Doctors “practice” medicine. That phrasing has been the butt of many jokes — but “practice” is exactly what they do.
When we’re ill or suffering from some unknown condition, we go to the experts. Doctors know more than we do about the human body, and they know more about what can go wrong — but they’re constantly learning more (for which we should be thankful!).
It would be unreasonable to expect a human being, even a very intelligent and experienced one, to know absolutely everything about a subject, especially in a field where new discoveries are being made every day.
But when we can’t get an answer from a doctor, the unknown terrifies us. Until we find out what’s going on with our bodies, all we can do is look for more clues or try to get different opinions.
The same goes for veterinarians, and a little, black mixed-breed dog was a puzzling case that could not immediately be solved.
Abby was just 7 weeks old when she was taken from the shelter she’d been surrendered to. Her skin was covered in blisters, and no one knew what was wrong.
Dina, her foster mom, took her home, and she could tell that Abby was in pain. “She kept on going into her kennel and laying there and crying,” she told The Dodo.
“Someone had surrendered her and they just kind of threw her in a little box,” Dina said. “She was covered in blisters all over her face.”
“She was so sweet and her tail wouldn’t stop wagging while she laid there still. I called her name. It would just go back and forth and back and forth.”
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this dog has the will to live!’ She knows that she’s getting rescued. She knows that I’m going to try my best to take care of her.”
For two weeks the pup continued to break out in blisters and seemed to avoid touch. The vet didn’t know what was going on, so they ran a bunch of different tests.
Abby’s Petfinder page describes the diagnosis: “Our examination shows severe significant skin disease with erosions and ulcerations in her grown (sic) region, hair loss and scabs on her head and face and oval ulcers on the inside of her ear flaps.”
“Abby does have blood vessel inflammation most likely from being overstimulated with vaccines due to her small size. However, she has much more skin disease than is usually seen with this issue (vasculitis) I also think she has puppy strangles or juvenile cellulitis.”
“Dachshunds are over-represented with this issue. While she is not ‘classic’ for this, it is highly likely.”
After getting treatment for her condition — juvenile cellulitis, where her skin was being attacked by her own immune system — she started to feel better. Her hair is missing in spots, but she’s happy and ready for her new life.
Thanks to people like Dina, pups like Abby have a shot at finding their forever homes, and every rare case cured is a rare case better understood by veterinarians.
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