When I was in junior high my dad bought my mom roses (anniversary, birthday, something important) and in the bouquet was fern to spice things up. And on the underside of the fern there were spores, as ferns are wont to have. Those spores, that are on most ferns, scared the hell out of me. Thanks to my brother, I probably cried. Yes, I was probably old enough to not be crying over spores, but they really freaked me out. I have not liked fern since and with every boyfriend I’ve had I’ve made it clear that I don’t want fern in any flowers they got me. Yes, they still scare me.
A couple of weeks ago we started noticing some two bald spots on Tsunami. We watched them and when they started getting scabbed over I made an appointment at the vet to get them checked out (a week before she was supposed to get her final vaccinations and we were able to get the shots early!). Turns out, it’s mange. Mange! It’s caused by microscopic mites on dogs’ bodies. All dogs have them, but in puppies or dogs with weak immune systems they can sometimes get a little out of control, causing the hair loss and scabbing. I was sent off feeling confident in a speedy recovery and not having a mangy mutt.
But (of course there’s a but). Last week I started noticing the hair on her spine thinning. Wes convinced me that it was just where she was biting and the hair was mussed. And I believed it because I don’t want a dog with mange all over her body! This is where it all ties into the fern: the balding spots along her spine remind me of the spores on fern. And yes, it’s sort of freaking me out. Yesterday she was spayed and sent home with another medication to hopefully take care of the mange and I really hope it fixes it. The next step might be some sort of dipping, and while I’ve read about pet owners opting out of that for a more holistic cure (oil and lavender, for one), I generally take orders from doctors.
She’s only four months so there’s still plenty of time for her immune system to get its shit together and self correct this. Until then, I’ll convince myself that the balding spots are just messy hair.