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Murray has been a therapy dog for over 5 years now, and has always had a twice monthly commitment at our local nursing home. In December he was diagnosed with discoid lupus, which causes the tissue on his nose to break down and periodically develop sores. I won't take him into a hospital with an open sore, so have had to give up our commitment.

So we're going to shift gears and do more educational programs.

On Monday we visited a local highschool with 4 other therapy teams. The high school seniors we visited spend 1/2 of their day at a regional teaching hospital - they all want to become doctors, and the doctor who mentors them wanted us to talk about the role of pet therapy in patient care. It was a fun presentation with a great group of young people.

When one door closes.....
 

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That is a really nice thing for you and Murray to have done in spending time with folks in the nursing home and hospital. I am sure they all enjoyed seeing a beautiful hound coming down the hall to see them. I am sure they will miss Murray..

It is also very cool that you and Murray will now be apart of the of a educational program. I am sure that can't wait to see the hound come into the classroom.
 

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Sounds like a good transition...keep up the great work with Murray.
 

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I was in a nursing home for a post-op recovery last year and the facility actually encouraged well-behaved, housebroken pets to come visit, which Flash did. I was absolutely amazed at how Flash's presence 're-animated' some of the Alzheimer's and other patients! An example:

Flash is naturally friendly and always greeted everyone he encountered in his walks down the hall whenever he came to visit. One day as we were wheeling ourselves down the corridor to go outside, Flash stopped to visit with an extremely elderly lady in her wheelchair; he put his feet on the chair's arm and nudged her with his nose. She reached out to pet him and asked, "What's his name?". I told her and she replied, "He's so nice" and continued stroking his head and ears. Just then, I noticed the dead silence at the nurses' station and saw all the nurses and aides staring at Flash and the woman. One of the aides came over to me, bent down and whispered in my ear, "Oh my God! She hasn't said a word in over 6 months!" .

Never underestimate the power of a basset person's unconditional love, y'all!

:D
 

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Sounds like a good transition and I wish Murray the best. I hope the lupus doesn't get too painful.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Sounds like a good transition and I wish Murray the best. I hope the lupus doesn't get too painful.
Thanks for your concern about Murray- here's a quote from my post in December about discoid lupus- it's basically an auto-immune skin disorder which requires lifelong treatment: topical Tacrolimus, vitamin E supplements, and no direct exposure to sunlight on his nose ( I made him a little 'nose bonnet' that ties around his muzzle and neck as a sunshield so he can enjoy the sun this summer- he's not thrilled with it, but he's such a laid back guy that he puts up with it )

Quote from December post:

"DLE is considered a benign and milder variant of SLE, and the lesions are confined to the skin. DLE is the second most common immune-mediate skin disease in the dog, and one of the most common skin disorders affecting the face.
Discoid Lupus is also the most common skin disorders that are exacerbated by sunlight (UV-radiation).
Discoid Lupus may have a waxing and waning course and therefore there may be times when medication is unnecessary.

Quite often DLE begins with loss of pigmentation of the planum nasale (nose) or on the lips. For example, a normally black nose may acquire partly slate-blue, grey or pink colour. The typical moist and cobblestone surface of the nose becomes dry and smooth and the depigmented lesions progresses into destruction of the tissue.
Prognosis for Discoid Lupus is usually good, although treatment must usually be continued for life.
 
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