So both the girls had a trip to the vet. Scout had her two baby canines removed (HOPEFULLY this ends her nonstop chewing. She wasn't a big teether from the 3-7 month age when she got all her adult teeth in but lately she has been chewing everything from my wood furniture to electrical cords/wires/headphones). She's eating wet food and on antibiotics for the next 10 days but doesn't seem too painful. On the other hand there's Peanut. I might have told you she has had a lot of skin issues (the result of her crappy breeding but that's another story). She was first diagnosed with demodex even though her hair loss was very localized to the top of her open fontanel. Well, after 8 weeks of Ivermectin treatment it didn't clear up at all. So I let it go and then it seemed to be getting worse (or expanding) which made me think it was something infectious even though Scout's coat was perfectly normal. So off we went to UPenn's Animal Hospital. Fortunately I know a doctor (a vet with a Ph.D who studies the pathology of skin disorders in animals) that could accurately diagnose Peanut. I had an idea rolling around in the back of my head and was pretty sure I knew she had follicular dysplasia. After a few skin scrapes/biopsies the results were in: color dilution follicular dysplasia. Follicular dysplasia in dilute colors such as silver fawns/blues is the result of POOR breeding as it is a genetic disorder. In Peanut's case, excess melanin clumps around the hair shaft and causes it to break resulting in her little bald head. Fortunately it doesn't have any impact on her health or well-being. She will continue to live a long and healthy life she'll just be my little bald girl. It's possible that she will lose more hair over time so I have to use a conditioner to help keep the hair as flexible as possible. I have to minimize hair breakage by not putting on collars/brushing excessively. Because her head is unprotected I have to keep her squeaky clean to avoid secondary bacterial infections as well. Sigh. At least it's figured out and I know how to manage it.
NOW for the worst part :(
While Peanut was hanging out at UPenn, one vet decided to tell me how I have raised a "bad" dog. According to her I am an enabler and only baby my dogs creating small dog syndrome. Now, I'm willing to take some of the blame for Peanut's behavior but I think a large portion of it is very very poor breeding. Peanut knows commands and she does listen though on this particular day she was quite stressed from having her skin scraped until it bled on the top of her head and on her ears and so she was a little skittish. She did try to bite the one vet (the one was criticizing me) after which she proceeded to hang my dog in the air by her harness (hoisting her up by her leash). Now that doesn't seem like the appropriate way to correct her behavior. Peanut is incredibly fearful and has resulting aggression, Scout does not display such behaviors and has never bitten anyone so I'm inclined to say it's not entirely the environment Peanut was raised in but also the genetics (the old nature vs. nurture argument). I do not baby my dogs and I rarely carry them around. Peanut has had a LOT of socialization however she still reacts fearfully. We had a break through this weekend when she rolled over on her back to two friends that she never met before who stayed at my apartment. Slowly, I think Peanut is learning. I was just very insulted by this woman's critique (not to mention she later added that I would be the type of person to raise murderers as my child judging by the way I handle my dogs. She told me she is used to military style dog training and when I look at Peanut I need to see a rottie and not a chihuahua). While I will continue to work with Peanut and help her get out of her shell, I refuse to acknowledge that I "destroyed" my dogs. BOTH are a work in progress and I give them all the effort I can. Sigh. Sorry for the long post I've just been really upset by Peanut's follicular dysplasia and the commentary from this "professional."