When Sheba, a 4-month-old bulldog mix was found shivering on a Dorchester street on Feb. 22, she had a severe case of mange. It was so bad that all of her fur had been stripped away and her body was covered in painful sores. She was too weak to walk or even stand.


Andrea Bessler, a veterinary technician in the clinic that abuts the adoption center, was shocked at Sheba'sappearance.


“In my nearly 11 years of practice I’ve never seen a case of mange this severe," she said.


Sheba wasn't microchipped, soMSPCAstaff have no way of knowing the puppy's back story, but they suspect she was brought to the street to be abandonedonce her disease took hold, MSPCA spokesman Robert Halpinsaid.


Over the past few weeks, Sheba has started to recover, thanks to Dr. Klaus Loft of the Angell Animal Medical Center, who administered a newtreatment that is harnessing the power of the dog's own immune system to heal her disease.

There have also been antibiotics and a lot of baths.

Demodectic Mange is caused by egg-laying mites who reside in and feed on hair follicles and oil glands of the skin, causing hair loss, severe pain and itching. In advanced cases like Sheba’s, the damage includes open, infected wounds. The disease is not contagious and no other animals at the MSPCA are at risk.

“The worst of her disease is behind her but she will likely require treatment for the next several weeks," Bressler said.

Sheba's fur is already starting to grow back and the puppy should be ready to be adopted in a few weeks.

Those interested in adopting Sheba may email adoption@mspca.orgor visit the shelterduring open hours to apply for her.