Rampak treatment - June 2000
Around the middle of June a friend sent me a story about a gentleman in Germany that had some amazing results with a treatment he "invented". Unfortunately the article was in German, so another angel entered Taka's life and that was Gabriella Smith. She took the time to translate the article (see: SA Treatment) and also served as an on-going translator between the author, Michael Rampak, and myself.
Michael's "treatment" was not breaking news - it was basically an oil bath. Several parties, including my dermatologist, told me they were ineffective, messy and time consuming. But looking at Michael's treatment it was different from what I had seen before so I certainly felt it was worth a try…what did I have to lose?
Michael had great success with his dog, Bushi. One of the most startling things was that the horrible lesions Bushi had were gone! He was healthy and had a fairly good coat of fur. The downside was that all of the products, except olive oil, were difficult to find here in the United States.
Taka's coat was so brittle at this point I figured I could surely try the treatment. So it began, first with olive oil and then with pure mineral oil, all the while Gabriella translated instructions to me from Michael.
The first treatment was on June 25, 2000. I took photos of the well-oiled dog and began a page of comparison photos shot every week in the same position. Michael's process was fairly straightforward. Coat the dog with oil, let it soak in for two hours, and then bathe lightly, twice, with a mild shampoo. He recommended Editerm shampoo and Humilac conditioner both made by Virbac in Europe. It took a little doing but I finally found both items at a veterinary supply. In the meantime, I continued with the Primal Defense, Moducare and all the other supplements.
The first treatment was a breeze - poor Taka didn't have enough hair to "soak" and it was not much different that rubbing oil on myself. We killed two hours by taking a walk, playing with toys and finally he took a nap in the kitchen (on a thick palette of sheets!)
The following week I did notice a difference in his hair. It was much softer, and his skin more supple. While the treatment was messy even this little improvement was worth it, so I pressed on.
We stayed with the routine every two weeks - oil, soak, bath. I often wondered if I was being cruel to him until I finally realized he enjoyed it! When I start the oil process I put him on a large tarp outside and roll him on his back. Then I begin with his stomach and massage the oil from the "bottom up" so to speak. I would often catch him with his eyes closed, truly in doggie heaven as I proceeded to give him a warm oil massage. A dog's life indeed!
As for the baths, well, Taka is a white dog. He's been used to frequent baths as long as he's lived here so that is not that traumatic. The entire process takes about three hours - a scant amount of time if it made him feel better. Here again, I would give it a few months…I still had the Labor Day time marker set in my head to see if anything would help him.
The second week in July I switched oils and used Calendula Baby Oil. The next day Taka was covered in hives and I freaked! I thought it was the oil, but then more things happened that made me realize it was the Primal Defense. Susie Keener jumped into action and began calling the manufacturer and Karen Campbell, Taka's other angel, was trying to teach me how to check Taka's temperature. Things were hectic for a few days until the bumps cleared up. It was truly amazing how so many people, from different parts of the world pulled together for this one hairless pup.
But everything settled again and life went back to normal. I continued the baths, and the photos and the hope. There were lots of good signs - no odor, no lesions, no more outbreaks and soft skin. July passed quickly, as did August and that brings us to the end, and my decision about his quality of life.