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Epidermal Dysplasia… What is it? And why does it only affect West Highland Terriers?

Epidermal Dysplasia is one of those medical conditions where there was probably little to any chance you know what it was, that is of course until you decided to adopt a West Highland White Terrier.

Which in when…

You probably found yourself doing all sorts of research about this condition and now find yourself slowly becoming an expert on something that you didn’t even know existed just a few months ago.

But don’t fret…

We here at IndulgeYourPet are big fans of Westies and know that having one with this condition can be heart breaking which is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what epidermal dysplasia is as well as shed some light on what it will be like to own a Westie that has been diagnosed with this condition.

Epidermal Dysplasia defined.

Epidermal dysplasia is a hereditary skin disease that is really only linked to one “type” of dog which is the West Highland White Terrier.  Yep, that means dogs affected can unfortunately thank their ancestry for this condition.

Basically…

The condition makes the skin grow super fast, making it really scaly and creating skin lesions.  This abnormal development will continue rapidly through the early years of the dog’s life, and the skin will flake off and result in alopecia (hair loss).

Unfortunately…

The problems don’t just stop there, because due to this accelerated sking growth, affected dogs tend to develop skin lesions and well which inevitably will lead to various skin infections over time.

Which makes…

Diagnosing this condition relatively easy simply because all your vet will need to do to make the diagnosis is first see that your dog is a West Highland White Terrier and then just look for the telltale signs of skin scaliness and hair loss.

Both of which…

Will usually begin near your dogs ears and under his or her arms and then spread from there all along the chest and limb areas.

Now if you want…

To have your vet “officially” diagnose your dog with this condition, you may request that they take a sample skin scraping and have it examined, however what you’re likely going to find is that this won’t be necessary and rather than focus on the “official” diagnosis, you and your vet will focus more on simply treating your dog’s condition.

Which brings us to…

A point in all of our articles about different types of diseases that can affect a dog where we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  all we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be extremely passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

Which is why…

If you feel that your Westie my be suffering from epidermal dysplasia or any other medical condition of that matter, you’ll want to be sure and have him or her checked out by a vet right away.  The last thing that you want to do is delay having him or her receive the care that they need and suffer for even one second more than they need to.

Epidermal Dysplasia Treatment options.

Unfortunately, as of right now, there is no cure for epidermal dysplasia.  That said however, there are options to manage the disease, but we’ve got to be honest with you, treatment options can be quite expensive.

You see…

The treatment involves an intense microbial therapy.  This therapy must be repeated fairly frequently.  Also, your dog will need lots of antibiotics and various other drugs to take care of the side effects and other symptoms of the condition.  These various drugs also must be taken very often and in large amounts.

Needless to say…

This kind of treatment can be very expensive.  The overall costs of everything you’ll need will run you anywhere between $100-$200 every month!  And if your dog gets complicated by one of the accompanying skin diseases the price could increase by about $1000 per year!

Which is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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