Vet Update about Sasha

Sasha the Rough Collie
Sasha the Rough Collie

Well, we love our vet, they are amazing. First off they say no way Sasha’s nose became the way it is because she rubbed it against a fence.  She has something going on that we need to figure out.

She has kennel cough, so that will be treated first and she’s on antibiotics for a week. She also has infection in her mouth that hopefully that will help.

She’s going to have her teeth cleaned on the 23rd, and at that time our vet will do a biopsy of the skin on her nose, around her eyes, and on her ears, as she has crusting and scabbing in all those areas.  The vet said it could be one of three things. The first two are not too bad, the third thing is nasty. I’m going to read about each as I post this so I’m learning as we go.

Dermatomyositis

The first thing she could have, and the vet thinks this is the most likely thing, is Dermatomyositis.  I found three informational websites about this…

University Link
Icon Collies
Dog Patch

From the University Link:

This condition is one of inflammation (itis) of the skin (dermato) and muscle (myo) that is seen in young collies and Shetland sheepdogs. There appears to be a defect in the immune system that predisposes dogs to this disorder. The skin lesions typically develop first with variable muscle problems occurring later. There are many similarities to dermatomyositis in people.

Ulcerative dermatosis may be a variant of this condition. It is a rare disorder that occurs in middle-aged to older dogs of the same breeds, and is manifest by skin lesions (blisters, crusting) that are seen primarily in the groin and underarm regions. Occasionally there are muscle abnormalities.

So, I guess this is treatable and can make her more comfortable, but there is no cure for it. And since others can write about these things better than me, I’ll leave it at that!

The second thing it could be is

Lupus

From Pet-Medicine.com:

Discoid lupus in dogs is an autoimmune condition that results in discoloration of the nose. In rare cases, it can also affect other areas of the skin. Professionals have yet to find a specific cause for this problem, but genetics may play a role due to the fact that certain breeds as more affected than others. Some of these breeds include Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, and Collie.

Symptoms

As you already know, this condition begins as loss of pigment around the nose. As the disease gets worse, your dog may develop scaling of nasal tissue and sores. The nose’s surface may also become smooth instead of having it’s normal cobblestoned texture. These sores aren’t bothersome to some dogs, but others are very bothered by them.

So, I guess Lupus is manageable too.. I am not really familiar with Lupus in humans or in dogs, so I’ll probably read up a bit more on it too. Though actually, until we know what it really is, there’s no sense worrying myself eh? 🙂

The third thing, which the vet says is very nasty, is:

Pemphigus

Autoimmune Disease Suite 101 has some interesting, easy to read information.

I also found information on this in the following sources… and I’ll quote the Akita Club, since it’s easiest to understand. This is from the middle of the page. If you read starting at the beginning it kinda describes how the skin works.

Symptoms of Pemphigus Complex

Pemphigus is a disease that results when the body’s immune defenses attack its own skin. Something interferes with the recognition process and treats the skin as if it were a foreign substance. Actually, Pemphigus is a complex of diseases differentiated by the skin layer which is attacked. It is found across many species, including humans, cats, dogs, and horses.

The most severe form is Pemphigus Vulgaris. The attachment of the basal and prickle cell layers is attacked. Fluid filled blisters called vesicles form and eventually break open, resulting in painful ulcerated sore. These are most common in areas where normal skin meets specialized skin, like the skin of the lips, nose, eyes, pads, nails, as well as the mucosal skin of the mouth.

Pemphigus Erythematosus is similar but involves the outer skin layer or stratum corneum. It looks like a mild case of Pemphigus Foliaceus and may be more prevalent in collies. The ulcerated sores are usually restricted to the facial area and are very similar to those found in discoid lupus. Indeed, some researchers feel they are related in some fashion.

So… these are all diseases that collies can be prone too. Bleh. Treatment might include steroids. And I don’t know, really, if she has any of these, what her quality of life might be, or length of life. If she has something that makes her unadoptable, then we will, of course, just keep her. I think we need to name her Seven of Six.

Hopefully we will be able to place her. Maybe with an understanding family who will love her no matter what she has. We would, of course. She is very lovable, her face melted my heart the first time I saw her… scabby nose or not!

17 thoughts on “Vet Update about Sasha”

    1. Thanks Dennis, we hope so too. Her bloodwork all came back fine so no answer there. We have to wait until they can do a biopsy on the 23rd.

  1. I had a sinking feeling that it wasn’t normal wear and tear and was likely a disease process. The scalies around the ear and tear ducts didn’t seem to match the notion of rubbing.

    All the best on a quick recovery though, it sounds like treatment has the ability to improve the situation, and you know very few people would have adopted the dog with the condition still visible, so kudos to you.

    Christophers last blog post..CO Humane Society Fraud

    1. Hi Christopher thanks for your comment and support. Actually, we are only fostering Sasha… I do some collie rescue here in Utah. However, if she has a terminal disease or can’t be placed, we’ll keep her. We love her already.

      It will be hard to wait for a final diagnosis with her but she is a doll and we already enjoy her company!

  2. Well, I’m not suprised that what we were seeing wasn’t as simple as what the relinquishing family claimed. (grrr…people are so frustrating). Although I hate to hear that it may be serious, I’m glad that she’s finally going to get the care that she needs. She’s in great hands, as I’m sure she knows! 🙂 I just love her expression. She looks like such a sweetie.

    Maries last blog post..Still here…

    1. Thanks Marie. 🙂 She is a doll. Though her girl collie sassiness is starting to come out already. LOL. And Chase has shown his teeth at her a couple of times now. But so far, so good. 🙂

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  5. Pemphigus? Dad’s brudder Stevie-grrrr-Wonder has that and has read extensively about it. However, that is the Pemphigus in humans not dogs. It all started with him getting blisters in his mouth. No fun.

    Best of luck. Dog Dad need to check on a few things, but us collies are willing to give up a couple of Essexmas treats to help out. Just need to figure out where we put everything. We will return in a day or two.

    Essex, Deacon & Joe (AKA Dog Dad)

    Key West Colliess last blog post..14 December

  6. Sasha’s condition looks similar to the one our dog, Violet, had for many years. Our dog had Lupus. My mom would treat her skin condition with Gentian Violet. The kids in the neighborhood loved her as well and would often know when Violet had a flare up because of the medicine’s purple color (Violet was a white collie with a sable patch). She lived about 15+ years and was well loved.

    I hope the best for Sasha and await to hear about the results from her biopsies on the website.

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