Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again

It has been almost four months since my last blog post. Four months! In my defense, I spent the last two and a half months walking my leper dog on a leash.

We had gorgeous weather here the first half of November, and I took my dog out to play with other dogs in off-leash parks multiple times each day. When we picked him up from Thanksgiving boarding, I spotted a white growth on his tongue, which soon became multiple white growths. A Google search and a vet visit later, we had a diagnosis...canine oral papilloma virus, otherwise known as "puppy warts." Do NOT Google this term unless you want to see some pretty nasty images. I had recurring nightmares over what I saw!

The vet said that the virus would clear in two to four months as my dog's immune system fully developed but that my dog was highly contagious and could not play with other dogs. Major lifestyle change. My leper dog and I could no longer visit the wonderful parks in our neighborhood, at least not when other dogs were around, and the dog parks were completely off limits. No more doggy daycare or boarding, which meant NO breaks from dog care for me. We did every variation on leash walks that I could come up with and frequented the nature preserves (yes even the one where the guy crept up on me last summer), where I had to put my dog back on leash whenever another dog approached.

We tried raw food, supplements, and two courses of zithromycin. I even took my dog to the vet twice to have the growths crushed with a hemostat (sorry!), in the hopes that releasing the virus into the bloodstream would stimulate an immune system response. Nothing. Then, about 10 days ago, I checked my dog's tongue, and it was completely clear. The growths had literally vanished overnight without a trace. Amazing!

God was looking down on us as the virus cleared just as the weather turned from miserably cold (and a week of snow and ice in January) to 68 and sunny. In February! We were able to return to off-leash fun just as the other dogs and their owners were venturing out in full force again.

Happy days are here again!

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