When Aimee Shaw first saw photos of Morena in November 2019, she had no idea what color the dog’s hair or eyes were. That’s because the pitiful stray was almost completely hairless, with her eyes matted shut from infection.
Shaw, president of Shaw Pit Bull Rescue, says the pup was found close to Mississippi’s Columbus Air Force Base.
“We were pretty maxed out for space, but when we saw the photos, quickly made room and made an immediate appointment at our vet.”
A Dog In Need
Morena’s skin was pink, thickened, and covered in weeping sores. Luckily, she had come to the right place. Shaw Pit Bull Rescue is dedicated to saving abused, abandoned, or neglected American Pit Bull Terriers. At the time, Morena seemed to fit all three categories.
“Morena was only about six months old, covered in mange, shabby sores, bacterial and yeast infections, and her eyes were completely matted shut.”
The veterinarian diagnosed Morena with a severe case of demodectic mange. Demodex skin mites are common in homeless and neglected dogs and can become quite serious if left untreated, as in Morena’s case.
Demodex is not transmissible to humans or other dogs. Puppies typically get it from their mothers in the first few days of life. With pups’ weak immune systems, the mites are able to reproduce freely, causing hair loss and thickened skin, especially around the face, legs, and eyes. While Demodex isn’t terribly itchy like some skin mites, Morena suffered from secondary yeast infections that caused her to scratch sores into her skin.
Shaw Pit Bull Rescue’s veterinarians set about treating Morena’s skin with medications, special shampoos, and medicated dips. They also began a series of eye drops to reduce swelling and infection. Despite their best efforts, Shaw feared it would not be enough.
“We weren’t sure if Morena would be able to see,” she said.
A Beautiful Recovery
Recovery from demodectic mange is a long road, but after months of loving care, Morena’s hair began to grow back, revealing a lovely brindle and white coat. Better still, her eyes opened, and she regained her sight!
Morena was adopted in late August 2020, but sadly, her story was not over yet. She was picked up by animal control almost two years later and returned to Shaw Pit Bull Rescue. Aimee Shaw has chosen not to focus on the details of how Morena ended up on the streets again. She’d rather put her efforts into finding this special dog a new home—the right one this time.
“She is a great little girl!” Shaw said. “She gets along with other dogs, she loves to run and play, and go for walks around the farm. She also loves to gnaw on deer antlers and play with ropes. She’s very sweet, and super smart.”