelling at all. The vet didn't seem to think there was a correlation with the food, and it has improved with increasing the cleaning frequency. Any ideas what that could have been caused by?

She also has always had pretty watery eyes, and her eye wrinkles are constantly wet and red/irritated. She doesn't really have the discolored tear stains, the wrinkles just seem to be wet and raw. We do clean her wrinkles frequently - and have tried everything from baby wipes to noxema pads (recommendation from another bully owner). We also have tried Aveeno cream (like Desitin) and baby powder to keep them dry. Suggestions at all for what we should do for this?

Lilo does get coconut oil daily - in the morning and evening (she LOVES it - drools as soon as she sees me get it out haha). I'm wondering if we should consider allergy testing at all? We have tried giving Benadryl, which seems to help some.

I know a lot of you are huge advocates of feeding raw, I just don't think we are ready to try that. Also - do any of you know of a good bulldog vet in the Hudson, WI or Twin Cities (MN) area? We really do love our vet - but she isn't necessarily a "bulldog" vet.

Sorry for the extremely long post!!! I welcome any and all suggestions, as we are at our wits end with what the right things to do are.

Lilo and her momma

(Sorry no pics - can't figure out how to add them.)


I would seriously consider finding a new vet.  Demodex has nothing to do with rabbits in the vicinity where you live. However,  It does apparently occur when immunity has been stressed, and you are right to try to build up her immunity.  I hope others who have experienced demodex chime in soon with the remedies that worked for them.  My daughter rescued a mixed breed puppy who had it and I believe he got the treatment your vet prescribed for you girl with good results, but he was under 3 months old when it was diagnosed (he had rabies vaccine at 2 months that probably stressed his immunity)

You are feeding good foods, but the ear issues could be due to allergies, and perhaps you should change to a food with different protein--give it a couple of months to see if things seem better befrore you switch.

Watery eyes could be due to entropian, distchia or nothing specific.   Keeping the area dry is difficult but essential to heal the rawness.  Clean with your baby wipes, but make sure the area is dry before applying the diaper cream.   I think Desitin works well though they don't like the smell and be sure none gets in the eye.  And, avoid doing it too often--everyday may be too much.  Perhaps NeoPolyBac Opthalmic ointment will help--at least it's soothing--but get from vet or get prescription for it.  . 

Good luck!

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture


I will 2nd Micki on the Demodex not having anything to do with Rabbits. That is ridiculous! It has everything todo with a compromised immune system, vets (especially holistic vets) will agree.

I had one I had with Demodex. We used oral Ivemectin, not shots, 6 weeks, rescrape every 2 weeks until gone. All fixed up in those 6 weeks, never a problem again. Did you give the rabies shot at 16 weeks? That it seems is a big trigger for demodex. We advise to wait until 6 months for the rabies shot.

Definitely switch her to adult food, I would have done that when she was 4 months old. If you have to ask, could the food be a correlation to the yeast problems...then I think you have answered your own question. While Fromms is a good food, every dog is different and you have to keep trying until you find the right food that works for your dog, the protein source is key. Try to find a food with a sng protein source, around 24-26% protein grain-free.

Raw is great, prepackaged is a great way to start. But it to does not work for all dogs. Most of the time my dogs faces are white as can be, then I'll get tear stains and some stinky faces.

Definitely boost her immune system. You can try something like Missing Link or Seameal. But like dog food you have to find what works with your dog. At a minimum I would be giving salmon oil or cod liver oil or something like that, start slowly.

Watery eyes ruled out anything that is medical. My Ester had watery eyes and wet face for years, now at age 5 she doesn't seem to have as much of a problem with watery eyes, but the white does get very red. Opthamologist said it is allergy related, I think it has a little to do with my gas and electric heat in the winter, drying out her eyes. It drys me out.

Coconut Oil is great , but it doesn't have the Omegas they need.

If you have a chance check out Doctor Karen Becker's website and newsletter. She is also on FB.

Lilo and her momma's picture

Thank you

Micki and Deb,

Thank you for the replies!  I just made Lilo an appointment with a new vet, who has a special interest in bulldogs.  I'm looking forward to hearing what he has  to tell us.  I can't remember how old she was when she had her rabies shot - I'll have to look at home tonight.  I'll definitely check out Dr. Becker' s site!  Do you just give the salmon oil on their food or as a treat?

Thanks again!

Lilo and her mom's, Randee

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Salmon Oil

I like the Wild Salmon oil and I usually buy a doggie brand (ie Grizzly Salmon Oil) but any brand is probably fine. I get mine from my raw co-op group and buy it by the gallon. I prefer the liquid in a pump bottle, just squirt on the food. Statr slow, it may cause loose stools if too much until she gets accustomed to it.

Glad you have found a vet the has an interest in bulldogs. There are many that are very anti-bulldog.