12/07/2013 01:11 pm ET Updated Feb 06, 2014

Mites Turn Overbred Pug's Skin Black


In September, Charity, an 8-year-old Pug and Georgia, her 2-week-old pup, were dropped off at the Downey Animal Care Center in Downey, Calif. Charity arrived in horrible condition. The first thing you couldn't help but notice was her skin. Her skin was black, crusty and hardened. A severe case of demodectic mange had slowly festered and finally overtaken her entire body. Every inch of her body was crawling from the infestation of demodex mites.


She was slowly withering away. At only 11 pounds, her ribs protruded from her skin and her eyes bulged. All the while, the sickly, timid mother tended to baby Georgia, nursing and licking her. Miraculously, Georgia, aside from being slightly lethargic, seemed relatively unscathed. Charity had provided her daughter with everything her body could muster to keep her pup alive. She was successful at keeping her pup alive but was slowly deteriorating herself.


Pug Nation, a non-profit rescue based in Los Angeles, Calif. pulled the two pugs from the shelter where they were taken to a veterinarian for medical evaluation. Their story unfolded. The veterinarian said it was "the worst case of mange" she had ever seen to "the extent where it bordered serious neglect." Charity likely came from a backyard breeder who left her outside her entire life. The breeder finally disposed of her when it was clear that she was too sickly to produce or producing sick puppies, and too expensive to medically treat.


Blood tests turned up poor nutrition for a long time, compromising her immune system and leading to this ongoing condition of mange. She not only had demodectic mange but she also had a yeast infection and rotting teeth as well. She had been living in this condition, without medical attention for months, if not years. All the while, she had been forced to breed.


Married couple Sarah and Ian of Pug Nation fostered Charity and Georgia. Charity was immediately put on a nutritious diet. Georgia received a soft baby blanket to sleep on. Finally on the inside of a warm home, both mother and daughter were able to rest and heal.

Since Charity was still nursing Georgia, treatment for her mange could not be provided; nevertheless, the healthy diet proved essential in her recovery. Within weeks she gained weight, her hair grew back. Her shy personality evolved into the sweet, cuddly personality she has today. Throughout the process, she continued to dote on her only pup, nursing and nuzzling her for reassurance.


Three months later, both Charity and Georgia have nearly recovered. Now that Charity is no longer nursing, she will begin her mange treatments. Mother and daughter are now inseparable and do everything together; from eating together, sleeping together, nuzzling one another and as luck would finally have it, they have been adopted together.


Charity and Georgia will be going to their forever home this holiday season. The lucky family lives in Colorado.

If you are interested in adopting a pug or donating to Pug Nation go to the Pug Nation Website and "like" them on Facebook.

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