The Chronicles of Hermione Granger Reed

This blog is devoted to my puppy dog Hermione, chronicling all developments in her life, humorous, trying and otherwise.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Hermione's ear scratching has finally been definitively diagnosed. She has sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies. What this means is that a tiny little parastie, scientifically known as the notoedres mite (see illustration) has burrowed under her skin and set up shop. The Vets missed it initially because most mangy pets have a lot of hair loss (I'm presuming from the scratching), and Hermione has only a tiny bald spot on her right ear. But Dr. Dust, super-Vet that he is, was determined to solve the mystery of her scratching, and so found the notoedres mite itself under her skin: definitive proof that she is a mangy mutt. He suspects (and, as Debbie will confirm [since she saw the condition of the "rescue" from which I rescued Hermione], he's so totally right) that she's had this since I adopted her: it takes awhile for the symptoms to begin to show, and mange is the kind of ailment that dogs who live in close quarters with other dogs tend to have. But after she completes her treatment (which just involves putting a topical ointment on her every two weeks for six weeks total), Dr. Dust predicts a full recovery!

That's the good news. The bad news is that the treatment takes up to a month to work, and can, in fact, make her itchiness worse before it gets better. Why? The medicine works by killing the mites, and the proteins in their decomposing bodies (ick) aggrivate the itchiness. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do to allay the itch. With one exception: a lyme sulfur dip. So you can stop the itching only if you are willing to deal with the overpowering rotten-egg smell of sulfur. That's a tough call. We'll see what becomes more valuable to me: sleep or preserving my nose from such an assault.

With all the technical stuff out of the way, it just remains for me to say that this diagnosis is hilarious. My dog has mange! That's too funny. Even funnier? So do I. Mange is communicable to humans, though it doesn't seem to result in full scabies (where the mites start reproducing and spreading). Instead, the mites burrow under your skin and then just fade away, but it has left me with a bunch of red bumps over my arms that get somewhat itchy when I'm warm. Funnier still? On Thursday, when the red bumps were particularly inflamed on my right elbow, I drove up to Chicago in order to attend a reception for those admitted to Harvard Law School. That's right. I went to a Harvard Law School reception, held at the very swanky W Hotel in downtown Chicago, full of successful, well-off Harvard Law School alums dressed in their corporate finery, with mange. The grew-up-poor, lived-in-a-trailer-park, huge-chip-on-my-shoulder part of me thinks that, in the history of class warfare, this might be the best--or at least the most hilarious--campaign yet waged. Shake my mangy, mangy hand corporate lawyer, and do it with a "We Hope You Come To Harvard" smile on your face.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm itchy.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a great puppy! I can't wait until she's feeling all better. poor Hermione. But she's still so happy.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this ear thing is gross, but I should tell you that I went to a vet in Seattle who suggested we hold an amethyst crystal up to Stubby's ear in order to get rid of ear mites. Woo woo dog medicine is _the best_.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why, I can't help but wonder what's going on with Hermione these days?

3:04 PM  
Blogger Hermione's Mom said...


Had you given me the crystal advice before the mange medicine had started working, I would totally have tried it. When one is at wits end, the magic of crystals starts to seem wholly plausible. After all, I read my horoscope religiously (if that's not an oxymoron), and so have been known to put a fair amount (too much?) stock in more occult modes of knowledge.

I wonder what the Vet would say about my own endless parade of illnesses? Perhaps I should start putting crystals up my nose to head off any prospective viruses. Wow--I just realized that I basically said I should start snorting drugs. Maybe that Vet was onto something after all...

11:11 AM  
Blogger Hermione's Mom said...

And Mr. and Mr. Henry James,

I just realized that my last comment validated your Draco/Harry's nose Horcrux theory. Maybe *you're* onto something, too.

11:12 AM  
Blogger KC said...

Please tell me mange is communicable between humans or, rather, from human to lawyer! :)

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sister's dog had it really bad and the smell was awful. Good part is her dog is better, bad part is, the smell never left my nose. I guess I have mange inside my nose..

8:09 PM  

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