Today, I’m thankful for my dog, Dreyfuss.
Dreyfuss is our almost-5-year-old mutt. He’s a mix of labrador (or dane…we’re not sure) and Husky (we think). His mom was a stray and there’s a strong possibility that she “got around” while she was in heat because the puppies in that litter did not look very similar.
SIDENOTE: Did you know that a momma dog can have multiple fathers for her puppies in the same litter? I didn’t know that until we got Dreyfuss.
We spoil this dog like a child, except we probably wouldn’t continue to let a child sleep in our bed every night at 5 years old. But he smells just like a dog should smell…like corn chips.
When we first got him, he had problems, and a lot of them. First, they thought he had mange. Not so much. They tested him for every type of mange possible and they couldn’t figure out why he was losing his hair. We even took him to a doggie dermatologist. Turns out, all he had was color dilution alopecia, something that we could do absolutely NOTHING about. That would have been nice to know before the hundreds of dollars in veterinary tests…
The Journal of Veterinary Science defines Color Dilution Alopecia as:
a relatively uncommon hereditary skin disease seen in “Blue” and other color-diluted dogs. This syndrome is associated with a color-dilution gene. The initial clinical signs are the gradual onset of a dry, dull and poor hair coat quality. Hair shafts and hair regrowth are poor, and follicular papules may develop and progress to frank comedones. Hair loss and comedo formation are usually most severe on the trunk, especially color-diluted area on the skin. Six cases of color-dilution alopecia are reported in 3 months to 10 years old dogs. The breeds of dogs are blue Doberman Pinscher, Miniature Pinscher, Dachshund, and Schnauzer. Grossly, extensive partial hair loss was seen on the skin. Histopathologically, the epidermis is relatively normal but may be hyperplastic. Hair follicles are characterized by atrophy and distortion. Heavily clumped melanin is present in the epidermis, dermis and hair follicles.
Dreyfuss also has allergies, which make this skin condition all the more uncomfortable for him. However, he never really complains and we treat him by giving him a rawhide bone EVERY NIGHT. Thank goodness we found that Sam’s carries them in big bags for pretty cheap because our dog eats one per night. You might find that excessive, but you have to understand. This dog can be extremely destructive if he wants to be. Keeping him in rawhide makes sure that our things stay nice (there’s a side story there about Dreyfuss and how he ate my digital camera, but that’s for another time).
Anyway, he’s a really funny dog. Any time that Alli and I are discussing something in a serious tone, he gets all worried and tries to stand between us. He’s pretty smart, even if he eats his own poop.
Dreyfuss, even though you aren’t reading my blog, I say this:
Good dog, buddy. Good. Dog.