Tink had her annual physical on Friday afternoon. I sent Daniel with her because I was feeling like flattened death-crap that had been warmed over. The verdict: aside from all her weird Tink-specific medical problems, she is in great physical shape. We have discovered no new weird Tink-specific medical problems that are likely to kill her. Huzzah!
For those of you who are new here (or those who have been around a while and do not keep a catalog of Weird Tink Medical Issues in your head), I always worry about my beautiful silver girl because she’s a picture-perfect example of what happens when you do heavy line-breeding without caring about the health of the dogs in the pedigree. I mean, go six or seven generations out on Siddy and he starts looking like his own grandpa, but those dogs were bred by people who were paying very careful attention to health and working ability, whereas Tink was…not.
So for the record, she has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, aka Rubber Puppy Disease. This is a genetic issue that causes her collagen to be malformed and abnormally fragile. It can have a lot of manifestations, but in Tink it results in skin that will break at the least excuse, joints that tend to be unstable if she doesn’t have good muscle tone (the tendons and ligaments are weaker and stretchier than they should be), and a tendency to get odd skin infections at the drop of a hat (currently we’re arguing with Tinea versicolor). She is microphthalmic, meaning her eyes are too small, and her left eye did not develop correctly and has an optic nerve coloboma, a big honkin pit in the eye with the optic nerve attached at the back of it. Her right eye suffered a retinal tear as a birth injury, which eventually lead first to retinal detachment, rendering that eye completely blind (a damn shame as it had no coloboma) and then a small cataract. Finally, earlier this year it suffered a spontaneous bleed that left it swollen to nearly the normal size of a dog eye, and we had it removed. Generally speaking I go for the least invasive treatment available, but in the case of her right eye a) it was blind already and b) if it was developing spontaneous internal bleeds I did not want to screw around with it and make Tink uncomfortable only to have it removed down the line.
She is also a Diva of the first water, prone to showing off and insisting on being the center of attention. When my friend Christine linked me to this video of a German Shedder learning a prancing heel, my first reaction was “you have to teach that? That’s how Tink walks on leash in public…” She is my beloved heart dog, my snuggly quadrupedal best buddy, and before I would agree to marry Daniel he had to come over here and make sure that Tink approved of him.
So I’m deeply grateful that despite Weird Tink Medical Issues, her heart and lungs and brain and guts are all working just fine, and I’m likely to have her with me for a while yet. She turned six in January and that combined with the mysterious bleed in her right eye had me all freaked out; to hear her vet say that she’s still going strong is therefore a relief. Here’s to many more years together with La Diva Tinkerbella.