Past 2 months of Rupert

Sorry blog, I have been severely, but not blissfully, ignoring you. I have been somewhat preoccupied with worry and care of our 1.5yr old rescue dog, Rupert. People always say our dogs are like our children. It has always sounded ridiculous to me, b/c afterall, they are just dogs...right? I thought I agreed with that statement, until these past few months, when J and I have had to deal with a still yet unclear situation with our little guy, Rupert. For the past two months, Vet prescribed pills have taken over our kitchen counter top. It looks like a pharmacy. I think we have been through about 6 different types of pills, and we still aren't done.

I won't bore you with a detailed account of all the events and issues that have happened with our pup, but this whole thing has been a domino-effect of one issue after another, all ending up with Rupert needing biopsies taken from different parts of his body (mainly, and sadly, his face) to try to figure out just what the heck is wrong with him. They took five skin samples total, as well as a skin-scrape to test for mange, and Rupert had stitches and wounds (and cone of shame) to prove it. The vet suspected a pretty serious Auto-immune disease, which also meant an expected 40% survival rate....however THANKFULLY the test came back negative (a HUGE relief after many tears, nervous thoughts, and waiting for test results). Still today, we don't have an answer as to what has happened to our dog. Here is the progression of what happened to the Rupster:

The supposed allergic reaction a few weeks after emergency room treatment (we thought the red, swollen, irritated eyes were still a result from all of his itching and he just needed time to heal)

Weeks later, things had not improved, and significantly worsened. The skin was almost alligator-like, and the hair loss was spreading. Another trip to vet was in order.

Post Biopsies and sporting the cone like a champ. :) Waiting for test results.

Eyes healing, yet hair continues to fall out on his snout, and the hair does not seem to grow back. Treatment begins soon after this picture was taken.

It has been so heartbreaking to see his face the way it was. Things just wouldn't seem to get better, and they only continued to worsen. He kept losing his hair, his skin was peeling and taking hair off with it, and there was nothing we could do to stop it without having certain test results and treatment reccomendations. At this moment, I truly understood why people say our pets are like family...the thought of our young pup going through this, possibly losing him over was a lot to take. You just don't realize how much you love these furry friends. I cried, more than I would like to share, throughout this entire process. I kept telling myself, "I love him, but it's a dog, get ahold of yourself". Yet somehow I never could believe myself. Who am I kidding. I'm a total animal lover, even if it wasn't my own. :)

The good news, is that we saw significant improvement after a week or so of the steroid treatment regiment. Below is what he looks like as of this weekend, back to his handsome furry self :) He does have some scaring on his snout where the hair may never grow back, but I'll take that ANY day if he can still be here with us for many years to come! His 1.5yr doggie life has only just begun. :)

We are tapering him off the steroids now (he's due to be done by Wednesday), and we just have to wait and see if the problems return after his system returns to normal function. Fingers crossed friends. Should the issues return, we will have to start all over again with biopsies, cultures, and more expensive pill bottles. :( Here's hoping this was a temporary thing, some extreme reactions to some outside influence we may never know, and it will not come back, at ALL.

On a side note, here's also hoping I can get back to blogging again! I've missed it!