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identification please? (British Columbia)

J J at NoSPAM.invalid
Tue Nov 19 23:51:28 EST 2002

What follows is my understanding of the events.

In the week(s) prior to the symptoms, my brother had a "run-in" with (I
believe) an 18" tiger salamander, which are rare but not totally unknown
to the area.  He had cuts etc on his legs from working in the woods, and
was cleaning out an old pool liner, where apparently the salamander had
taken up residence.  Brother didn't realize until he stepped
on/accidentally killed the thing.

<snip> Current hypotheses to explain the declines include widespread
infection by viruses, fungi, bacteria or parasites;<snip> 

The pool cover was all cruddy with grey stuff and he was in the process
of scrubbing and washing it down when this happened.  In addition, he
siphoned off the water to an area away from the property, but/and in the
process may have swallowed some of the water. He'd been digging a hole
in his own property and took the now "cleaned" pool cover and inserted
it into his "pool". (hole in the ground)

Some weeks later, he started noticing a feeling like something was
moving through his hair legs/burrowing into his skin.  At first we
thought fleas because it seemed to bother his legs more, but the
description never fit (fleas) and he never could see anything. He
noticed it more at work (since it's a sitting/quiet job) and when trying
to sleep (when inactive). And then severe itching started.  He tried
lotions, anti-allergy medications.
He shaved his arms and legs, so at least the "moving around" feeling (he
hoped) would lessen.

On looking back, he recalls now that sometime after bringing the pool
cover home, the neighbour's dog got into the pool/pool
cover/attacking/eating an animal that died in it (raccoon?).  Brother
thought it was only him for months, until he noticed more recently, that
his neighbor's dog had been all shaved and come to find out that
neighbour/dog had same problems.  The vets/doctors don't have a clue
what's causing this. (My understanding is that they've ruled out lice
and other more common types of parasites, but not totally sure about
this).   Yet my brother's dog, cat and horse don't have same affliction
(at last word). Dave's animals are outdoor animals.  No idea what the
neighbour's dog (indoor or outdoor).

As far as I know, my brother doesn't socialize (other than "over the
fence" type conversations) with the neighbour.  Dave was educated at
McGill in sciences (teacher), but has since migrated to a totally
unrelated job.  For some reason, (perhaps because the other meds didn't
respond), he's now thinking whatever he/they have is coming/came from a
cold-blooded "animal".

Nobody in Penticton seems to have access to a microscope.  He was hoping
to "scrape" some of the "burrowers" off into a jar and have them
identified that way.  So now he's begging me to find someone in biology
(parasitology) nearby who can help to identify what the "little beggars"
are, so he can get expert confirmation to his doctor and get appropriate
human treatment.

Apparently there's no "health unit" in the area.  
Apparently there's no testing place for water (they don't know the
They both might be using spring water from a government property behind
their own properties (with permission).

Does have appointment with dermatologist but due to both the possible
parasite cycles, treatments (which he can't stop because they are
helping somewhat symptomaticaly), and the apparent lack of knowledge of
how to diagnose, the hope of success with a dermy seems pretty slim.

His doctor ran bloodwork and had him supply 3 stool samples in a row,
which came up negative.  But Dave did not stop the Ivermectin for the
tests and hadn't admitted to his doctor that he was taking veterinary
medicine, so don't know if something would have showed up, if he hadn't
been on the medicine and/or the "beggars" aren't in the blood/gastro and
just attacking under his skin, or the tests were done at the wrong cycle
of laying eggs. Or????

Brother lives alone.  
Neighbour and neighbour's dog afflicted, now the neighbour's g'friend is
also having problems.
The neighbour's dog has gotten worse.

Dave's been spraying everything known to man to either kill the
parasites and/or relieve the symptoms.
(rubbing alcohol, javex and calamine).  

The one (and only) vet (that the neighbour took his dog to), prescribed
Invermectin and told the owner to totally shave his dog.  the vet hasn't
identified what the problem is but they've all tried Ivermectin, then
Fenbendazole (Panacur) ... Dave's calculated that over the past few
months, he's taken enough of the (vet) Invermectin and/or Panacur to
<snip>"enough to deworm 50 tons of animal (I figured this out by reading
the label)"<snip>

The description of the "wound" is....  <snip>Small red round wound, then
turns to black, then itchy, then to
a boil with a squiggley black line and pus. Or if I scratch it, I get
scar hard scar tissue... and a constant feeling that something is
burrowing under the skin. <snip>

I have no idea about the neighbour, but brother doesn't drink, nor do
drugs.  If it's hallinactions, then the disease is spreading to his
neighbours <g>
He just e-mailed that he thinks he's identified 3 larval stages and 2
bug stages.  The neighbor's dog is so bad and in pain, that they're
considering having it put down.

I've already provided him with info on parasite specialists in the
Vancouver area and/or Universities, but due to financial and/or job
situations, none of them can go that far away (long drive and/or air
plane), to try to and get this properly diagnosed.  He's not very
computer savvy and/or couldn't figure out how to write down the phone
numbers and call the people, plus calling them may not work, since they
can't see the sores, nor the scrapings (over the phone).

He just today, told his doctor that he's been taking vet medicine, now
he suspects the vets will no longer sell him the medicine and take away
even the meager symptom relief they were giving.  It's causing him much

Any known parasites which come to mind?
Any known biologists/resources in the Okanagan Valley to try and see
microscopically what this is, that's causing this?

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