Ringworm Almost Took My Best Friend
In October of 2011, my dog Jake got infected with ringworm. Jake was the runt of his litter. He had always been catching colds, and having allergic reactions to certain foods since he was a pup. I've always had to buy him special food so that his body didn't reject the nutrients in normal dog food. So I was used to the fact that he was sick often, and required special needs. All of this was okay because I loved this dog. I have always had a special love for animals, growing up I always had pets, which is the main reason I am studying the field of Veterinary Medicine. One day I noticed Jake's hair was starting to shed from the top of this head. Day by day, more and more hair began to fall off of his head. I thought maybe it was an allergic reaction to his food, or maybe his body had grown immune to it. Over the course of a week, he started losing hair from his back and belly. And the more hair he lost the more his skin got irritated and red. By the second week his skin had turned bright red and bloody. That was the final straw. I took him into the vet and got him tested. He tested positive for ringworm. But just because we knew what was making him sick didn't mean we were able to fix it.
The medicine the doctor prescribed to Jake only made the infection worse. Come to find out he was allergic to one of the ingredients inside of the medication. His ringworm soon turned from worse to TERRIBLE. All Jake did was whimper, and we could tell that he was in a constant state of pain. When I took him back to the vet, she said that his immune system was shutting down, he could die from a simple ringworm infection if we didn't find the right medication. After days of research the vet called me back and said she had found a medication she thought would work. I went in a picked it up, for the first week there was no sign of improvement. After that, slowly but surely Jake's head started to heal. Over the course of the next month, Jake's head healed and his hair grew back. He is a happy puppy now, and is able to continue being apart of my family. The vet has no idea what she did form me that day -- she not only saved my dog, she saved my best friend.
Jake is only two, and the fact that he will continue to live and be there whenever I come home is something I am grateful for every single day. We will never know how he came to catch ringworm, but if it ever does happen again, we know how to save him from the pain it caused him last time.
How Biology Helped
I am thankful for biology because it helped me save my best friend from death. When Jake was first diagnosed with ringworm, and the medication we were given for him did not work. We thought we were going to lose him. The idea of losing a dog over ringworm, an infection most healthy dogs can fight on their own, was devastating. Jake's immune system just couldn't fight off the infection without the help of medicine, but the medicine prescribed to him only make him sicker. We thought there was no hope. Luckily thanks to advances in science and medicine, the vet was able to find a medication that would heal Jake's ringworm and not cause an allergic reaction. Like I said, at first it didn't seem like even this medication would work for him, I thought I was going to lose my best friend. But after a week, his head started to heal, he started to get a little bit of his personality back, day by day, and his immune system kicked back in. Jake is still with me today, because biology has made it possibly for different chemicals and medicines to be combined to treat virus' and diseases such as ringworm. Even farther advances in the field of science has made it possible for medications to contain chemicals that don't cause allergic reactions, something I am grateful for every single day.