Sasha and the Pack in the Snow

Well, we are having a snow storm. Finally! We’ve needed it. We had one a while back but this is supposed to be a biggie. It’s my flyball team’s Holiday Party tonight too, which is kinda funny because last year we had a big storm on party day, too. So now if I had some talking watches I’d be able to remember what time the party is!

Sasha and Tatum
Sasha and Tatum

So of course I had to drag the camera outside because it was pretty when the snow was just starting to accumulate on the grass, and you could see some of the grass peaking through.  Tatum and Sasha are becomming good friends. But then, Tatum befriends everyone. 🙂  Tatum is such a good girl. Sasha even chased Tatum around a little bit outside this morning.  Zoom Zoom!

Sasha is doing really well. She is not coughing as much as she was. She is letting me comb her out just a little bit now and again. Her skin seems very sensitive but that could be due to whatever is on her nose, too.  I was able to get some of those tiny pre-mat things out of her right side last night, and her right rear flank.

Running!
Running!

My husband was feeding her treats at the same time I combed to keep her calm and reward her. She stopped taking the treats though, so we stopped the combing too. I think her skin and her coat are really bothering her. Though I think she was groomed fairly recently, because her underbelly is trimmed straight and so are her legs. Her feet are too fluffy though!

This picture of Tatum and Sasha running is a bit blurred but it’s pretty darn cute. 🙂 Tatum so loves it when someone will chase her!

Sasha’s blood work came back fine, so that’s good.  And my husband says that means there’s less chance of her having the really nasty thing wrong. It seems like all three options, below, are really autoimmune things.

Sasha is eating really well and I’m glad she is starting to play. I think she’s more of a people dog than a dog dog. She loves to be with me and my Husband. He even thinks she likes him better! Which is just kinda odd becuase it’s more common for rescue dogs to trust women more than men, unfortunately.  I know a lot of wonderful men who would never even dream of hurting a dog.

So she settles in. We did even get an offer of a foster home for her! But now that we have her, it’s hard to put her someplace else, especially with her condition. Because we have an emotional investment now, as well as financial and, also, we just want to know what is going on with her darn nose!  And another tidbit of good news…  Sasha was bringing toys to my husband last night to play! That’s an excellent sign. 🙂

Collies and Border Collie
Collies and Border Collie

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!

Sweet Rough Collie Sasha

Sasha
Sasha

Well, I was grumpy as heck last night, went to physical therapy and that helped a little bit. I was dreading having to go to the Humane Society of Utah to pick up another rescue dog, almost sick to my stomach… seven dogs in the house is really too many and tends to put me over my limit.

Sasha
Sweet Sasha

However, as soon as I saw Sasha my heart melted and I fell in love with her.  she is absolutely gorgeous. She doesn’t have a very heavy coat, which is nice and makes the rough collies easier to care for.  I think she was recently groomed (recently within the last couple of months anyway) because her underside is trimmed straight and so is her tail. But she has some wispies on her feet that will need to be trimmed off (I hate those, they are always the first things I trim off a rescue collie!)

Sasha Sleeping
Sleeping Sasha

Her teeth are in absolutely horrid shape. I think some may need to be pulled. she didn’t want to eat even canned food last night so she could be in a lot of pain. There’s a lot of tarter on her teeth and some of them look like they are poking too far out of her gums. 🙁

Of course the most prominent feature is the scabbing on her nose.  The people who dumped her said that she would rub her nose against a chain link fence and that’s how it happened.. about a year ago.  But the scabs are fresh and there’s no way it happened a year ago. I wonder what could cause such scabbing on a dog’s muzzle like this? We are going to take her to the vet today and ask. My husband, he’s such a great guy, is going to take her in when I’m at work.  The scabs are cracked and her nose is even pink..I wonder if she’s rubbed the dark pigment off her nose and the pink underskin is showing. I wonder if we can put something on the scabs to soften them up so maybe they don’t hurt so much… it’s really got to hurt or itch. I’ll ask Fuzzy Logic she always is a good source of natural remedies for me!

She might be couging a little but it seems, rather, she’s kinda trying to hack things up but nothing comes.  Her health isn’t too bad, and her personality is amazing. I think she’s the first foster ever who we haven’t crated at least for the first night. She has settled in just fine already… though she seems like she may just be a typical collie girl and she might have some nice fun attitude when she gets more confident! I hope so!

She slept all night, she didn’t potty in the house, and she’s very loving.  The people said they couldn’t afford to keep her anymore… well, sure, whatever. Personally, I would starve to death before I gave up any of my pack.

Sasha is one sweet wonderful rescue rough sable and white collie girl!