Steroids and Bald Dogs

Canine Cutaneous Vasculitis or Alopecia. You decide. But either way, Chloe is going bald. It doesn’t look bad on her, per se, but it is a little odd for a 2 and a 1/2 year old Dachshund to be losing her hair… Or for any Dachshund to be losing its hair. It’s not like they have a ton, you know. But Chloe is. And why? Therein lies the rub.

If you thought a second opinion was important among doctors of humans, you might want to give even more attention to your vet. Apparently, a vet we went to misdiagnosed Chloe’s condition over a year ago and prescribed Synotic (remember the steroid I put in my eye? yeah, that one), a topical steroid that was supposed to keep the chafing of her ears in check. We were told if we didn’t apply it daily for the REST OF HER LIFE that her ear would continue to atrophy and we’d have to cut it off. If that wasn’t enough to scare us into it, just the thought of a gay household with an animal that wasn’t symmetrical or otherwise perfect put us into a near coma. Could we go out in public again? Do they make prosthetic ears for Dachshunds? Would she need therapy? Does our pet insurance policy cover it? The questions were endless. Shallow, but endless.

So a year later, we notice Chloe is starting to go bald, in addition to her little ear condition, so we take her to another vet. Two biopsies later, we discover she was “over-prescribed” with the Synotic, and should never have been using it for this long or for this particular condition. Her body had been absorbing the steroid for so long now that her hair follicles had moved into a state of dormancy, as had the hair. No growth. No life. Resting. Resting hair… which is a nice way for saying bald. Yeah, bald. Our new vet assured us it was just cosmetic (clearly she had no idea the terror a phrase like “just cosmetic” could bring to this gay couple) and that otherwise, Chloe was healthy. So, we’ve taken her off the steroid (I still use it occasionally when I’m in the mood for a little eye pain) and are hoping that after a month or two, her hair will start to “wake up.”

All I can say is thank god she is still a European size zero. At least we have her weight under control. She may be bald, but she is fiercely thin. The fashionable fall sweaters she’s going to have to wear to keep warm in the mean time are just going to HANG off her — as it should be.

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One thought on “Steroids and Bald Dogs

  1. I can’t stop laughing!!! I’m seriously crying. Between this post and the last one, you are really cracking me up these days!!

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