Dog trains man

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Hovie's Nose

The best summer ever in Denmark. According to meteorologists, the best since 1860.

The summer already started in early May, during our visit to the Danish West-coast. Viva's favorite place on the planet. We enjoyed being outside the whole day. Temperatures where not high, but nonetheless we all got a little sunburned. Also Viva was, on her nose.

The sunburn would soon heal we thought, and hoped the summer would stay, so we could go out into the light again and wash off the Danish winter and its short days.

Now, it is the end of August. We returned to the West-coast, and are looking back at this "best" summer ever. How different has the summer turned out to be. Viva's nose is still "sunburned". The vet thinks it is Lupus (DLE) - also called "Collie Nose" - an auto-immune disease, and in Viva's case, difficult to treat as the medication doesn't go along well with her Cushing's disease. We have been trying three different topical treatments so far that don't interfere with her Cushing's, to no avail.

The vet's best advice was to avoid the sun, as the ultraviolet rays seem to be a main trigger for lupus. We dodged the sun as much as we could in the short sunless window of opportunity, between 23:00 and 04:00, given to us in the South of Scandinavia.

We went for late walks, hunkered inside during the long summer days and only made short trips to potty in areas with an abundance of shadow. It did seem to help to an extend. Although about every two weeks it flared up again to it's worst state.

For us humans it is a strange experience going against the little Nordic voice in our heads telling us to suck up some sun and light now we had the opportunity. Although going nocturnal was counter-intuitive for us humans, Viva really doesn't care when she goes out, as long as she does go out. Her spirit is high, and I wonder how she can. When I look at her nose I know it must itch enough to make one crazy. It must be painful. I don't even have the stomach to add a close-up of her nose to this blog, it looks too horrible.

But somehow Viva sucks it all in and can muster enough fight to remain her cheerful self. Enjoying the little things like she always has. Tough girl.

Two vets and three treatments have not been able to help so far, leaving me in despair and self-hate for not being able to help my girl, and seeing no options other than doing a rain dance and pray this summer will soon end.

Let it storm, rain, hail and thunder. Go away sun and blue skies, you are not welcome any more.



  1. Repeat after me: I am a good dog dad, I am a good dog dad! You have done everything you could for Viva, including depriving yourself of sunshine against your Nordic nature. So I'll do that "end summer" dance (easy in a place where it's hellishly hot like Tucson) only if you promise to stop hating yourself for not being able to help your girl!

    1. I am, I am! Thanks for the reminder Edie, that helped.

  2. I totally get not feeling like you're doing enough, but I have to second Edie's comment: You are a good dog dad! Hopefully it'll clear up. I'll be thinking good thoughts for Viva and her poor nose. Incidentally, do you guys have a product called Aquaphor? Between Emmett and Cooper, we've dealt with every skin issue known to bull breeds, and this stuff is seriously the only thing that has provided them relief. (If you don't have it and want to try it, let me know and I'll send you some!)

    1. Thanks for the tip. We tried something vaseline-based like it, but I do see some different ingredients, I'll run it through the vet and hear her out.

  3. Well, you have told me countless times not to beat myself up about this, that or the next thing - now time for me to send your own words back to you. You have done, and are doing what you are able to do. Don't beat yourself up!!! But do look at this Keep you chin up and give K&V a cuddle from me.

    1. Practice what you preach :) Thanks Jan and passing on that cuddle.

      Thanks for the reminder on the dog-nose-protector, I discarded it along the way as an option, but have to revisit that. So it's ordered and on the way!

  4. Lupus can be a difficult disease to treat, but Winter is coming :)Give Viva pets from me.


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