We have ever since Manuel was a pup been writing notes about him.
One of the things has been when he is growing/dropping coat and how it looks. It is good to have an over all picture of your dog – especially when “normal”. (What is the normal body temperature, what is the normal look of the mucuous membrane, how does a normal coat dropping look like, etc.)
When looking back, with the knowledge I have today, I must say : there have been NO signs of SA in early years . Just a “picky” Akita when it comes to his skin. Always pointing out to us: “Look a bug, look a mosquito bite, look I am wet, look I am dry after the bath”.
It all showed this year. I was so happy with his coat condition that I actually planned to enter him to a dog show – “My Dog”, wanting to show how great a 6-year (nearly 7) old can look. Just shortly after I had paid the fee it all started…
The winter 2011/2012 was perfect – great skin, great coat, no problems.
The summer 2012 he had a perfect summer-coat – no dryness “no nothing”.
The past years he has also been a much more confident guy and handles situation where fear is involved much better (forgets faster).
So – to us – 2012 was a very strange year for SA to debut.
Now when I look back, I can see there could have been even earlier signs then the ones that made us go to the vet’s.
- Just too many ticks this summer/autumn – ticks I did not find until they were big (this we have avoided all previous years). No suspicion of tick borne diseases though.
- Catarrh of the foreskin, hard to get rid of – thinking it was “just” because of so many bitches in heat in the city for such a long period of time this year (hormones).
- Spring 2012 – ONE runny eye (no injury, nothing strange at vet’s examination) – so “just” dry mucuous membranes (currently not runny).
- Late summer 2012 – A bit flaky and less fur at one spot of the tail. I cleaned it up and thought it was “just” an inflamed pre-caudal gland (hormones). THIS I should have monitored more carefully and for sure been suspicious more early if in 100% of control of the tail-status during that early autumn.
These are just thoughts, and speculations but still…there are many ways of stressing the immune defence and many early signs of SA that I am sure of that human fail to notice.