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I'm looking for opinions on breeding dogs that had demodex as puppies.

I've researched some, and opinions appear to vary greatly. It seems everyone agrees that cases of generalized demodex should not be bred. Some say dogs that ever show any demodex should not be bred. Others say if it is localized demodex (one or two spots) that clear up on their own, it's okay to use them in breeding. And then there are a few that say demodex is not genetic at all and wouldn't matter for breeding purposes.

I'm mostly curious about cases where as a puppy there was an isolated case of demodex that quickly resolved itself. Would you breed such a golden? Would you get a puppy out of such a golden? (this of course assuming that all other aspects of the dog were outstanding). Do you think most reputable breeders out there would breed those dogs? For those that do, do you think they openly share that their dogs had demodex as a pup, or something they consider not important.
 

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aka Ali, Oscar's mom
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I knew nothing about this so I googled it LOL...

What is the reasoning for thinking it is in any way genetic? Isn't it just a parasite? Is there thought to be some genetic susceptibility in some dogs?

Or is it that once a dog gets it, you can never get rid of it...? (And it would be passed on to any offspring because of... contact...?)

I'm interested to hear the responses to your questions!!
 

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My Jasper had Demodex as a puppy. I had already had him neutered as part of his medical as a foster. My vet said that his mom should not be bred again. I don't know if that would carry over to him if he hadn't been neutered. But there is some sort of passing it on from moms to puppies at least, according to my vet.
 

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I've done tons of research on demodex, so I'll field this one.
All puppies that are born naturally and/or nursed have demodex mites, so it is assumed that they come from the mother. Puppies who are born via C-section and hand raised do not have demodex mites.
If the puppies get an isolated patch or two of demodex (called localized) before they are 2, it's considered routine due to an immature immune system. These puppies can be bred, as long as the demodex was a one-time occurance and cleared up on it's own.
Puppies who get a more severe case, called generalized demodex, or a case between their toes, should NEVER be bred, and their parents should not be bred to each other again.
This is because it is believed to be a flaw in the T-cell production, which makes it difficult or impossible for the body to fight the demodex mites. This is not a case of an immature immune system; it's a defective immune system.
Demodex in older dogs is normally the symptom of an underlying systemic problem, although it can be idiopathic in geriatric dogs.
 

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I've done tons of research on demodex, so I'll field this one.
All puppies that are born naturally and/or nursed have demodex mites, so it is assumed that they come from the mother. Puppies who are born via C-section and hand raised do not have demodex mites.
If the puppies get an isolated patch or two of demodex (called localized) before they are 2, it's considered routine due to an immature immune system. These puppies can be bred, as long as the demodex was a one-time occurance and cleared up on it's own.
Puppies who get a more severe case, called generalized demodex, or a case between their toes, should NEVER be bred, and their parents should not be bred to each other again.
This is because it is believed to be a flaw in the T-cell production, which makes it difficult or impossible for the body to fight the demodex mites. This is not a case of an immature immune system; it's a defective immune system.
Demodex in older dogs is normally the symptom of an underlying systemic problem, although it can be idiopathic in geriatric dogs.
Pretty much what I have always been told, although I have yet to seen localised demodex after the age of 6 months or so, and never between the toes (that was kind of new to me!).

Generalised demodex can be a terrible thing for a dog to have.
 

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I've seen it in young labs as late as almost 18 months old.

We've been fighting demodex in my 12 year old Toby for 2 years now. It's because he's missing his spleen, which is where the antiparasitic T-cells are produced. He's on ivermectin (liquid) one week out of every 3, which for the most part keeps it in check, although every so often it will bloom up again. The worst is if the skin infects, too....luckily, since he was first diagnosed we've been very aggressive in treating it and we haven't had any recurrances of the infections :crossfing.

The between the toes form is the hardest form to clear up.


Pretty much what I have always been told, although I have yet to seen localised demodex after the age of 6 months or so, and never between the toes (that was kind of new to me!).

Generalised demodex can be a terrible thing for a dog to have.
 

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So, it is nothing different about the mites themselves that leads to a serious/ongoing case, but rather if the dog is unable to fight them off, they are a signal of a serious [genetic, or old-age-related] immune problem in that dog. (Right?)

All puppies that are born naturally and/or nursed have demodex mites, so it is assumed that they come from the mother. Puppies who are born via C-section and hand raised do not have demodex mites.
Did you mean ALL puppies have it? Or OF the puppies that have it, they would NOT be C-section/hand-raised dogs (but rather natural birth/nursed). So if the puppies get it, it means mom has immune issues because she otherwise wouldn't have had the mites herself... therefore she shouldn't be bred again.

Thanks for all the info!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
From what I understand, virtually all dogs have the mites, and it is the problem with the immune system causing the dog to have a reaction that is inheritable.

So, it is nothing different about the mites themselves that leads to a serious/ongoing case, but rather if the dog is unable to fight them off, they are a signal of a serious [genetic, or old-age-related] immune problem in that dog. (Right?)



Did you mean ALL puppies have it? Or OF the puppies that have it, they would NOT be C-section/hand-raised dogs (but rather natural birth/nursed). So if the puppies get it, it means mom has immune issues because she otherwise wouldn't have had the mites herself... therefore she shouldn't be bred again.

Thanks for all the info!
 

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Is th3 dog being considered so umbelieveably outstanding that s/he just must be bred? Personally, I would choose to err on the side of caution.
 

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Yes, you've got it exactly right.
All dogs (and humans) have mites of various sorts of mites all the time. The immune system keeps them from growing into a colony large enough to show symptoms.
It's the ones who end up with symptoms that are of concern, because the immune system is not doing what it is supposed to do. This can be because of young age ( in the case of localized, one time only infestation)or generalized, which usually indicates a flawed immune system because of either genetics, old age, or an underlying major systemic problem (i.e, cancer, cushings, etc.).
Furthermore, because demodex mites are considered a normal resident on all dogs, they are not considered contagious. You can't give a dog something they already have.


So, it is nothing different about the mites themselves that leads to a serious/ongoing case, but rather if the dog is unable to fight them off, they are a signal of a serious [genetic, or old-age-related] immune problem in that dog. (Right?)



Did you mean ALL puppies have it? Or OF the puppies that have it, they would NOT be C-section/hand-raised dogs (but rather natural birth/nursed). So if the puppies get it, it means mom has immune issues because she otherwise wouldn't have had the mites herself... therefore she shouldn't be bred again.

Thanks for all the info!
 
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