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Some Of This May Sound Familiar To You
We were trying to watch TV one night when Belle was about two, but her constant biting and scratching was nerve-wracking. Her skin was red, where she was biting it, but otherwise she seemed fine. We tried all sorts of distractions but there was nothing we could do to make her stop.
Within days her coat was patchy, and she had angry red splotches spreading across her back legs. She was chewing, gnawing and whimpering night and day. She went from a sleek beautiful dog to pathetic mess with patches of bald, raw skin and painful self-inflicted sores. My dog was eating herself up!
The vet said it was allergies. Belle got antihistamines, steroid shots and antibiotics. I ended up with a fairly stoned dog that still kept me up at night with her biting. She literally ate holes in herself. It was never-ending cycle of more drugs, secondary infection, allergy tests, special allergy shots. More steroids. Sedatives. Antihistamines. Antibiotics. Special shampoo. Creams.
I was in and out of the vet’s office so much that it began causing problems with my job. I spent thousands and was prepared to do whatever it took but one day the vet said, “Look, we’ve tried everything. It’s going to be a chronic problem. You’re either going to have to live with this, or put her down.”
Somehow I made it home. I couldn’t keep watching my dog suffer, but thoughts about putting her to sleep were heart wrenching. No way.
Laying in bed that night it hit me. She wasn’t just scratching; she was trying to dig something out of her skin! Suddenly I realized with unwavering certainty that this wasn’t due to oak pollen. I got up and I started digging! For answers that is. There had to be a reason for such intense itching and I was sure I could turn up something to stop the insanity.
Night after night my wife & I researched like crazy - dog skin problems, allergies, ticks on dogs, dog mites, skin diseases, rashes, hot spots on dogs, fleas and microbes. I’d read about mange but moved on quickly. “Mange? No way!” Now, finally I had to admit it. The symptoms were a match. Everything made sense. Belle had Sarcoptic mange. After I swallowed my ego, I learned that mange isn’t some incurable plague or that it happened because of neglect. Mange is really a very common condition.
There’s a lot of information out there about treating mites, some bad, some good and it took some time to sort out the truth from the hype. I saw many heart-wrenching photos and realized that mites can really hurt your pet if left untreated, so I researched every remedy out there.
What I found was scary. Cayenne pepper? Pesticides? Lemon juice? Mouthwash? Motor oil? Really? The most often promoted option available was Ivermectin, something I didn’t want anything to do with. I respect my vet and continue to use him to this day, but I didn’t want to put a drug made for cattle into my dog. Especially when the drug wasn’t tested or approved for treating mites and from what I could tell at the time, didn’t always work. So I pondered, researched and didn’t sleep much. Finally it started to come clear. After ordering enough ingredients from around the world to warrant a visit from the postal inspector, we began formulating and testing concoctions on ourselves, and then on Belle.
The sores were gone within a week, and then in another week I saw signs her hair was growing back! Belle’s swelling and redness improved within hours! She finally slept that night. By the next day it was unmistakable the healing was already well underway. I seemed unbelievable, but the sores were gone within a week, and a week later her hair was starting to grow back!
She was a new dog by the time I took her back to the dog park. Another ‘regular’ had something that looked the same thing. His owner was interested in Belle’s story so I brought her a supply. Another success story. She jokingly called it ‘Mite Avenge’, but the name stuck.
The nightmare was over and the adventure of sharing this natural treatment began. And just so you know, Belle’s response is THE reason I named my company Happy Dog! ~Pete Blews
Postscript: This started out simply enough until my wife got involved. Help dogs? Get out of the way. She took over like a woman on a mission! Happy Dog Naturals is a woman-owned company now and rightly so. The products and knowledge base she's developed are amazing and the formula is so much better now. I am proud of what she's done to help dogs around the world.
This is hard
Our beautiful sweetheart has passed. Belle was 15 when we helped her cross over the Rainbow Bridge. She was a touching dog and she touched so many 2- and 4-legged hearts. Ours will never be the same.
It is because of Belle that thousands of dogs around the world have recovered from mange and that Happy Dog Naturals even exists. She was the sweetest soul and we've tried to model a compassionate company like she would if she was running things. She lives on with every dog she continues to help. ♥