Meet Rita

How old are you Miss Rita?

I am 4 1/2 yrs old & thats mommy’s best guess. She picked my birthday as April 29th because she’s a April baby too!!

Where did your name come from?

My moms friend has a rescue, Odessa Rescue & Rehabilitation, and she heard about me after I was picked up wandering the streets and wound up at BARCS in MD. I had sarcoptic mange and a skin infection. Moms friend came and sprung me out and got me all better.

More on sarcoptic mange:

taken from http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/c_dg_sarcoptic_mange?page=2#.UOUcE-Q0WSo

Hair Loss Caused by Mites (Canine Scabies), or Mange in Dogs

Sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious skin disease found in dogs, caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. These mites will burrow through the skin causing intense itching and irritation. The scratching that results from mange is what causes the majority of the animal’s hair to fall out. This is a treatable medical condition, but is highly contagious for other animals and humans. Pet owners are advised to keep the dog quarantined while it is being treated for mange.

Symptoms

Intense scratching
Skin rash
Crust formation in the affected area
Hair loss (alopecia)

Causes

The most common cause of mange in dogs is exposure to another infected animal, as the mites quickly move from animal to animal. Kennels, animal shelters, dog parks, groomers and veterinary clinics have a high exposure rate of mange due to the close proximity with animals that are infected. The exposure generally occurs about two to six weeks before the first symptoms of mange are displayed.

Diagnosis

After ruling out food allergies, chiggers, and bacterial infections of the skin (folliculitis), your veterinarian will conduct a physicial inspection of your dog to identify the type of microorganism that may have embedded into its skin; in this case, mites.

Treatment

Dogs that have a non-seasonal form of sarcoptic mange will likely be treated with a scabicide — a drug that kills the itch mite. In some cases, the animal will be dipped in a scabicidal shampoo to kill all of the mites living in its skin. Ongoing treatment is necessary to kill all of the mites as the eggs will take time to hatch, and most treatments do not kill the eggs, only the living mites.

Living and Management

Complete response to the therapy may take between four to six weeks. Also, because of how contagious this type of mange is to humans and other animals, it is recommended you limit contact with the dog. In extreme cases, quarantining the animal may be required.

Humans who do come into contact with a dog infected with mange may develop a purplish rash on their arms, chest or abdomen. The issue will typically clear up once the dog with mahas been properly treated.

Prevention

There are currently no known preventative measures for sarcoptic mange.

Do you require any extra care because you are naked?

I do, to keep my skin protected much like you protecting your skin. I have a wardrobe bigger than mommy’s. My cloths help keep me warm, protect me from the sun and from getting scratches when playing with my fur-siblings. Mom gives me massages with coconut oil a couple times a week and puts lotion on me when needed to keep my skin from getting dry and itchy.

Does anyone know why you are naked?

No, but there is a lot of speculation. Here’s a part of my bio that my mom wrote about my nakedness. “As for her beautiful nakedness (which I love) we have tried all sorts of things, she was spayed – hoping it might be hormonal, no hair. Tried many supplements over the yrs along with grain free kibble, no hair. Had her thyroid checked along with a CBC and urine, all normal. The skin on her back is almost marbled in its scaring and we wonder if someone may have poured something on her trying to kill the mange but instead burned her and damaged her skin, maybe its because she went untreated for the mange for so long AND/OR she was born this way.
*UPDATE* (11/3/12′) She recently had an appointment with a Dermatologist who thinks it may be due to her being exposed to the sun & having poor nutrition when she was on her own and that the hair follicles are dormant (remember she was picked up as a stray in MD and no clue how long she’d been on her own). Per the Dermatologist we tried Melatonin 3 times a day along with another medication which has an “off use” of hair growth for just over a week BUT I had some mixed emotions & was really torn on continuing the meds or not. After many talks with her dad, we decided to take her off the meds as she’s medically healthy, happy & not to mention very well loved. After all being neekid is part of what makes Rita, RITA! ”

What is your favorite thing to do?

Hang out with mom, sleeping, sun bathing and going for rides in the car with my mom.

Do you have any brofurs or sisfurs you live with?

I sure do!!! My sister & 1 of my brothers came from the same rescue as I did, how kewl is that!!! My other brothers Mommy & Daddy adopted from a kill shelter.

Do you support any rescues/shelters?

YES! A shelter & a rescue saved my life! BARCS in Maryland is the shelter I ended up at and then my moms friend who has a rescue pulled me from there & got me all better. Her rescue is Odessa Rescue and Rehabilitation located in Richmond, VA.

What would you like to say about rescuing/foster/adopting pit bulls?

Rescuing, fostering and adopting pit bulls is awesome, any dog for that matter! If you are unable to adopt fostering is an amazing thing to do to help save lives while not making a life time commitment. There are so many, many puppies and dogs dying in shelters waiting for their forever home that never comes =( . Fostering a dog is such an amazingly rewarding experience, you get the opportunity to SAVE A LIFE! How awesome is that! Mommy fostered a lot of puppies and dogs when she did rescue and she can’t say enough great things about it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Please spay & neutered your pets. Shelters are over flowing with perfectly healthy animals that are killed every single day because there are just not enough homes. The only way to help with this massive problem is by spaying and neutering your beloved four-legged baby/babies. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Author’s Note: Many many thanks and pibble kisses to Miss Rita and her mom for answering my questions. Photos were used with permission. Visit miss rita on facebook.. or at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rita-the-Naked-Pit-Bull/359167900823272