|My Personal Experience With Puppy Strangles|
|Written by Susan Chronowic|
|Thursday, 13 May 2010 00:00|
In 2008 I was able to experience puppy strangles first hand with my 5-week-old singleton pup. This pup had just been weaned and was not yet vaccinated. It all started when I noticed a small unassuming little white bump on one eyelid. That little bump increased in size slowly day by day. Then more bumps appeared on the other eyelid, until the condition quickly manifested into those little white bumps turning into lumpy lesions covering both eyes and eventually appearing on top of and underneath the muzzle. A few small bumps were also noticed in his ears. Hair loss was also noted at the affected areas.
The pup was put on prednisone and antibiotics both internal and topical. The eyes were also bathed daily. Through all this the pup showed no discomfort and did not appear to be bothered by the condition. It bothered us more to look at it and we felt the pain and discomfort for him. The condition took a while to resolve after being treated with the medication only to reoccur when the medication was stopped. This meant the pup had to be put back on the medication again. I became quite concerned for the length of time this pup had been on the prednisone as it is not favorable to be on steroids long term especially in developmental years. Therefore, I made a full-hearted effort to get him off the medication and treat this pup holistically in order to support his immune system naturally.
After many visits to my own veterinarian, conferring with the University of Guelph Veterinary Clinic, contacting other University Veterinarians in the United States as well as other experienced dog breeders, the pup was put on supplements to try and strengthen his immune system in hopes to wean him off the medication. He was put on an appropriate dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Bone Meal and a good diet that included sardines for Omega 3.
After several weeks on this supplementation, I then enlisted the help of a holistic veterinarian. Dr. Sharon Kopinak of Rockwood Ontario prescribed several homeopathic therapies that were administered several times a day to address the underlying causes of the condition and to help support the pup’s overall immune system. Through a long and persistent regiment of treatment the pup was able to be withdrawn from the steroids. It was a gradual weaning process and this time the strangles didn’t come back.
The pup is now a 2-year-old well-loved family dog. He weighs 6 lb. and is very small – a result of being on prednisone for 8 months. It was a long road to recovery but if I had to deal with it again I would make every attempt to address this condition without the use of prednisone, if at all possible, in order to avoid the likelihood of long-term drug side effects.