A dog named Napoleon is either going to be very big or very little. He was big - a St. Bernard in fact. At 2 1/2 years old, he should be in his prime. But he was thin at 100 pounds and his skin was covered with sores from stem to stern. Neck, chest, belly, rump, legs, paws, all with sores, matts, crusts, scales and scabs. At least his head was OK - well, except his ears and eyelids. The "wagger" was fine. Even with the discomfort of all the lesions, he still was sweet, friendly and good natured: a big boy who needed big dermatological care and WHS vet medical/surgical rescue could provide it.

His history suggested skin problems for over six months. "Derm" cases can be hard to work with especially chronic ones. His hair-coat pattern - balding rump with inflamed thighs and belly suggested allergy - probably to fleas. The rest of him could be inhalation allergies and/or bacterial complications. He may even have had infected bite wounds on his legs. Cytology lab exam showed heavy cocci bacteria - usually a Staph or Strep, and probably a resistant-type strain. In any case, the coat "had to go" so treatments could actually reach the skin. Because of the severity and extent of the sores, his clip was done under anesthesia along with his neuter. Body clipping a St. Bernard is a real project - coupled with matts, pus and open wounds, it was a real big project. He was nude from head to tail. After recovery, treatment was started with a medicated bath. He was skeptical to the idea of warm water on his skin at first but then pure pleasure set in. Medications to help dry and disinfect the wounds and a special anitbiotic ointment for resistant Staph was started. Coupled with oral antibiotics, again suitable for resistant bacteria, he was off to a good start on managing his condition. It was amazing to see him five days later - what an improvement!

Napoleon is waiting at WHS, hopefully for a new home, as a medical rescue case. He may face future sensitivities or allergies but with proper care and diet, flea control and close monitoring of his skin, he's a dog worth saving and loving. Check on him at WHS - black and white head, big bushy tail and kinda funky in between. You may be his future or you may want to help by donating to HVC's Last Change Club.

NEWS FLASH - Napoleon has been adopted (Aug/2008)

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